Game #9 – Tucson (5-1-2-0) vs Cleveland (5-3-1-0)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #68 Mackenzie Nichol, #39 Evgenii Romasko
Linesmen: #67 Travis Gawryletz, #96 Michael McBain
COUNTERING CLEVELAND: Tonight marks the second of four meetings with the Monsters this season, and the final of Cleveland’s two scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the fourth of a six-game home stand; the Monsters are playing the second of a four-game road trip. The clubs are coming off of a meeting Friday night in which the Roadrunners lost 2-1 in overtime.
SHOT MENTALITY: The Monsters enter the evening second in the American Hockey League in shots allowed, their opponents averaging just 25.89 shots per game. The Roadrunners totaled 21 shots against Cleveland Friday night, their lowest total in any game so far this season. “I didn’t think we had a shooting mentality at all, and that’s something that we talked about,” Head Coach Mike Van Ryn said following Friday night’s overtime loss. “We passed up a lot of Grade-A’s that I thought we could have shot, and were instead just trying to make a cute play.”
STOP THE BLEEDING: The Roadrunners will look to avoid dropping consecutive games for the first time this season tonight. They have not lost in regulation since opening night on October 7, and have since pocketed standings points in each of their last seven games, posting a 5-0-2-0 mark during that span. Can the Roadrunners counter Cleveland with a win tonight?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held an optional pregame morning skate ahead of tonight’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 Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this afternoon.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)
MIKE SISLO (9) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - LANE PEDERSON (18)
EMERSON ETEM (26) - TREVOR CHEEK (39) - MICHAEL LATTA (46)
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - ADAM CLENDENING (4)
JOEL HANLEY (44) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - KYLE WOOD (3)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
MAREK LANGHAMER (30)
BIG THREE: For the first time since the three were united on the team’s first line, the trio of Lawson Crouse, Dylan Strome, and Nick Merkley were held off the scoresheet Friday night. The three combined for eight points and a plus-12 rating in the team’s two-game series against the Iowa Wild last weekend. Can Mike Van Ryn’s top offensive unit provide a scoring spark tonight?
MISKA MAGNIFICENT: Due to the nature of tonight’s game being the second half of a back-to-back, it is likely, though not confirmed, that Hunter Miska will make his fifth start of the season. Miska comes into the night with a 3-0-0 record, and in his last three starts, has posted a .922 SV% and a 2.66 GAA.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the clubs’ previous meeting on Friday night, the Roadrunners fell in overtime by a 2-1 score. Michael Bunting scored the Roadrunners’ lone goal, his second of the season and his second in as many games. Adin Hill made a total of 27 saves.
BACK-TO-BACK: The Roadrunners and Monsters, respectively, will be completing their third back-to-back sets of the season tonight. The Roadrunners are 1-0-1-0 in the second half of games played in consecutive nights, while the Monsters are 0-1-1-0. Can the Roadrunners keep the Monsters winless in the second half of back-to-backs with a win tonight?
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.