Game #45 – Tucson Roadrunners at Ontario Reign
8:00 p.m. MST, Toyota Arena, Ontario, California
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Referees: Conor O’Donnell (41) Bobby Jo Love (51)
Linespersons: Jacob Fraser (4) Patrick Stuber (32)
The Tucson Roadrunners open a two-game weekend set with the Ontario Reign Friday night at the Toyota Arena. The series opener marks Tucson’s fifth meeting with the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings on the year, and the series as a whole represents the Roadrunners last trip to Ontario this season. Tucson enters the weekend having won four of their last five contests dating back to Tuesday, January 24, while the Reign have gone 1-1 to open a four-game home stand.
1) The Roadrunners and Reign are facing off for the first time since December 10, when Tucson and Ontario went to overtime at the Tucson Arena for the second-straight game on the weekend series. The Roadrunners have earned at least a standings point in three of the four previous meetings with the Reign this season, while narrowly outscoring them in regulation 11 to 10. Each of the last three matchups between Tucson and Ontario have been decided by one goal, with the Roadrunners 3-1 win in the first game of the season series on November 26 representing the largest margin of victory for either team.
2) The weekend series from Ontario will be a battle between the top-two scorers in the American Hockey League. Roadrunners forward Mike Carcone leads the league in total scoring entering the weekend with 22 goals, 39 assists and 61 total points across 37 outings, while Ontario’s T.J. Tynan is eight points behind Carcone in second place with 53 points (6g 47a) in 41 appearances for the Reign. The pair are also atop the league in total power-play points, with Carcone (29 points) leading Tynan (26) by just three. Carcone is tied for the AHL lead in total power-play goals with 11, while Tynan is in sole possession for first place in power-play assists with 24.
3) Roadrunners forwards Mike Carcone and Adam Cracknell are tied for the team lead in scoring against the Reign this season with five points apiece across the first four matchups. Carcone has recorded a point in all four prior meetings with a goal and four assists, while Cracknell has four goals and one assist as a plus-five against the Reign highlighted by a three-point performance on Friday, December 9. The 26-year-old Carcone extended his active scoring streak to 15 games with an assist on Tuesday in Bakersfield, and a point on Friday against Ontario would tie him for the longest AHL scoring streak in the last five seasons.
What’s The Word?
“It was one of those goals that’s a little bit of a present. [Adam Cracknell and Mike Carcone] grinded down low for a good 30 seconds in their zone, and it was a hard-fought goal.”Tucson forward Ben McCartney on his goal Tuesday against the Bakersfield Condors, which was scored with 10 seconds left to play in the second period.
Number to Know
29 – Tucson’s penalty-kill has been successful in 29 of their last 30 shorthanded situations dating back to the second period on January 11 against Milwaukee, good for a 96.67 penalty-kill percentage during that span. Despite falling to the Bakersfield Condors on Tuesday to open the road trip, the Roadrunners were a perfect three-for-three against Bakersfield’s power-play unit. Tucson will face an Ontario man-advantage this weekend that ranks first in the Western Conference on their home ice at 28.2%.
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. Coverage begins at 7:45 p.m. with Roadrunners Warm-Up hosted by Jimmy Peebles, before Adrian Denny has all the action from the Toyota Arena.