Game #21 – Colorado (10-8-1-0) at Tucson (15-5-0-0)
7 PM MST, Tucson Arena – Tucson, AZ
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Referees: Conor O’Donnell (#41), Troy Paterson (#29)
Linesmen: Jonathan Deschamps (#84), Eric McDonald (#24)
Back on home ice to begin their December, the Pacific Division-leading Roadrunners conclude a stretch of three straight games in which they’re seeing a new opponent this season tonight as they host the Colorado Eagles, American Hockey League affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.
While the Eagles sit in fourth in the Pacific at the moment, the club has points in seven of its last ten games, thus adding to the fact of it being no easy task for Tucson. As we saw with San Diego, the standings are not an all-telling indication of what type of test the opponent will be and clearly Colorado is coming in with some momentum.
1) The overwhelming consensus among all Roadrunners players and coaches is that it’s a massive positive that the team did not have to wait long to try and bounce back from Saturday’s loss to San Diego. The team traveled back to Arizona on Sunday, held a standard practice on Monday and then gets back at it tonight in game action, where they’ll look to wash away the sour taste left in their mouths. So, why? Why does the quick turnaround matter? For some, it’s over-assessing what went wrong in the previous game, for some, it’s presumably over-analyzing what is in store from Colorado. It seems basic but the groupthink is “let’s just turn the page and go do this”.
2) Tonight may bring a familiar face to the opposition’s goaltending crease, as two-year Roadrunner Hunter Miska currently touts a 3-2-1 record in his new home with the Eagles. Having played 61 games over the first two years of his pro career with Tucson, Miska, loved by many fans, could get a chance against his old teammates tonight.
3) As it appears we’ve now settled into the “every other game” rotation between Adin Hil and Ivan Prosvetov, it would be likely to expect the 20-year-old Russian in the home starters net tonight. Prosvetov was outstanding Wednesday night in Bakersfield, turning away 36 of 39 as he let his offensive take control up front. Through five games in Tucson, Ivan is now 4-1 with a remarkable .939 save percentage.
What’s The Word?
Roadrunners forward Andy Miele on how the team turns the page from Saturday…
“We’re pretty happy that we have that close of a turnaround after a loss like that. We had a good practice today and we’re going to go out there and have a good game tonight.”
Roadrunners forward Andy Miele on knowing the team possesses the ability to regularly score a high amount…
“We love it. The most important thing for us is that we get better defensively though. There’s been some games where we’ve really allowed more than we wanted. It’s something that we’re really trying to focus on because we know with the amount of goals that we score, if we prevent more, it’s going to be a lot of fun this year.”
Roadrunners forward Andy Miele on what the team knows about Colorado going into their first matchup…
“They’re a hard-working team. They like to move the puck quickly and they’ve got some big boys on the back end. We’re going to have to keep things simple, play below their goal line and get as many pucks to the net as possible.”
Number to Know
36. Along the lines of Miele referencing the team needing to be better in the defensive zone, first-year netminder Ivan Prosvetov has seen at least 36 shots in his three most recent wins.
We’re Doing It Live
Catch tonight’s active LIVE on AHLTV or join Roadrunners play-by-play voice Adrian Denny on Fox Sports 1450 AM and iHeart Radio as he calls the game from the Roadrunners’ flagship radio station, where coverage begins at 7:45 PM.