By: Alex Kinkopf
January 06, 2017 1:39 PM
Game #27 – Tucson (15-8-3-0) at Stockton (16-9-3-1)
8:30 PM MST, Stockton Arena, Stockton, California
Referees: #19 Tim Mayer, #36 Mike Campbell
Linesmen: #43 Steven Berry, #85 Steve Walsh
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Tonight marks the seventh of eight meetings with the Heat this season, and the third of the Roadrunners’ four scheduled visits to Stockton Arena. Stockton is playing the first of a two-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 5-4 overtime loss to the Ontario Reign on Saturday. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a two-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 4-2 loss to the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday night.
GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE DOWN: The Roadrunners, who have lost two consecutive games in regulation for just the second time all season, visit a Stockton club that is in the midst of a five-game losing streak. The Heat, in their previous five contests, have posted a 0-3-2-0 mark, and have dropped to fourth-place in the Pacific Division. Can Tucson snap their two-game skid while extending Stockton’s troubles with a win tonight?
LINEUP: The Roadrunners held a morning skate at Stockton Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. There has been little insight provided to how the roster aligned; below is how the team skated during their final practice on Wednesday prior to traveling to Stockton. A final, hockey operations-approved lineup will be posted to tonight’s Live Blog 30 minutes prior to the game.
LAURENT DAUPHIN – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
MARK OLVER – TYLER GAUDET – MICHAEL BUNTING
GARRET ROSS – RYAN MACINNIS – CONOR GARLAND
HUNTER FEJES – TREVOR CHEEK – LINDSAY SPARKS – HENRIK SAMUELSSON – STEFAN FOURNIER
JARRED TINORDI – KYLE WOOD
DAKOTA MERMIS – JAMIE MCBAIN
BRANDON BURLON – DYSIN MAYO
POWER PLAY HEAT: The Roadrunners’ power play, which comes into the night fourth overall in the AHL with a 25% success rate, has been quite productive against Stockton this season. Tucson has converted on 11 of their 36 man advantage opportunities in six games against the Heat, including a 3-for-6 showing in the teams’ previous meeting. Can the Roadrunners’ power play provide a spark tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the team’s previous meeting on December 28 at Stockton Arena, the Roadrunners came away victorious in a 4-1 win over the Heat. Tucson scored three power play goals en route to the win; Laurent Dauphin scored a pair, Christian Fischer added another, and Ryan MacInnis scored the only even-strength goal for the Roadrunners. Marek Langhamer made 35 saves in the win. The teams combined for 162 penalty minutes; 134 of which were assessed during a line-brawl that took place with 8:20 left to play in regulation.
COACH ON STOCKTON: “They’re going to be ready for us,” Head Coach Mark Lamb said of Stockton on Wednesday. “I’m sure they’re going to feel like they’ve left some points on the table with us, we’ve taken some points away from them late in games, our power play has been excellent against them, so I’m sure they’re really going to focus on discipline and really focus on our power play. We’ve matched up well against that team and we’ve got to go in and play a smart game.”
EMOTION CHECK: These teams will be seeing each other for the first time since December 28's meeting, one which consisted of 162 penalty minutes, 134 of them assessed during a line-brawl late in the third period. "I think it’s going to be a hard battle both ways," Mark Olver said on Wednesday. "Obviously the last time we went in there I think we had that line brawl at the end of the game, so they’re going to be just as ready as we are."
GOOD WOOD: Kyle Wood, along with Brendan Perlini, was named to the 2017 AHL All-Star Game on Thursday. Wood currently leads the Roadrunners in points scored this season with 28 (7G, 21A). 12 of Wood’s 28 points have come against the Heat; he has tallied three goals and nine assists in six games against Stockton. Can the 20 year-old rookie defenseman find the scoresheet again tonight?
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 8:15 PM MST.