By: Alex Kinkopf
January 16, 2017 1:39 PM
Game #32 – Tucson (18-9-4-0) vs Ontario (19-7-6-0)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #7 Michael Mullen, #10 Terry Koharski
Linesmen: #30 Ken Bonham, #90 Mike Sarter
READY FOR REIGN: Tonight marks the sixth of 12 meetings with the Reign this season, and the fifth of the Reign’s six scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. Ontario is playing the first of a two-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday night. The Roadrunners are playing the fourth of a five-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Texas Stars on Saturday.
PERFECTION: The Roadrunners are a perfect 3-0-0-0 on their current home stand, beating the Manitoba Moose on January 10 and picking up a pair of wins over the Texas Stars over the weekend. Tucson can match their season-high mark of four consecutive wins, which they’ve done on two separate occasions this season, with a victory over Ontario tonight.
LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at Tucson Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. There don’t appear to be any changes to the lines the team skated with over the weekend versus Texas. Justin Peters was the first goalie off the ice and is projected to make his eighth start of the season:
MICHAEL BUNTING – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
MARK OLVER – TYLER GAUDET – HENRIK SAMUELSSON
LINDSAY SPARKS – RYAN MACINNIS – CONOR GARLAND
HUNTER FEJES – TREVOR CHEEK – STEFAN FOURNIER
JARRED TINORDI – JAMIE MCBAIN
DAKOTA MERMIS – ANTHONY DEANGELO
ZBYNEK MICHALEK – KYLE WOOD
(DYSIN MAYO – BRANDON BURLON)
PETERS ON PATROL: Justin Peters is expected to make his eighth start of the season tonight, and his first against the Reign. Peters, who is 3-4-0 on the season with a .846 SV% and a 4.59 GAA, has not won a decision since Tucson’s 6-5 shootout win over the San Diego Gulls on December 26. He has been pulled early from each of his two previous starts. Can Peters rebound with a winning performance tonight against the Reign?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on December 9, the Roadrunners came away with a 5-4 overtime victory at Tucson Arena. Zbynek Michalek, Conor Garland, Chris Mueller, and Kyle Wood scored for the Roadrunners, while Christian Fischer netted the game-winner 26 seconds into overtime. Adin Hill made 33 saves in the win. Tucson is 3-1-1-0 in their previous five meetings with Ontario this season.
CLIMBING: With a win tonight, and if the San Jose Barracuda lose to the Bakersfield Condors, the Roadrunners will slide back into second place in the Pacific Division. Tucson enters the night tied with San Jose in the standings – both teams holding a .654 W%. The Barracuda, though, currently have the second spot in the grouping since they have more regulation or overtime wins than the Roadrunners.
CONOR GARLAND PREGAME:
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan and color commentator Timothy Gassen 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.