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Roadrunners blanked by Colorado; fall by a 2-0 count

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Suffering their first shutout of the season, the Roadrunners’ eight-game point streak was broken in the club’s 2-0 loss to the Colorado Eagles Wednesday night at Tucson Arena.
One night after snapping the Eagles’ run of points in seven-straight games, the Roadrunners played Colorado close, the teams both scoreless during the first 32 minutes of play with only a goal of separation until the final two-plus minutes of regulation.
The Roadrunners outshot the Eagles by a 22-17 count, but struggled to get into a firm rhythm while be assessed six penalties throughout the evening.
“I didn’t really like how we played; we were undisciplined, we were in the box too much and chasing the game,” head coach Jay Varady said. “I think if you go to the box that many times guys play too many minutes, too many hard minutes. I thought we did a great job killing penalties, but we were just in situations too often for things we shouldn’t be doing.”
Forward Nick Merkley returned to the lineup for the first time since March 20 of last season, playing on the first line to the right of Trevor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.
“It’s nice to be in a competitive environment again, but obviously you want to win. I thought we had our chances tonight but we just couldn’t bury,” he said. “I think that [my] timing will be a little slow off the start, but I thought I did pretty well tonight – we just need to get that power play moving.”
The Roadrunners went 0-for-7 on the power play.
Colorado’s Logan O’Connor buried the evening’s first goal just past the midway point of the game, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead with 7:59 to play in the second period.
Scott Kosmachuk gave Colorado a 2-0 lead with 2:20 left to play in regulation.
Merrick Madsen stopped 15 of the 17 shots he faced, suffering his second loss of the season.
The Roadrunners finished their longest home stand of the season to date with a 3-1-0-0 mark and now have an overall record of 15-6-2-1.
The team begins a four-game road trip Saturday night when they take on the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 6:00 PM MST.
*Photos courtesy: Chris Hook & Kate Dibildox