Game #49 Preview: Tucson vs. San Diego
By: Alex Kinkopf
February 28, 2017 1:49 PM
Game #49 – Tucson (22-20-6-0) vs San Diego (30-14-2-2)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #48 Chris Schlenker, #41 Cameron Voss
Linesmen: #81 Travis Smith, #59 Rob Fay
BATTLE OF BIRDS: Tonight marks the eighth of 12 meetings with the Gulls this season, and the fourth of San Diego’s six scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Gulls are playing a one-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Rockford Ice Hogs on Saturday. The Roadrunners are playing the final of a three-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 4-3 OTL to the San Jose Barracuda Saturday night.
HOME IMPROVEMENT: The Roadrunners have not won a game at Tucson Arena since January 18. Since then, the club is 0-4-1-0 in five games played in their home building – three of those five losses coming against the Gulls. Can the Roadrunners get back to winning at home with a win over San Diego tonight?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at Tucson Arena in anticipation of tonight’s game. 21 skaters participated along with three goaltenders. From the looks of the lines used, tonight’s lineup should look similar to the listed below:
LAURENT DAUPHIN – CHRIS MUELLER – CHRISTIAN FISCHER
MICHAEL BUNTING – GRAYSON DOWNING – JEREMY MORIN
ERIC SELLECK – TYLER GAUDET – ANTHONY DUCLAIR
MITCH MOROZ – RYAN MACINNIS – BRANDEN TROOCK
(CONOR GARLAND – BRENDAN RANFORD)
JARRED TINORDI – ZBYNEK MICHALEK
DAKOTA MERMIS – JAMIE MCBAIN
DYSIN MAYO – KYLE WOOD
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on February 18 at the Valley View Casino Center, the Roadrunners beat the Gulls 5-2. Five different players scored for the Roadrunners; Ryan MacInnis netted the game-winner with 7:26 left in regulation. Adin Hill made 36 saves in the win.
THE NEW GUYS: Jeremy Morin and Grayson Downing are both expected to make their debuts in Roadrunners uniforms tonight. Morin, acquired from the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, has totaled 21 points (9G, 12A) in 43 games this season. Downing, acquired in the Coyotes’ trade with the Minnesota Wild Saturday, has totaled 22 points (7G, 15A) in 42 games with the Iowa Wild this season.
GET ‘EM: The Gulls have dropped only one game in their previous seven contests, that loss coming at the hands of the Roadrunners on February 18. Tucson is 2-5-0-0 in its seven meetings against San Diego this season, but winless (0-3-0-0) against their Pacific Division counterpart on home ice.
ON THE CUSP: The Roadrunners come into the evening just outside of the Pacific Division playoff picture behind the fourth-place Bakersfield Condors. The Condors host the Texas Stars tonight at 8:00 PM MST. With a win and a Condors loss, the Roadrunners will position themselves back into a playoff spot.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan is out tonight to tend to a family emergency. Tim Gassen will handle the play-by-play duties; KVOA’s Ari Alexander will be on the color commentary. Gassen and Alexander will have the radio call on AM 1450 KTZR, which can be listened to for free HERE. Radio coverage of tonight’s contest will begin at 6:50 PM MST.