Game 39 Preview: Bakersfield at Tucson
Game #39 - Bakersfield (17-18-4-1) at Tucson (28-9-1-0)
7 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, AZ
LISTEN LIVE Fox Sports 1450, iHeart Radio app
WATCH LIVE AHL TV
Referees: Tim Mayer (#19), Patrick Hanrahan (#52)
Linesmen: Jonathan Deschamps (#84), Rob Fary (#32)
Finally back on home ice for game action for the first time in 20 days, the Roadrunners play host to the Bakersfield Condors tonight, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.
Already with one win under their belt this week, the team cashed in on a coruscating 39-save performance from Adin Hill, knocking the West's-hottest San Diego Gulls off of their five-game win streak Tuesday night in San Diego. Now, they'll look to head into the All-Star break hot against another Pacific Division foe.
1) As mentioned, Tucson took down the streaking Southern California squad less than 72 hours ago, practiced, then traveled home Wednesday before settling back in at Tucson Arena yesterday. What went well for Tucson their last two outings that led to the wins? The team's gotten the first goal in their last four games and they've gotten stellar goaltending. Does that automatically mean a win though? Of course not. But is it a good recipe? You bet.
2) Bakersfield began their week with a 5-0 thrashing of San Jose Wednesday night on home ice before coming to Southern Arizona. The top of their defensive core rivals any other in the American Hockey League, led by 2018 Oilers first round selection Evan Bouchard, who was just named to the AHL All-Star Classic roster yesterday. Matt Benning, bringing over 200 NHL games with Edmonton and William Lagesson fresh off his NHL debut earlier this month round out half of their defensive six and oh by the way, behind them? Stuart Skinner, who posted the 35-save shutout against the 'Cuda and Shane Starrett, whose 27 wins ranked as tied for best in the West last season.
3) Adin's back, Ivan's back, life is good. Example? Ivan going 27/28 in his first start in return Saturday in Ontario and Adin turning away 39/40 in his Tuesday night in San Diego. Back to the rotation of old? Perhaps, and that would suggest Ivan Prosvetov has the net tonight. As we've gotten accustomed to as of late though, anything can happen. For what it's worth, Ivan denied 36 of 39 in the team's only game against Bako this season.
What's The Word?
Roadrunners forward Kevin Hancock on his Tuesday evening multiple point performance and the team's win in San Diego...
"I thought our team played a good game. We were over the top on [San Diego] and that translated to offense. Hopefully we can bring that again tonight."
Roadrunners forward Kevin Hancock on what the team will need to do this evening against Bakersfield to have the same outcome...
"We have to check their players. We want to slow them down. They're going to want to play a fast game and get up and down the ice quick, so we want to get in their way and make their lives hard tonight."
Roadrunners forward Kevin Hancock on what factors within the game are being emphasized...
"Our first five minutes is going to be huge for us. We want to get the crowd into the game and set the tone. If we do that, we feel we can dictate the game as well."
Number to Know
8. In their only previous meeting this season, Tucson put up eight goals against the Condors back on November 27. Certainly things have changed, but the team found a way to create offense then.
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 6:45 PM.
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