Game 36 Preview: Tucson at San Diego
Game #36 - Tucson (26-8-1-0) at San Diego (15-15-2-2)
8 PM MST, Pechanga Arena, San Diego, CA
LISTEN LIVE Fox Sports 1450, iHeart Radio app
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Roadrunners Current Roster: Click here
Referees: Jim Curtin (#90), Justin Kea (#70)
Linesmen: Alec Rounds (#84), Patrick Stuber (#32)
Following a full, routine week of practice at Tucson Arena the Roadrunners now aim to take their chiseled set of details into Southern California's Pechanga Arena tonight for their third meeting of the season against the Gulls.
Winning their last game six days ago in Loveland, a win tonight would begin another streak for Tucson and an extension of their league-best winning percentage of .757.
1) They say good health is a blessing and the Tucson lineup is expected to view this phrase to be true tonight. For the first time since the team's opener on October 18, the roster is anticipated to include the group's "expected seven" on the blue line. With Niklas Hjalmarsson returning to the Coyotes earlier this week, AHL All-Star Kyle Capobianco was returned to Tucson, joining Robbie Russo, Jordan Gross, Dysin Mayo, Vili Saarijarvi, Aaron Ness and Cam Dineen as a part of the John Slaney-led defensive group. The only question is, how does the coaching staff now make it all work? Russo and Ness are seasoned veterans that bring NHL experience, Gross' impressive season led to his NHL debut already this campaign, Dysin Mayo leads the entire American Hockey League in plus/minus, Vili Saarijarvi has been stellar since joining the team in December and Cam Dineen is an up-and-coming Arizona Coyotes prospect who's had a great season playing lately with Mayo.
2) Winners of three straight and with points in seven of their last ten, the team's I-8 Border Rival have enjoyed some home cooking to start the new year. Tonight already their sixth home game of the month (tonight is only Tucson's fifth game overall of the month), the Southern California squad has taken wins from Iowa, Ontario and Stockton in that order since last Friday, so it's anticipated that they'll be coming in looking to add a fourth opponent to their "win list" in eight days. What have they done well during that run? Score. They've got 14 goals in their three-game win streak and they just held Stockton, the second-highest scoring team in the league to just one goal.
3) Last Saturday's first AHL start and win from Tyler Parks added another chapter to his growing novel, which began Friday with his relief appearance. Where does it go from here? Brandon Halverson did get the first start of the two games last weekend, so does he get the nod to go back in, or is it back to the winning Parks?
What's The Word?
Roadrunners defenseman Cam Dineen on if there was anything pinpointed this week from the team's victory over San Diego in their last meeting 17 days ago on New Year's Eve...
"No, nothing too specific. We're more worried about our game and how we come out tonight. Last weekend we had a tough first game, so going into this weekend having a good first one would be huge."
Roadrunners defenseman Cam Dineen on what the team's plan of attack was in their practices at Tucson Arena...
"Our focus this week was coming in every day and trying to be better every day. Last week we had a bit of a similar schedule and with that loss the first night it deflated what we thought was a pretty good week. This week I think we did a good job of staying at it and building on some things."
Roadrunners defenseman Cam Dineen on what the team is going to need to do to get a win tonight.
Number to Know
6. A three-point performance from Roadrunners forward Andy Miele last Saturday in Colorado improved on his three-point weekend against the San Jose Barracuda from the weekend prior to give him six points through four games already this month. Relied on in the essence of leadership without captain Michael Chaput, 51's proven to lead the way both on and off the ice this season.
We're Doing It Live
Catch tonight's active LIVE on AHLTV or join Roadrunners play-by-play voice Adrian Denny on Fox Sports 1450 AM and iHeart Radio as he calls the game from the Roadrunners' flagship radio station, where coverage begins at 7:45 PM.
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