Coachella Valley came out firing on Saturday night and scored 4 first period goals in a, 5-4, win over the Tucson Roadrunners.
Devin Shore scored with 6:35 left in the third period to propel Coachella Valley to their second straight victory.
The Firebirds got out to a 2-0 lead in the first 5:14 of the game. Max McCormick ripped a shot past Tucson netminder Anson Thornton for his first of the game, assisted by Ville Ottavainen and Jimmy Schuldt. Jacob Melanson netted his second goal of the season to put Coachella Valley up by a pair with the assists being awarded to Ville Petman and Ryker Evans.
Ryan McGregor responded for the Roadrunners, tapping in the puck in a goal-mouth scramble, but the Firebirds got it back just 1:22 later. Cameron Hughes picked up the puck in the slot and rifled one to the back of the net to regain Coachella Valley’s two-goal lead. Hughes’ second of the season was assisted by Shane Wright and Ryan Winterton. Matt Villalta was replaced by Thornton after giving up three goals on six shots. Five minutes later, McCormick netted his second of the game after a pass from Devin Shore found the Firebirds’ captain. Kole Lind earned the secondary helper on the goal at 16:25 to make it 4-1.
Tucson scored a shorthanded goal two minutes into the second period on a play setup by John Leonard and finished by Cameron Hebig. McCormick took a slashing penalty with 16 seconds left in the middle frame. Roadrunners’ forward Dylan Guenther put home a rebound ten seconds later to make it a one-goal game.
The Roadrunners tied the game with 8:58 remaining in the third period as John Leonard shoveled the puck five-hole on Stezka. The Firebirds were once again quick to respond as Peetro Seppala fed the puck to McCormick in the offensive zone. McCormick’s shot was stopped by Villalta but the rebound was put home by Devin Shore for his first goal as a Firebirds to put Coachella Valley back on top, 5-4.
Jimmy Schuldt was called for tripping with 2:51 remaining and Coachella Valley killed off the Tucson man-advantage. Ales Stezka made a right pad save as the horn sounded to seal the victory for the Firebirds.
The Firebirds powerplay went 0-for-4 and the penalty kill finished the night 1-for-2. Both teams had 30 shots on net. The win moves Coachella Valley to 8-5-0-0 on the season.
See the game’s full box score HERE.
Be sure to stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage of Firebirds hockey, plus our live game broadcast on Nov. 21st.