Game 52 Preview: San Diego at Tucson
Game #52 - San Diego (26-17-5-2) at Tucson (31-17-1-2)
7 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, AZ
LISTEN LIVE Fox Sports 1450, iHeart Radio app
WATCH LIVE AHL TV
Referees: Andrew Howard (#50), Mitch Dunning (#43)
Linesmen: Ken Bonham (#30), Patrick Stuber (#32)
As the return home ends, the busy week begins for the Roadrunners.
Following practices at Tucson Arena Monday and Tuesday, the three-game home stretch comes to a close tonight before the team hits the friendly skies Thursday with a trip to California on deck.
Tonight's two points are very valuable and with the neighboring Stockton Heat and Colorado Eagles in the standings inactive this evening, tonight becomes another "game in hand" for them of which Tucson will want to take points in to further distance the gap.
1) The Pacific Division race is the tightest in all of the AHL right now with just SIX points total separating first and fourth. Even Ontario, who is one point behind San Diego in fifth, is only seven points out of first place. It's tight. Really tight. And with teams like San Diego continuing to push up the standings, Tucson's going to have to get back to their winning ways to earn solid footing.
2) The Gulls parent Anaheim Ducks added a few pieces on NHL Trade Deadline Day Monday that allowed them to assign two of their young, prized prospects down the I-5 to join the San Diego roster. Troy Terry, who has played 47 games at the NHL level this season, has ten points in seven games with the Gulls this year and is explosive in terms of offensive output. On the back end, Brendan Guhle, a fleet-footed defenseman can really move the puck and contribute from the back end. Add in these two pieces along with perhaps the hottest goaltender in all of the American Hockey League, Anthony Stolarz, who is 10-1-2 since January 10, this is a dangerous team coming to play tonight.
3) Since mid-December there have only been three games where both Adin Hill and Ivan Prosvetov have been on the roster together. Alas though, some normalcy comes thanks to some good health for both Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta. One would have to think that Hill will be coming with some confidence, as he registered a .918 save percentage with the 'Yotes, which is on pace to be a career-high for him. While it's unknown if either Hill or Prosvetov will have the green light tonight, just having the option of both is very welcomed, especially with the busy stretch of days ahead.
What's The Word?
Roadrunners forward Tyler Steenbergen on the past 48 hours for the team...
"I think we had two really good practices. We were really keying in on a few things. We've had a good few days."
Roadrunners forward Tyler Steenbergen on the difference from this weekend to tonight...
"We have to learn to stay disciplined and not take those penalties. That bit us in the butt over the weekend. We gave them a few power plays and [Stockton] has a good one and they made us pay for it. Now, for us it's about sticking to our game plan and focusing on playing a full 60 minutes. If we can do that, we'll be good."
Roadrunners forward Tyler Steenbergen on what the team is expecting tonight and their game plan...
"We know they want to play offense. They're a very talented team, so we're going to try and play in their end for most of the game and hopefully we can cause some turnovers. If we play a good, stingy defense, which is kind of our motto, we'll be good. Plus, if we're playing in their end most of the night, they're going to have trouble getting into ours.
Number to Know
7. The only meeting between these two sides at Tucson Arena this season came back on December 31, 2019 and the Roadrunners put up a seven-spot, bouncing back after a tough weekend against Colorado. Could another big bounce back be in store tonight?
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, beginning at 6:45 PM.
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