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Roadrunner Roundup: Tucson vs Ontario Reign

Tucson splits series with Reign; Heads to San Jose and Stockton this weekend.

Tucson Roadrunners

The Tucson Roadrunners split their series against the Ontario Reign this past Sunday and Tuesday. Tucson lost 4-2 on Sunday, then came back to defeat Ontario 5-2 on Tuesday.

This now puts the Roadrunners record at 11-4-2-1 (0.694 points percentage) which allows them to stay in first in the Pacific Division. The team will now head to Northern California for a split road weekend with the San Jose Barracuda and the Stockton Heat.

If you missed out on any part of Tucson’s series this week, here is our weekly Roadrunner Roundup to get you caught up with everything you need to know.

One Time City

Most of the Roadrunners scoring opportunities against Ontario came off one-time opportunities. Six out of their seven goals this week came off those one-timers.

Roadrunners coach Mike Van Ryn said he didn’t know his team had scored that many times with those opportunities, yet he still acknowledged Tucson’s work on one timers.

“We work a lot on quick releases and trying to put pucks in places that guys can get it away quick,” Van Ryn said. “And with these goalies, they’re good goalies... and I thought our guys got the puck away quick that’s how you beat goalies, you can’t let ‘em get set.”

Power Play Powerhouse

The Roadrunners were excellent on the power play on this weekend, finishing the series with a 33 percent effectiveness with the man advantage.

All of the team’s power play goals came in Tuesday’s game, where Tucson scored on three of their six chances — for a 50% effectiveness. Tucson’s three power play goals also set the team’s season high in that category.

“I thought we were breaking the puck in really well,” Roadrunners forward Tye McGinn said after Tuesday’s game. “And we’re setting up our system and are great off the entries... and we were making nice crisp passes.”

Third Period Madness

The open to the third period of play on Tuesday was something that you might expect right out of a video game. The Roadrunners were scoreless in the second period with only four shots on goal, but they came right back and scored two goals in just three shot attempts in the third.

According to defenseman Dysin Mayo, their slip up in the second period helped them get back on track to finish the game.

“I think we just got away from out game plan in the second period,” Mayo said. “We had a good first and we kinda got back to that in the third. Coach challenged us there and we came out strong.”

Teddy Bear Toss

At about 12:32 into the second period on Sunday, Roadrunners defenseman Kyle Capobianco scored the Roadrunners first goal of the night, prompting all of Tucson’s fans to toss hundreds to thousands of teddy bears onto the ice.

This week, the Roadrunners will go out to local hospitals to bring the teddy bears to local children staying there.

“I’m going to that,” Roadrunners forward Micheal Bunting said. “I think It will be a lot of fun to put smiles on their faces... so... I like that.”

Upcoming Challenge

The Roadrunners will head up to Northern California this weekend to face off against the San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat. According to Roadrunners coach Mike Van Ryn, they have a certain expectations on their Stockton opponents, but they aren’t quite too sure about San Jose.

“We don’t know San Jose at all we haven’t played them yet, so we’ll have to dig into them a little bit,” Van Ryn said. “Stockton we’ve played and we know that they can skate. They play a similar brand of game that we do, they try to be quick... so preparing for them is just like preparing for yourself a little bit and we’ll go in and work.”

The Roadrunners will first head to the SAP Center at San Jose to play the Barracuda. The puck is scheduled to drop there Friday at 8 p.m. MST.

Other Notes

  • Defeseman Dysin Mayo scored his first goal of the season during the third period on Tuesday.
  • Tye McGinn’s two assists on Tuesday were his first points as a Roadrunner since being traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team.
  • Jens Looke got both his second and third goals of the season on both Sunday and Tuesday.
  • Kyle Capobianco was recalled by the Arizona Coyotes just one day after scoring the “Teddy Bear Toss” goal.
  • The Arizona Coyotes, assigned both Joel Hanley and Marek Langhamer to the Tucson Roadrunners on Tuesday.

Follow Robby Leaño on Twitter @RobLeano1