By: Alex Kinkopf
December 26, 2016 1:54 PM
Game #23 – Tucson (13-6-3-0) at San Diego (11-11-1-0)
8:00 PM MST, Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, California
Referees: #42 Jake Brenk, #8 Ryan Hersey
Linesmen: #37 Brett Martin, #93 Greg McAlpine
BACK TO WORK: Tonight marks the third of 12 meetings with the Gulls this season, and the third of six visits to San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center. San Diego is playing the fourth of a five-game home stand where they’ve gone 0-3-0-0 thus far; they’re coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Stockton Heat on December 17. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a two-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 5-4 overtime win over the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday night.
GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE COLD: The Gulls have not played a game since December 17, going eight calendar days without a contest. Because of that, San Diego assembled for a practice on Christmas day in an effort to get their legs churning. Can the Roadrunners pounce on a rusty Gulls roster tonight?
LINEUP: The Roadrunners held a morning skate at the Valley View Casino Center in anticipation of tonight’s game. 18 skaters and two goaltenders were accounted for; Laurent Dauphin endured some hiccups on his travels back from Canada and arrived in San Diego while the team was on the ice. Hunter Fejes skated in Dauphin’s place during the AM walk-through. Justin Peters was the first goaltender off the ice.
LAURENT DAUPHIN – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
GARRET ROSS – MARK OLVER – TYLER GAUDET
MICHAEL BUNTING – RYAN MACINNIS – CONOR GARLAND
LINDSAY SPARKS – TREVOR CHEEK – STEFAN FOURNIER
DAKOTA MERMIS – ZBYNEK MICHALEK
JARRED TINORDI – KYLE WOOD
BRANDON BURLON – JAMIE MCBAIN
ON THE REBOUND: Since their forgettable 0-3-0-0 road trip from November 30 through December 3, in which they were outscored 14-2, the Roadrunners have earned points in five of their last six contests, going 4-1-1-0 during that span. Five of those six games extended past regulation; Tucson lost the only game that did not. Can Tucson string together a three-game win streak with a victory tonight in San Diego?
STRUGGLES IN SD: Following their franchise record eight consecutive wins from November 11 through December 2, the Gulls have trudged through a rather difficult seven-game span, posting a 1-6-0-0 mark where they’ve been shut out on three occasions, their only win coming in overtime. San Diego enters Monday night’s affair having lost five-straight games.
PETEY IN NET: Goaltender Justin Peters is projected to get the start in net tonight. In four starts and five appearances entering the night, Peters carries a 2-2-0 record into the contest, with a .866 SV% and a 4.07 GAA. Peters has won each of his last two decisions and is coming off of a 35-save performance in the Roadrunners 4-3 shootout win over the Bakersfield Condors last Tuesday night. He has started in one game against the Gulls this season, making 38 saves in Tucson’s 5-3 loss to San Diego on October 14.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on November 30 at the Valley View Casino Center, the Roadrunners fell to the Gulls, 5-1. Conor Garland gave Tucson an early lead, scoring the first goal of his professional career, but San Diego answered back with five goals of their own. Adin Hill stopped 24 of 29 shots faced in the loss.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM?: The Roadrunners are still looking for their first victory against the Gulls in San Diego. In two visits to the Valley View Casino Center this season, Tucson is 0-2-0-0, losing 5-3 in the regular season opener on October 14, and 5-1 on November 30. The Gulls are 8-5-0-0 in 13 games on home ice this season, but have dropped their previous three games in their host building. Can the Roadrunners notch their first road win against the Gulls tonight?
WHITE’S ALL RIGHT: Tonight’s game marks the first instance in which the AHL’s newly-mandated uniform rule comes into play. From here on out, home teams will wear their dark sets, meaning Tucson will be in white. The Roadrunners are 11-2-3-0 in their white uniforms this season, and 2-1-1-0 when wearing them away from home. They are 2-4-0-0 in their brick-red sets.
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 7:45 PM MST.