By: Alex Kinkopf
December 20, 2016 1:12 PM
Game #21 – Tucson (11-6-3-0) vs Bakersfield (10-10-2-0)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #22 Geno Binda, #50 Andrew Howard
Linesmen: #90 Mike Sarter, #93 Nathan Wieler
CLASH WITH CONDORS: Tonight marks the fifth of eight meetings with the Condors this season, and the first of Bakersfield’s four scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. Bakersfield is playing the third of a five-game road trip, where they’ve posted an 0-2-0-0 record thus far; they’re coming off of a 5-0 loss to the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a two-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 4-2 loss to the San Antonio Rampage Saturday night.
LINEUP: The Roadrunners held an optional pregame skate in anticipation of tonight’s contest. 15 players skated, along with both goaltenders. During Monday’s full roster practice, Hunter Fejes moved up to the third line while Conor Garland slid down to the fourth unit. Here’s how the team, in its entirety, aligned on Monday:
LAURENT DAUPHIN – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
GARRET ROSS – MARK OLVER – TYLER GAUDET
MICHAEL BUNTING – RYAN MACINNIS – HUNTER FEJES
LINDSAY SPARKS – CONOR GARLAND – TREVOR CHEEK – STEFAN FOURNIER
JARRED TINORDI – ZBYNEK MICHALEK
DAKOTA MERMIS – JAMIE MCBAIN
BRANDON BURLON – KYLE WOOD
FISCH IS HOT: Christian Fischer comes into the night with five goals scored in the last three games, totaling six points (5G, 1A) during that span. Due to an upper-body injury he suffered in November, Fischer has only played in two of the Roadrunners’ four games against the Condors this season, and was held scoreless in both contests.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the previous meeting between these clubs on December 3 at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena, the Roadrunners lost 5-0. It was the first and only time Tucson has been shut out this season. The Condors’ Laurent Brossoit stopped all 21 shots he faced; Justin Peters allowed five goals on 23 shots. The Roadrunners are 2-1-1-0 in four games against Bakersfield this season.
OUR SIDE OF TOWN: Even though these two clubs have faced each other on four previous occasions this season, tonight’s meeting marks the first at Tucson Arena. The Condors come into the night with the worst road record in the Pacific Division, and are tied for the third-worst mark in the entire AHL with a 2-5-1-0 record away from Rabobank Arena. The Condors’ last win on the road came on October 29 in San Jose.
PETERS BETWEEN THE PIPES: Justin Peters was the first goaltender to leave the ice during the morning skate and is projected to make his fourth start of the season. Peters carries a 1-2-0 record into the night with a .843 SV% and a 4.51 GAA. He has started one game against Bakersfield this season, making 18 saves on 23 shots faced in the Roadrunners’ 5-0 loss to the Condors on December 3 at Rabobank Arena.
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 6:50 PM MST.