Game #32 – Colorado Eagles at Tucson Roadrunners
7:00 p.m. MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
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Referees: Morgan MacPhee (43) Jack Young (24)
Linespersons: Rob Fay (32) Gabe Lomen (76)
The 14-13-4-0 Roadrunners will be back at the Tucson Arena Saturday night for the second of two games on the weekend against the Colorado Eagles. Saturday’s series finale marks the last chance to see the Eagles at the Tucson Arena this season, as the Roadrunners and the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche have only four matchups against each other on the regular-season schedule, the fewest since the Colorado Eagles joined the American Hockey League in 2018. The Roadrunners are celebrating their first Kachina Saturday of 2023 by hosting the fan-favorite Whiskey and Wings Event at the Tucson Arena from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with more information available HERE.
1) Colorado took the series opener and the first meeting of the season with Tucson on Friday night by a score of 2-1 for the Roadrunners 12th one-goal game of the year. The Roadrunners have earned a standings point in seven of their 12 contests decided by one goal and in three of their five one-goal games at the Tucson Arena. In addition, three of the four matchups between the Roadrunners and Eagles last season in the Old Pueblo were decided by one goal. The low-scoring affair also gave Roadrunners backstop Ivan Prosvetov his ninth outing of the season with two or less goals allowed and his 14th appearance of the season with at least 25 saves.
2) Tucson defenseman Victor Soderstrom recorded his 15th assist of the season in Friday’s series opener against Colorado, moving him into a tie with Laurent Dauphin for second on the active Roadrunners roster in assists. The current team lead belongs to fellow defenseman Cam Dineen, who is tied for fourth in the American Hockey League in assists by a blue-liner with 20. The Roadrunners are one of four teams in the AHL to have two defensemen with at least 15 assists on the season (Bridgeport, Coachella Valley, Rockford). Soderstrom has notched four points over his last five outings (1g 3a), as well as six points over the last six home games for the 21-year-old.
3) The Roadrunners had several big names back in the lineup for Friday night’s series opener, including forwards Laurent Dauphin, Adam Cracknell, and Travis Barron. Dauphin and Cracknell are both in the top-five on the team for total points, while Barron leads Tucson in fights this season with five. Dauphin paced the Roadrunners in shots on goal Friday night with six in his first game back after a pair of NHL outings with the Arizona Coyotes. Cracknell was back on the ice for the first time since December 18, his final game in the month of December that saw the Roadrunners Captain record 11 points (5g 6a) in six appearances. Meanwhile, Barron was back in the lineup to take on his former team, as the 24-year-old was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2016 (Round 7, #191 Overall).
What’s The Word?
“It’s a good division, every team is good. You’re never going to get an easy game here. [Colorado] is a good team, but we’re a great team too. We just have to pick it back up and be ready for [Saturday].”Roadrunners forward Ryan McGregor on the strength of the ten-team AHL Pacific Division, as six of the ten squads possess a winning record and four of the AHL’s top-nine teams are from the Pacific.
Number to Know
8 – The number of AHL Pacific Division rivals the Roadrunners have faced so far this season after Friday’s series opener against the Colorado Eagles. Tucson will take on all nine of their divisional opponents, as the Abbotsford Canucks will visit the Old Pueblo on January 28 and 29 as the only team the Roadrunners have not yet faced. Tucson is one of five teams that are still a member of the Pacific Division in the same form as when the Roadrunners joined the American Hockey League in 2016 (Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose).
We’re Doing It Live
Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on AHLtv, as well as on the radio at FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:45 with Roadrunners Warm-Up hosted by Jimmy Peebles, before “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny has all the action from the Tucson Arena.