The Tucson Roadrunners finally look vulnerable.
A 2-0 loss to the Texas Stars Wednesday night put the Roadrunners down 3-1 in the second round best-of-seven Calder Cup playoffs series. The Roadrunners must win Friday’s Game 5 in Texas to bring the series back to Tucson, and then win two straight at Tucson Arena to take the series.
The Roadrunners were shut out Wednesday for just the second time all season.
“This thing’s far from over,” Roadrunners defenseman Andrew Campbell told media after the Game 4 loss.
“It starts with one game Friday night, and if we win Friday night, we get the ball rolling our way, get back home, get our crowd behind us, and anything can happen.”
Tucson goalie Adin Hill kept the Roadrunners in the game for most of Wednesday night, saving 26 of 28 shots. The two goals by Texas both came in the second period, the first on a power play.
Tucson’s offense didn’t provide Hill with any support to work with in Game 4 despite seeing a number of scoring opportunities. The Rodrunners outshot Texas 10-5 in the third period.
Tucson has gone scoreless on power-play opportunities over the last three games — all losses.
“We need to generate better chances offensively,” Campbell told the team site. “You have to give them credit: They’re doing a good job of checking us and keeping us on the outside, and we need to do a better job of getting pucks to the net and getting bodies to the net and creating more.”
Roadrunners coach Van Ryn expressed confidence in his team’s demeanor after the loss.
“We’ve just got to win one — and hey, they’ve won three in a row, we can do the same. You’ve got to keep going,” Van Ryn said after Game 4.
“We’re not panicking. We’re still confident. We’ve won a lot of games this year, a lot of big games, so it’s business as usual.”
Tucson’s current three-game losing streak to Texas matches a season high. The Roadrunners last lost three straight in December.
The Roadrunners will have to overcome the strong play of Stars goalie Mike McKenna, who didn’t allow a first-period goal in Games 2, 3, or 4.
Dylan Strome, Tucson’s top scoring threat heading into the the second round, has not produced a point all series. Strome was held to a single shot in Game 3 before getting off six shots Wednesday.