Staring down the possibility of an early end to a terrific inaugural season, Coachella Valley raced out to a 4-0 lead before the game was eight minutes old and shut down Tucson the rest of the way to take the decisive Game 3 of the teams’ Pacific Division first-round series at Acrisure Arena on Sunday evening.
With a 5-1 win, the Firebirds move on to face Colorado in the division semifinals.
Ville Petman got Coachella Valley on the board 3:49 into the game, beginning a stretch of four Firebirds goals in a span of 3:33.
Shane Wright, the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, followed at 5:56 with his first career playoff goal. David Goyette, Seattle’s second-round choice in that same draft, picked up an assist for his first point as a professional.
Kole Lind netted his second goal of the series 29 seconds after Wright’s goal, and Tye Kartye struck just 57 seconds after that, sending Tucson starter Ivan Prosvetov to the bench having allowed four goals on the Firebirds’ first seven shots.
Coachella Valley held Tucson to just 15 shots on goal through the first two periods, then tacked on an empty-net insurance marker after the Roadrunners had pulled goaltender Tyler Parks for an extra attacker with more than 11 minutes remaining in the third.
Joey Daccord, who fell 1:17 short of a shutout in Game 1, allowed only a power-play goal to Adam Cracknell with 2:28 left in Game 3. Daccord stopped 31 shots on the evening, including 16 in the third period, to finish the series with a .942 save percentage.
Pacific Division First Round (best-of-3)
P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. P7-Tucson Roadrunners
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 19 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Tucson 1 | Recap
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Tucson 4, COACHELLA VALLEY 3 | Recap
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 23 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Tucson 1