Game #61 – Ontario Reign at Tucson Roadrunners
6:30 p.m. MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
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Referees: Robert Hennessey (87) Jordan Watt (83)
Linespersons: Justin Johnson (57) Jake Herzog (48)
The Tucson Roadrunners welcome the Ontario Reign to Southern Arizona for the final two meetings of the 2022-2023 regular season, beginning with the series opener tonight at 6:30 p.m. MST. The pair of games against the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings represent the final two meetings of the season between Tucson and Ontario, with the Roadrunners having earned standings points in four of the first six matchups in the eight-game season series. Tucson will also be looking for their second-straight win on home ice after overcoming a 1-0 deficit to earn a 3-2 shootout victory over the first-place Calgary Wranglers on Saturday in front of a crowd of 5,593.
1) The Roadrunners and Reign are facing off for the seventh and eighth contests on the season this week from the Tucson Arena, with the two teams separated by just seven points in the AHL Pacific Division Standings. Three of the first six meetings on the year have been decided by one goal, along with a pair of two-goal Roadrunners wins that included late empty-net tallies. Tucson earned standings points in each of their previous two home outings against the Reign this season with both contests going to overtime. Linemates Mike Carcone (1g 5a) and Adam Cracknell (4g 2a) are tied for the team lead in scoring against the Reign this season at a point per-game average of six points apiece, while Cracknell’s four goals lead both active rosters through six head-to-head matchups.
2) Tucson goaltender Tyler Parks is coming off of his first career AHL shootout victory on Saturday at home against the Calgary Wranglers, stopping two of Calgary’s three attempts in a 3-2 win. With the performance, Parks improved to 4-1 while on home ice since making his season debut with the Roadrunners on January 20 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.38 goals against average at the Tucson Arena. After earning three-straight victories at home from January 20 to 28, Parks went on to appear in seven consecutive road contests before returning to the Tucson Arena net for the weekend series against Calgary. Entering the week, Parks has been in between the pipes for Tucson for four-straight contests dating back to a 3-2 road win in Milwaukee where he stopped 25 of 27 shots faced against the first-place Admirals.
3) Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the first-place Calgary Wranglers continued the Roadrunners sustained stretch of success at the Tucson Arena, as their 7-1-2-0 record with 16 standings points earned over their last 10 home games is the best in the American Hockey League. The Roadrunners have earned at least a point in 10 of their 12 outings at Tucson Arena since a 6-2 win over Bakersfield on January 20 with five total multi-goal victories. Roadrunners fans have also been able to witness exciting hockey during that span, with five of the last six games at Tucson Arena being decided by one goal and three of the last four going past regulation.
What’s The Word?
“It’s a highly competitive division. We’re in a fight here and looking up in the standings. We have 12 games left, and we’re going to put our best foot forward.”Roadrunners forward Hudson Elynuik on the AHL Pacific Division Playoff race with one month remaining in the regular season, as four teams including Tucson and Ontario are all within eight standings points of each other.
Number to Know
12 – The number of games remaining on the 2022-2023 regular season schedule for the Roadrunners entering their two-game series with Ontario. Tucson has an even number of home and away contests remaining with six apiece, as the pair of midweek matchups against the Reign are their final two home outings in the month of March. Following the series finale on Wednesday, the Roadrunners will embark on a six-game road trip before wrapping up the regular season with four-straight matchups at the Tucson Arena. Tonight’s series opener is the last $2 Twos-Day of the year, with select half priced tickets available at the Tucson Arena Box Office and online at TucsonRoadrunners.com/TwosDay. In addition, fans can enjoy $2 Draft Beers and $2 Popcorn as the Roadrunners take on the Reign at home for the first time since December 10.
We’re Doing It Live
Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on AHLtv, as well as on the radio on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app. Coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. with an extended Pregame Edition of Roadrunners Happy Hour hosted by Adrian Denny, Brett Fera, and Kim Cota-Robles, featuring Tucson forward Curtis Douglas as a special guest. Pregame coverage continues at 6:15 with Roadrunners Warm-Up hosted by Jimmy Peebles, before “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny has all the action from the Tucson Arena.