Game #44 Preview: Tucson at Ontario
By: Alex Kinkopf
February 17, 2017 12:52 PM
Game #44 – Tucson (21-17-5-0) at Ontario (25-12-8-0)
8:00 PM MST, Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California
Referees: #50 Andrew Howard, #57 Andrew Wilk
Linesmen: #62 James Parker, #96 Michael McBain
CALIFORNIA REIGN: Tonight marks eighth of 12 meetings with the Reign this season, and the second of the Roadrunners’ six scheduled visits to Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Reign are playing the second of a four-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-1 win over the Iowa Wild on Wednesday night. The Roadrunners are playing the fourth of a six-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Barracuda on Tuesday night.
BACK ON TRACK: Tucson comes into the night having lost its previous four contests, and nine of their last 10. The Roadrunners are also winless (0-3-0-0) on their current season-long six-game road trip. Can they stop the bleeding with a win in Ontario tonight?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The Roadrunners held a morning skate at Citizens Business Bank Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. There is no telling whether or not any changes will be made to the lineup the team used Tuesday night, which is listed below. A final, hockey operations-approved lineup will be posted to tonight’s Live Blog 30 minutes prior to puck drop.
LAURENT DAUPHIN – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
MICHAEL BUNTING – TYLER GAUDET – ANTHONY DUCLAIR
BRENDAN RANFORD – MARK OLVER – ERIC SELLECK
MITCH MOROZ – RYAN MACINNIS – STEFAN FOURNIER
(BRANDEN TROOCK – CONOR GARLAND)
JARRED TINORDI – JAMIE MCBAIN
ANTHONY DEANGELO – KYLE WOOD
DAKOTA MERMIS – ZBYNEK MICHALEK
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the previous meeting between these clubs on January 18, the Roadrunners skated to a 4-1 victory over the Reign at Tucson Arena. Mark Olver scored a pair of goals for Tucson, while Christian Fischer and Hunter Fejes each added one of their own. Justin Peters made 22 saves in the win. The Roadrunners are 5-1-1-0 in their seven meetings with the Reign this season.
SHORT SECURITY: In order to maintain their fourth-place positioning in the Pacific Division through the night, the Roadrunners will likely need a win tonight, or at least a point earned. The Texas Stars, who play the Chicago Wolves tonight, can surpass the Roadrunners in the standings with a win and a Tucson loss. The Stockton Heat and Bakersfield Condors could inch closer to the Roadrunners as well with wins tonight; both clubs enter the night with .500 win percentages.
WINNING WAYS: The Roadrunners have found a great deal of success against the Reign this season, earning 11 of a possible 14 points against Ontario in the teams’ previous seven meetings, posting a 5-1-1-0 record. Tucson, however, is 0-1-0-0 in their lone visit to Citizens Business Bank Arena, falling 4-1 on December 2. Can the Roadrunners earn their sixth win of the season, and their first in franchise history in Ontario against the Reign 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 7:45 PM MST.