Game #58 – Tucson (36-18-1-2) at San Diego (29-19-6-2)
7 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, AZ
WATCH LIVE AHL TV
Referees: Michael Markovic (#47), Riley Yerkovich (#37)
Linesmen: Jonathan Deschamps (#84), Ken Bonham (#30)
The ball keeps on rolling.
Last night’s blanking of the divisional rival left little to complain about with a flurry of goals in a short amount of time and a “stout” defensive effort, as described post-game by Beau Bennett, joined forces with yet another outstanding effort by Adin Hill for an imperative set of two points.
With a quick turnaround, the same two teams will go head-to-head once again tonight.
1) Over the course of the last six-to-eight weeks discipline had become an unsuspecting issue for the team that resulted in a few unfavorable outcomes. Last night the team was on the other end of that spectrum, capitalizing on San Diego’s parade of penalties as a part of their three goals in under eight minutes. Now, of course, that can’t be anticipated again tonight, however, with it being the final meeting of the regular season between the two teams and last night’s choppiness, we could very well see some more physicality and fireworks this evening.
2) Last night was an atypical effort for San Diego, who now only holds a two-point advantage on the fourth and final Pacific Division playoff spot entering tonight’s contest. With Ontario idle and both yesterday and today being the two “games in hand”, this evening serves as San Diego’s final opportunity to tack on some points as the playing field levels in terms of games played. The Gulls are aware of just how valuable these points can be and as they effort to provide Tucson with fewer power play chances this evening, they’ll also have to find ways to create offense, something they’ve struggled against in their last few meetings against the Roadrunners.
3) The play of Adin Hill just keeps getting better and better since his return to the club on Monday, February 24. Registering his second shutout of the season and first since his reemergence, the only question ahead of tonight’s matchup is if Jay Varady and the coaching staff will turn to Hill again tonight. The majority of times when a team is carrying a two able-bodied and capable netminders, the two will split, seeing as that two games of work within 48 hours can be both mentally and physically taxing. Now, there are seldom times when a team will go back-to-back with the same netminder on a back-to-back with a shutout being one of them. Ivan Prosvetov is ready, but it is also entirely possible we see Hill again tonight.
What’s The Word?
Roadrunners Head Coach Jay Varady on his team’s effort last night…
“I thought as the game went on, we got better. We did the same in Chicago; we started off a little slow, but as we progressed our game got better. As the game went on, our defensive details got better. You can look at the score and say it was a 3-0 win, but I think we’d like to do some things that we did defensively a little different.”
Roadrunners goaltender Adin Hill on what he feels has gone right to the team lately…
“I think we’ve just done a good job of limiting other teams chances. Breakdowns happen, but we try and keep them to a minimum. We want to play simple hockey, control the puck, control the play and spend most of the night in the other teams end.”
Roadrunners forward Beau Bennett on what he saw from his team last night that he’d like to see again tonight…
“[Laughing] It would be nice to not let in any goals. If we only need to score one to win, we’ll take it. The goal every game is that if we win 1-0, we’re fine.”
Number to Know
1. San Diego had only been shutout one time this season prior to last night. They responded, against Iowa, by winning their next game 5-2. This is a talented team that has a lot of very offensively gifted players and one would have to expect they’ll make some adjustments for this final meeting.
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, beginning with Roadrunners Happy Hour at 6 p.m., before Roadrunners Warmup at 6:45 p.m. and the 7 p.m. Face-Off.