Game #64 – Tucson (26-30-7-0) at Manitoba (26-36-5-5)
5:00 PM PST, MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Referees: #3 Ben Moser, #32 Troy Murray
Linesmen: #96 Andrew Stammers, #25 Justin Verhaeghe
HELLO, MANITOBA: Tonight marks the third of four meetings with the Moose this season, and the first of the Roadrunners’ two scheduled visits to Manitoba’s MTS Centre. The Moose are playing the third of a four-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 2-1 overtime loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday night. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a five-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 4-1 loss to the San Diego Gulls last Saturday.
MUELLER & MOOSE: Chris Mueller, who has registered four points (4A) in two games against Manitoba this season, is just two points shy of tying his single-season career-high mark of 60 points, which he attained during the 2011-12 campaign with the Milwaukee Admirals. Mueller comes into the night with 15 goals and 43 assists in 63 games.
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at the MTS IcePlex ahead of tonight’s game. It is unclear whether or not the team will align as they did during Wednesday’s practice, those combinations are listed below:
MICHAEL BUNTING – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
JOE WHITNEY – RYAN MACINNIS – JEREMY MORIN
ERIC SELLECK – TYLER GAUDET – CONOR GARLAND
MITCH MOROZ – TREVOR CHEEK – MARK COOPER
JARRED TINORDI – JAMIE MCBAIN
DAKOTA MERMIS – DAVID MUSIL
DYSIN MAYO – KYLE WOOD
(BRANDON BURLON – JALEN SMERECK – KYLE CAPOBIANCO)
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on January 10 at Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners beat the Moose by a 5-2 score. Brendan Perlini scored a hat-trick while Mark Olver and Christian Fischer netted the team’s other two goals. Adin Hill made 36 saves in the win. The Roadrunners are 2-0-0-0 in their previous two meetings with the Moose this season.
A DEBUT FOR TWO: Defensemen Jalen Smereck and Kyle Copabianco, who joined the Roadrunners from their respective Ontario Hockey League teams earlier in the week, will each be making their professional debuts if inserted into the lineup. “They’re a part of our evaluation when they get into the lineup,” Head Coach Mark Lamb said of the two young prospects. “I’m not really sure when that will happen yet.”
DOUBLE DIGITS: The Roadrunners will be seeking their 10th win in an opposing building tonight when they make their first visit of the season to Manitoba’s MTS Centre. The club is 9-16-4-0 in 29 games on the road this season. The Moose are 13-17-3-3 in 23 games on home ice.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan will have the radio call on AM 1450 KTZR, which can be listened to for free HERE. Callahan’s radio coverage of tonight’s contest will begin at 4:45 PM MST.