Game #35 – Tucson (25-8-1-0) at Colorado (19-10-3-1)
7 PM MST, Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, CO
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Referees: Jeremy Tufts (#78), Tyson Stewart (#85)
Linesmen: Lucas Bisbee (#86), Erik Contino (#53)
Last night’s 5-1 defeat is certainly one that Tucson will look to wash away quickly tonight when they go head-to-head once again versus the Colorado Eagles for a second straight evening.
A few trends were bucked in last night’s loss, including the team being 9-0 on Friday’s this season and 7-0 when entering on a full week of practice in between games. Tonight, the Roadrunners will look to toss a trend of the opposition off the tracks before leaving town, that being 12 straight games with a point for the home-hosting Eagles.
1) Friday’s outcome could have been vastly different if a few minor details had different results along the way. Surely giving up a goal 29 seconds in is tough but if Tucson can get everything in their own defensive end aligned for tonight, the result will almost surely be better. Colorado’s goals last night came off of an uncharacteristic turnover, two lost defensive zone faceoffs, an odd-man rush and a two-on-one. How often has that combination of events transpired in Tucson games this season? Not many, in fact, last night was presumably the first time all season. Of course, they’ll likely need more than one goal to get it done tonight, but both history and statistics indicate that that should happen with ease tonight.
2) Decimated by injuries and recalls early in the season, it’s safe to say the Pacific Division and beyond has been put on notice with how strong of a team this Colorado club is. While examined from a visitor’s perspective above, the simplest way to describe what makes Colorado so successful is their killer instinct. If you make a mistake, they will make you pay. Some teams you can make mistakes against and get away with it, but not Colorado and not in front of their home fans.
3) Last night wasn’t the greatest night of goaltending in Roadrunners history, however, seeing the AHL debut of Tyler Parks was outstanding. Results aside, his unlikely path makes the 27-year-old someone that’s very easy to cheer for and when he got going last night, he looked stable, turning away 18 of 20 through 45 minutes. As of the wee hours of Saturday morning, Tucson has three options in net tonight, including Halverson, Parks and Ivan Prosvetov, who was loaned to Tucson Friday afternoon, but not quite in time to play. If Ivan is still on the roster, presumably it will be him. If not, who knows? If it’s Prosvetov, who backs him up? Lots of questions surrounding.
What’s The Word?
Roadrunners forward Andy Miele assessing Colorado and what he’s hopeful will chance for tonight…
“They’ve been a really good team lately. We knew that coming in. We knew the crowd would play a factor. We dug ourselves a hole early and we couldn’t find our way out. We’ll go over some video and we’ll have a better start tonight.”
Roadrunners forward Andy Miele on the early disallowed goal Friday and how it could’ve impacted the game…
“If I put that one in, it’s a different game. But that’s hockey. You get your bounces and you don’t get your bounces. The more you work, the more bounces you get. We’ll take that into consideration going into tonight.”
Roadrunners forward Andy Miele on the first start of Brandon Halverson and the AHL debut of Tyler Parks…
“We’re really bummed that we weren’t better for both of the goalies. We owe them big time tonight. Whoever gets the start is going to have a much better team in front of them.”
Number to Know
10. Win or lose, Michael Bunting has a chance to make Tucson history tonight. If the Roadrunners get on the board and #27 notches an assist of any kind, he will be the first skater in team history to have a double digit point streak, 10 games.
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 6:45 PM.