Game #17 Preview: Tucson vs. Ontario
By: Alex Kinkopf
December 07, 2016 1:52 PM
Game #17 – Tucson (9-5-2-0) vs Ontario (8-5-4-0)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #35 Guillaume Labonte, #66 Kenny Anderson
Linesmen: #30 Ken Bonham, #90 Mike Sarter
FORECAST IS REIGN: Tonight marks the fourth of 12 meetings with the Reign this season, as well as the third of Ontario’s six scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. Ontario is playing the first of a two-game road trip after a five-game home stand which saw them post a 3-2-0-0 record; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a two-game home stand after a difficult road trip which saw them struggle through a winless 0-3-0-0 mark; they’re coming off of a 5-0 loss to the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday.
LINEUP: The team held a pregame morning skate at Tucson Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. Marek Langhamer was the first goaltender to leave the ice and is expected to start in net. During line rushes, Mark Lamb’s team aligned thusly:
LAURENT DAUPHIN – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
GARRET ROSS – MARK OLVER – MARK COOPER
MICHAEL BUNTING – RYAN MACINNIS – CONOR GARLAND
HUNTER FEJES – TREVOR CHEEK – LINDSAY SPARKS
JARRED TINORDI – ZBYNEK MICHALEK
DAKOTA MERMIS – JAMIE MCBAIN
KYLE WOOD – ANTHONY DEANGELO
LOCATION, LOCATION: The Roadrunners have been very successful on home ice this season, posting a 6-1-1-0 record at Tucson Arena, outscoring their opponents 33-27. Ontario, however, holds the best winning percentage on the road in the Pacific Division, recording a 4-2-3-0 mark in nine games away from Citizens Business Bank Arena. Can the Roadrunners continue their success on home ice with a win tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the previous meeting between these clubs on Friday at Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena, the Roadrunners lost to the Reign for the first time this season, 4-1. Eric Selleck scored the only goal for Tucson. Marek Langhamer stopped 31 of 34 shots faced in what was his third start of the season. Michael Latta was credited with the game-winning goal. The Roadrunners come into the night with a 2-1-0-0 against Ontario this season.
MAREK’S THE MAN: Marek Langhamer is the Roadrunners’ presumed starting goaltender, having left the ice first during this morning’s pregame skate. For the 22 year-old Czech Republic native, tonight will mark his fourth start of the season, and his second against Ontario. Langhamer enters the evening with a 2-1-0 record with a 2.63 GAA and a .933 SV%. He has allowed eight goals on 119 shots faced.
PROVIDING A SPARKS: Forward Lindsay Sparks, who was recalled from the Rapid City Rush (ECHL) on Tuesday, will make his American Hockey League debut tonight when he skated on the Roadrunners’ fourth line with Trevor Cheek and Hunter Fejes. In 21 games with the Rush this season, Sparks has recorded 25 points (11G, 14A). Sparks scored a goal in Tucson’s second and final preseason game in the club’s 3-2 loss to the Stockton Heat on October 7.
NEW FACES: Along with Sparks, forwards Hunter Fejes and Trevor Cheek will make their debuts in Roadrunners uniforms. Fejes and Cheek, along with Sparks, were recalled from the ECHL on Tuesday; Fejes from Rapid City, Cheek from Fort Wayne. In 19 games with Rapid City this season, Fejes has registered 11 points (5G, 6A). Cheek, in 12 games with Fort Wayne, has recorded 13 points (5G, 8A). All three players (Sparks, Fejes, Cheek) will play together on Mark Lamb’s fourth line.
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 7:50 PM MST.