Game #50 – Tucson Roadrunners at Coachella Valley Firebirds
8:00 p.m. MST, Acrisure Arena, Palm Desert, California
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Referees: Jake Kamrass (3) Casey Terreri (75)
Linespersons: Nikolaus Diehr (31) Brett Martin (37)
The Tucson Roadrunners reach the 50-game mark in their 72-game regular season schedule Wednesday night with the eighth and final meeting on the year against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. The contest from the Acrisure Arena represents the second game of a back-to-back for Tucson after they faced off with the Gulls in San Diego Tuesday night, while the Firebirds return to their home ice after a 2-1 overtime loss on the road in San Diego on Friday, February 10. The midweek matchup is also the final stop on the Roadrunners seven-game Gem Show Road Trip, with the team returning home for a pair of games at the Tucson Arena this weekend.
1) The Roadrunners are the only team to defeat the Firebirds in regulation at the Acrisure Arena this season with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday, December 20, as all three goals came while on the man-advantage. Tucson will look to do it again to snap Coachella Valley’s six-game active winning streak on home ice after a 3-2 shootout loss to Ontario on January 8. Four of the seven meetings between the Roadrunners and Firebirds have been decided by one goal, including two of the first three contests from the Acrisure Arena on December 18 and 20. The eight-game slate with Coachella Valley is the second season series to conclude for Tucson on their current road trip, after the Roadrunners took on the Abbotsford Canucks for the fourth and final time this year on Saturday, February 11.
2) Entering Wednesday, the Firebirds possess the fewest regulation losses in the American Hockey League with just seven through 42 games played. The Roadrunners will look to become the first team with three regulation victories over Coachella Valley on the season, with Calgary and Abbotsford representing the only other teams currently with two. Tucson has been able to beat the team with the best point percentage in the AHL and closest regional rival with their usual top scorers leading the way, with forward Mike Carcone atop the team with seven goals and four assists for 11 total points. Defenseman Cam Dineen is in second with seven total points, all assists, with three coming on Carcone goals. Forwards Laurent Dauphin (3g 3a) and J.S. Dea (1g 5a) are tied for third on the Roadrunners with six points apiece against the Firebirds. In between the pipes, goaltender Ivan Prosvetov has a 2-1 record against Coachella Valley with a .920 save percentage and just seven goals allowed across his three outings for a goals against average of 2.34.
3) Wednesday’s matchup with the Firebirds marks the end of the Roadrunners season-long seven-game road trip that began on January 31. The team will return home this weekend for their only two home games in the month of February: a weekend series against the Henderson Silver Knights Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19. Saturday is the fan-favorite Youth Jersey Giveaway Night Presented by DentalPros, with the first 1,000 Kids 12 and under receiving a White Kachina Roadrunners Jersey. The series finale the following afternoon is a 4:00 p.m. start time for Kids Day Presented by Stantec, with all Kids 12 and under admitted to the game for free with a paying adult at the Tucson Arena Box Office on game day. All Kids 12 and under will also receive a free Kids Workbook courtesy of Stantec, filled with puzzles, games, and facts that celebrate design in our communities and the game of hockey. For full information on the weekend and to purchase tickets, visit TucsonRoadrunners.com/KidsWeekend.
What’s The Word?
“All of us are working hard. We won’t let off the gas and we’ll go through this part of the season together and get better… My teammates make me better every day and they lead by example.”Roadrunners defenseman Vlad Kolyachonok on his recent play and closing out the seven-game Gem Show Road Trip on Wednesday. Kolyachonok enters Wednesday with a point (1g 1a) in each of his last two contests.
Number to Know
23 – The number of goals scored by both Roadrunners forward Mike Carcone and Coachella Valley’s Jesper Froden entering Wednesday’s matchup between Tucson and the Firebirds. Carcone leads the season series between the Roadrunners and Firebirds in both goals and overall scoring with seven goals and 11 total points, while Froden is second in goals with five. The pair are also tied for second in the American Hockey League in total goals behind Calgary Wranglers forward Matthew Phillips, who has 25. Carcone and Froden are two of the nine players across the AHL that currently have at least 20 goals and 20 assists, with five of the nine coming from the Pacific Division.
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 Acrisure Arena.