Game #59 Preview: Tucson vs. San Jose
Game #59 - Tucson (35-18-4-1) vs. San Jose (26-24-4-3)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #46 Steve MacFarlane, #14 Michael Markovic
Linesmen: #67 Travis Gawryletz, #30 Ken Bonham
BACK-TO-BARRACUDA: Tonight marks the seventh of eight meetings with the Barracuda this season, and San Jose's final of four scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are completing a two-game home stand; the Barracuda are putting the finishing touches on a four-game road trip. Both clubs are coming off of a meeting Tuesday night in which the Roadrunners won, 4-0.
BEST IN THE WEST: For the first time all season, the Roadrunners have surpassed the Manitoba Moose in the standings, momentarily taking sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. The margin is slim, but certainly valid: the Roadrunners are edging the Winnipeg Jets' affiliate by a .001 points percentage.
BUNTING'S A BOTHER: In scoring the Roadrunners' fourth and final goal last night, Michael Bunting now has six goals in six games played against the Barracuda this season - and a total of seven points (6G, 1A). With 35 points (17G, 18A) on the year, Bunting is by far and away having the best offensive season of his career, while being a strain on San Jose's defense.
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held an optional morning skate at Tucson Arena ahead of tonight's game. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team's lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this evening.
TOP OF THE HILL: Since the All-Star break, Adin Hill has been spectacular. In nine starts since the AHL's midseason hiatus, Hill is 7-0-2 with a .934 SV% and a 1.66 GAA. "I've been working with [goalie coach] Jon Elkin day-in and day-out," he noted when addressing his recent play. "I feel like my game has definitely improved in the second half of the season here."
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams' previous meeting on Tuesday night, the Roadrunners defeated the Barracuda by a 4-0 score. Nine different players recorded a point for the Roadrunners; Conor Garland, Lane Pederson, Mario Kempe, and Michael Bunting each scored. Adin Hill stopped all 20 of the shots he faced, earning his third shutout of the season.
ON A STREAK: With Tuesday night's victory, their fourth-straight, the Roadrunners matched their longest win streak of the season. The team strung together four consecutive wins from December 27 - January 5.
PLAYOFF PUSH: The Roadrunners enter the night with the lowest magic number in the Western Conference (12). The Barracuda are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, currently situated at eighth-place in the Pacific Division.
WE'RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight's action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan, along with color commentator Tim Gassen, will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.
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American Hockey League Stories from March 21, 2018
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