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Tucson runs wild in 8-5 win over Ontario

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Powerful the Roadrunners were Friday night, burying a franchise-record eight goals en route to an 8-5 victory over the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Matteo Gennaro registered the fourth hat trick in club history, netting the team’s second, seventh, and eighth goals of the evening to combine for a career-high four-point night.
“It was a pretty wild game,” Gennaro noted if the contest that saw the two teams combine for 13 goals. “Right from the start you could tell we came out with some jump, [Garland] did really well and got our team moving in the right direction, it was a pretty wild game.”
Hot from the get-go, no time was wasted as David Ullstrom gave the Roadrunners a 1-0 lead just 24 seconds into the game, netting his first goal in a Roadrunners uniform.
Less than three minutes later, Matteo Gennaro kicked his historic night into gear, finishing a friendly set-up from Conor Garland as the two raced in on a two-on-one, upping the Roadrunners’ lead to 2-0.
Garland added a goal of his own soon thereafter, beating Ontario’s Cal Petersen with a wrist shot from the left circle, giving the Roadrunners a commanding 3-0 lead a mere 5:45 into the contest.
The Reign would get on the board in the late stages of the first, but Hudson Fasching was quick to respond with his second tally of the year, reclaiming a three-goal cushion for the Roadrunners heading into the second period.
Former Roadrunner Emerson Etem but the Roadrunners’ lead to two in the early stages of the second period.
At the 7:20 mark of the second, Michael Bunting once again put the Roadrunners up by three, tucking home his third goal of the campaign to make the score 5-2.
After Ontario responded with a goal of its own yet again, Conor Garland buried his second goal of the night, upping the score’s count to 6-3 in favor of the Roadrunners.
With less than two minutes to play in the second, Matteo Gennaro polished off another two-on-one sequence, beating Ontario’s Peter Budaj to the top-shelf upon receiving a pass from David Ullstrom. Gennaro’s marker, his second of the night, gave the Roadrunners a 7-3 lead heading into the third.
The Reign chipped away to get back within two, but Matteo Gennaro iced the evening with his third goal of the night, the fourth hat trick in team history, when his shot deflected off of an Ontario defender and past Budaj to give the Roadrunners an 8-5 lead, the night’s final score.
Conor Garland finished the night with five points (2G, 3A), tying a franchise record for the most by a player in a single game. Mario Kempe, in his return to the Roadrunners' lineup, registered three assists
Adin Hill stopped 17 of 20 shots faced in 32:23 of action. Hunter Miska, in relief, and earning the winning decision, stopped five of seven shots faced in 27:37 of time in the crease.
The Roadrunners will continue their road trip Saturday night when they take on the San Diego Gulls at the Valley View Casino Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:00 PM PST.
Photos courtesy: Ontario Reign