Game 38 Preview: Tucson at San Diego
Game #38 - Tucson (27-9-1-0) at San Diego (17-15-2-2)
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: Ryan Hersey (#8), Stan Szczurek (#73)
Linesmen: James Parker (#62), Steven Walsh (#85)
Concluding their series of five consecutive games away from Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners are provided with an opportunity to end the trip by making it a winning one, along with getting revenge and evening the I-8 rivalry series at two games each tonight.
With the parent Arizona Coyotes on their CBA-mandated "bye week", the Tucson roster is full with it's captain Michael Chaput, All-Star defenseman Kyle Capobianco and stalwart goaltender Adin Hill for the first time in six weeks. A full road roster and red-hot home side collide and we're in for a good one this evening.
1) The 4-1 defeat that Tucson took in San Diego Friday night is easy to be misconstrued by just looking at the final score. Tucson was the better team through the first 25+ minutes, then two penalties got them in trouble and two examples of puck mismanagement let the game slip away. As we like to examine in the team's (thankfully) rare defeats this season, there's differences between being outplayed and correctible mistakes. Friday's loss was far more an example of correctible mistakes. Completing a game with zero penalty minutes isn't often attainable, however, limiting the trips to the penalty box is within reason. Puck management errors do happen in every game, of course, however, are they always as costly as they were Friday? Certainly not. Inhale, exhale, breathe out Friday and breathe in tonight.
2) As we had said even prior to Friday, don't let the standings fool you. This isn't first place versus fifth place on the matchup docket. San Diego is surging, the hottest team in the Western Conference, winners of five in a row and claiming points in seven of their last ten. Similar to the assignments of Capobianco, Chaput and Hill, Anaheim recently sent their assortment of high quality talent down I-5, filling the Gulls roster with much more promise and fulfillment. The team in orange and blue is scoring too, featuring four goals or more in their last five games in a row. As exemplified in the last meeting less than 96 hours ago, they can transition quickly and capitalize on opponent's mistakes. If their roster stays in tact as it looks now, it's a team that will not be on the outside of the playoff picture for much longer.
3) Saturday night was the return of Ivan Prosvetov to the Tucson cage and he did not show a single sign of missing a beat. Playing his first game in two weeks, Prosvetov kept Tucson in it with several marvelous saves en route to his 27 of 28 performance in the Roadrunners overtime win in Ontario. His lone goal was much more a mistake of those in front of him as opposed to his error, too. During the third period of that contest it was announced that Adin Hill would also be made available to the Roadrunners with the Coyotes now on their aforementioned bye week. Such presents an interesting question though, who starts tonight for the road team? Hill has played two full games and a part of another for the Yotes in the last week, however, Prosvetov played a full game Saturday and Adin did not. Toss up!
What's The Word?
Roadrunners forward Hudson Fasching on the team's power play success Saturday and his early goal...
"We had some good movement out there on the power play, we felt like we were moving the penalty kill around and getting some good looks. Beau finally got an open shot and then I got the rebound."
Roadrunners forward Hudson Fasching on tonight's contest and a hot San Diego team...
"They're a good team and they're definitely heating up. We're feeling good about our game though, we just need to keep the momentum going, keep the energy we have and play hard. We need to play hard against these guys and make sure we match their speed."
Roadrunners forward Hudson Fasching on if he feels the intensity is picking up now that we're in the thick of the season...
"Definitely. This time of year guys have their teams systems figured out. Everyone has all the rust from summer off. The teams are clicking on full cylinders, so you definitely see different teams this time of year and we're ready to go out and get some wins."
Number to Know
1. The Roadrunners have played in ten different buildings, nine on the road, thus far this season and the only one that they haven't won in is Pechanga Arena. Does that change tonight?
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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