Game #1 – Tucson (0-0-0-0) vs. San Diego (0-0-0-0)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #74 Michael Sheehan, #88 Chris Waterstradt
Linesmen: #30 Ken Bonham, #59 Rob Fay
A SAN DIEGO START: Tonight marks the first of 12 meetings with the Gulls this season, and the first of six against San Diego on home ice at Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are coming off a preseason slate that saw them post a 1-1-0-0 record, while the Gulls finished with a 1-2-0-0 mark in three exhibition contests.
WIN, WIN, WIN!: The Roadrunners have never defeated the Gulls on home ice. Winless in six games against San Diego at Tucson Arena last season, the Roadrunners are looking to claim a victory in front of home fans against their Pacific Division rival.
BIG 3’S BACK: Kyle Wood registered six points (3G, 3A) in 12 games against the Gulls last season. “Coming back here and playing in a real regular season game, it’s going to be pretty cool,” Wood said. “It was a thriller last year, the first game, so hopefully we can do that again [tonight] and give the fans a show, and come out with two points.”
PROJECTED LINEUP: Per club policy, tonight’s projected lineup will be shown at 5:00 PM. 22 skaters (14 forwards, eight defensemen) were on the ice for the pregame morning skate, along with all three goaltenders.
*UPDATED - 6:00 PM PST
EMERSON ETEM - MARIO KEMPE - NICK MERKLEY
MICHAEL BUNTING - TYLER GAUDET - CONOR GARLAND
JENS LOOKE - RYAN MACINNIS - MIKE SISLO
ZAC LARRAZA - TREVOR CHEEK - SCOTT ALLEN
ANDREW CAMPBELL - DAKOTA MERMIS
KYLE CAPOBIANCO - KYLE WOOD
JOEL HANLEY - DYSIN MAYO
BACK HOME: In 32 home games played at Tucson Arena during the 2016-17 campaign, the Roadrunners posted a 16-13-3-0 record, accumulating 35 standings points. The Gulls posted a 20-11-2-1 mark in 34 games on the road away from the Valley View Casino Center last season.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Roadrunners went 2-10-0-0 against the Gulls last season, including a 0-6-0-0 mark on home ice. In the teams’ preseason meeting on September 30 at the Valley View Casino Center, the Roadrunners beat the Gulls 2-0, backboned by a 26-save shutout performance from Hunter Miska along with goals from Kyle Wood and Zac Larraza.
EXCITEMENT IN THE AIR: “I think the guys are excited, and I’m excited about it,” Head Coach Mike Van Ryn said in regards to Opening Night. “[Tucson Arena] was a neat building to come into last year. Our guys have worked hard, I think they’re excited to see how the new system works for them, for us, and it’s a fun way to play. Opening night is always fun, and I’m sure the building will get the guys going too.”
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan, joined by color commentator Tim Gassen, will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Click HERE to listen live. Radio coverage begins with a pregame show that is scheduled to start at 6:50 PM.