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Phoenix Eliminated From Playoff Contention With 3-2 Loss

March 31, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL)
Phoenix RoadRunners News Release


BOISE, Idaho - Bryan McGregor scored a goal and added an assist and a three-goal first period proved to be the difference as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Phoenix RoadRunners 3-2 and eliminated them from playoff consideration before 3,134 fans at Qwest Arena in ECHL action Tuesday.

A five-goal first period combined between the two clubs ended with Idaho on top 3-2 going into the first intermission, and proved to be the only scoring in the hockey game. The Steelheads (42-23-4) opened the scoring just 48 seconds into the contest when Brandon Svendsen received credit for a goal from a McGregor shot that rang off the post, kicked off RoadRunners' goalie Kyle Jones, and trickled back into the net. Phoenix (29-35-5) netted the equalizer at 7:26 on the power play as David Rutherford scored the first of his two goals in the period re-directing Jim Jorgensen's shot past Idaho goalie Matt Climie to tie the contest at 1-1. The Steelheads would promptly score the next two goals as Matt Cook netted the first tally of his pro career re-directing a shot from the point through Jones and in at 14:22, and then McGregor scooped up a loose puck in the slot with Jones down and out and snapped it into the cage at 17:12 giving Idaho a 3-1 lead. But the RoadRunners' would have the period's final say when Rutherford potted his second goal off a face-off win by P.J. Corsi at 19:20 of the period.

The RoadRunners had two five-on-three power plays in the second period but failed to score on either, which proved to be costly in the end.

Idaho out-shot Phoenix 41-24. Jones stopped 38 shots but fell to 8-15-2 on the season with the loss. The RoadRunners went 1-6 on the power play while Idaho was 0-4 with the man-advantage.

Notes: With the loss, Phoenix was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention as they still trail fourth place Utah by seven points with only six available points remaining...Forward John McNabb did not accompany the team to Idaho after suffering an upper body injury in Saturday's home finale in Alaska. With McNabb out of the line-up, defenseman Brian Deeth skated as a forward...Captain Mitch Carefoot extended his season-high scoring streak to six games with an assist on Rutherford's power play goal.

The RoadRunners continue a season-ending four-game series against the Idaho Steelheads at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday at Qwest Arena in Boise. Catch all the action on www.phxroadrunners.com beginning with "RoadRunners Countdown" at 5:50 p.m.

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