Game #59 – Calgary Wranglers at Tucson Roadrunners
7:00 p.m. MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
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Referees: Jackson Kozari (27) Conor O’Donnell (41)
Linespersons: Spencer Knox (66) Rob Fay (32)
The Tucson Roadrunners open a four-game home stand Friday night at 7:00 p.m. MST with the first of two matchups against the Calgary Wranglers. The pair of weekend games from the Tucson Arena represent the Wranglers first trip to Southern Arizona since moving into the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary with the Flames prior to the 2022-2023 season and will also have a highly-anticipated professional debut for Tucson. As part of the St. Patrick’s Day contest, the Roadrunners will host a free Pregame St. Patrick’s Day Party on the Plaza outside Tucson Arena featuring food, drinks, and live music by Tucson-based music group Liz & Pete. For more information and to purchase tickets to the game, visit TucsonRoadrunners.com/Green.
1) Forward Josh Doan is set to make his professional debut with the Roadrunners on Friday against the Calgary Wranglers, joining the team after two seasons up the I-10 at Arizona State University in Tempe. The 21-year-old signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday after being drafted by the Coyotes in the second round (#37 overall) of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Doan was selected in the same round as current Arizona defenseman and former Tucson Roadrunners blue-liner JJ Moser (#60 overall) and is the son of former Coyotes Captain Shane Doan. The six-foot-one forward tallied 75 points (28g 47a) in 74 appearances with the Sun Devils while serving as Team Captain in 2022-2023 and joins his 2021-2022 teammate Colin Theisen on the active Roadrunners roster. Doan is also the second Arizona-born skater to play for Tucson, joining fellow Scottsdale native Zac Larraza, who appeared in 11 games with the Roadrunners during the 2017-2018 campaign.
2) Tucson returns home for the weekend series against Calgary with a 7-1-2-0 record in their last ten games on home ice and a 4-2-2-0 mark in their last eight contests overall. Their 16 of 20 possible standings points earned in their last ten home matchups are tied for the most by any team in the American Hockey League, while their seven wins during that span are tied for the most in the Western Conference. Tucson’s 97 goals on home ice this season are also the third-most in the AHL’s Pacific Division with fewer games played than first and second place. The Roadrunners have outscored their opponents 37 to 21 over their last ten outings at Tucson Arena while not losing by more than one goal at home in over two months, and a standings point in Friday’s series opener would set a new franchise record for the longest point streak at home at nine consecutive games.
3) The Roadrunners and Wranglers previously met this season on November 2 and 4 in a two-game set from the Saddledome in Calgary. Tucson took the series opener by a final score of 3-1, backed by a two-goal third period with scores from Milos Kelemen and current Arizona Coyotes forward Laurent Dauphin. Kelemen recorded a point in both contests (1g 1a) to start an eventual three-game point streak, his second longest of the season. Tucson limited the Wranglers to just one five-on-five goal through the pair of outings and even kept Calgary from recording a shot on goal in the third period on Wednesday, November 2, which was the first time the Roadrunners had held an opponent without a shot in a period in team history. Tucson overcame a 2-0 deficit and tied the contest at 2-2 in the third period of the series finale on Friday, November 4, but a power-play goal by the Wranglers with 1:35 remaining in regulation secured a series split from Calgary.
What’s The Word?
“Everyone knows what’s at stake, and everyone in that locker room wants to make the playoffs. I think it’s a good challenge for us, we can take that next step and keep battling. We know the compete is going to be there, especially with how tight things are right now. It’s a good place for us to be.”Tucson goaltender Tyler Parks on the Roadrunners facing a potential Calder Cup Playoffs opponent in the Calgary Wranglers.
Number to Know
8 – The Roadrunners have won eight consecutive series openers against the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames dating back to a 5-2 win over the Stockton Heat at the Tucson Arena on December 28, 2018. Six of the eight victories have taken place in Tucson, where the Roadrunners have also earned at least a standings point in a franchise record eight-straight contests overall entering the weekend against Calgary. In addition, four of the eight series-opening matchups against the Flames affiliate during the streak have gone past regulation, while five of the last six have been decided by one goal.
We’re Doing It Live
Tonight’s game will broadcast live on AHLtv, as well as on the radio on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. with Roadrunners Warm-Up hosted by Jimmy Peebles, before Adrian Denny has all the action from Tucson Arena.