Game #8 – Tucson (5-1-1-0) vs Cleveland (4-3-1-0)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #68 Mackenzie Nichol, #39 Evgenii Romasko
Linesmen: #67 Travis Gawryletz, #96 Michael McBain
MONSTERS MASH: Tonight marks the first of four meetings with the Monsters this season, and the first of Cleveland’s two scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the third of a six-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 5-4 overtime victory over the Iowa Wild last Saturday. The Monsters are playing the first of a four-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Tuesday.
KEEP ‘ER GOIN’: The Roadrunners enter the evening not having lost in regulation since falling to the San Diego Gulls by a 7-6 score on opening night. Since then, the club has posted a 5-0-1-0 mark, including a perfect 2-0-0-0 record on home ice. With a .786 win percentage, the Roadrunners currently sit at first place in the Pacific Division and the entire American Hockey League. Can they maintain their winning ways with a victory over the Monsters tonight?
STROME, STREAKING: Dylan Strome, who was honored with the AHL’s CCM Player of the Week award for the period ending October 29, has registered points in three straight games, and in five of the six contests he’s played in a Roadrunners uniform. He leads the Roadrunners in scoring with 10 points (1G, 9A), can he add to that total tonight against Cleveland?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a pregame morning skate ahead of today’s game at Tucson Arena. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this afternoon.
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - DYLAN STROME (91) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
EMERSON ETEM (26) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - MIKE SISLO (9)
CONOR GARLAND (8) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - MICHAEL LATTA (46)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - LANE PEDERSON (18) - JENS LOOKE (24)
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - ADAM CLENDENING (4)
JOEL HANLEY (44) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - KYLE WOOD (3)
ADIN HILL (33)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
MILESTONE EMERSON: If he, as expected, dresses tonight, Roadrunners forward Emerson Etem will be playing in his 300th-career professional game. Of the 299 played thus far, 173 have come at the NHL level with the Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, and New York Rangers. In 126 AHL games with the Syracuse Crunch (2), Norfolk Admirals (117), San Diego Gulls (1), and the Roadrunners (6), Etem has registered 96 points (54G, 42A).
WINNING MENTALITY: Michael Bunting, who scored his first goal of the season in last Saturday’s 5-4 overtime victory over the Iowa Wild, touched on the team’s confident outlook during the early stages of the season: “I think we just have a really good core of guys here,” he said following Friday’s morning skate. “We want to win, we don’t want to lose. I think it’s just a different mindset this year, and we want to be winners, we’re not accepting losing at all.”
ADIN’S RETURN?: With a healthy conglomerate of goaltending eligible to get the call for the Roadrunners this evening, it isn’t clear whether or not Adin Hill will make his second start of the season tonight. Hill, who was assigned to the Roadrunners last Saturday after being with the Arizona Coyotes for a five-game span, three of which he played in, has won the only contest he’s started for Tucson this season, a 22-save shutout of the Bakersfield Condors. Hill carries a 1-1-0 mark into the evening with a 0.65 GAA and a .968 SV%.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan and color commentator Tim Gassen will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.