Game #65 – Tucson Roadrunners at San Diego Gulls
7:00 p.m. MST, Pechanga Arena, San Diego, California
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Referees: Stephen Hiff (56) Tatu Kunto (86)
Linespersons: Patrick Stuber (32) Steven Walsh (85)
The Tucson Roadrunners travel to San Diego to take on the Gulls for the eighth and final time this season Wednesday night at the Pechanga Arena. The standalone matchup against the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks is the third contest on Tucson’s six-game road trip after back-to-back wins against the Eagles over the weekend in Colorado, while the Gulls return home winless in their last five efforts following a weekend series in Calgary against the first-place Wranglers. The 7:00 p.m. MST face-off from Southern California is also the second-to-last midweek outing of the season for the Roadrunners, as they’ll take on the Henderson Silver Knights to close out their current road trip on Wednesday, April 5.
1) Wednesday’s matchup between I-8 Border Rivals will determine the winner of the eight-game season series, as the Roadrunners have earned standings points in five of the seven previous meetings this year with an overall record of 3-2-2. Tucson has won two of their first three games against the Gulls at the Pechanga Arena on the year, with both victories coming by multiple goals. Their 9-4 victory in San Diego earlier this season on December 17 matched the Roadrunners team record for the most goals in a game, which they had previously set on the road against the Gulls on May 1, 2021. Tucson and San Diego are also two of the four teams in the AHL that have eclipsed 1000 total penalty minutes this season along with the San Jose Barracuda and Belleville Senators, with their last meeting on March 4 featuring a combined 46 minutes spent in the box.
2) The Roadrunners enter the midweek matchup against San Diego with wins in four of their last five outings, as well as an overall record of 5-3-2-0 in the month of March. Tucson opened the month with back-to-back overtime contests against the Gulls at home in Southern Arizona, where they held San Diego to just two goals in regulation in both games. Roadrunners goaltenders Tyler Parks and David Tendeck held the Colorado Eagles to just one goal in each of Tucson’s last two outings Saturday and Sunday, with both setting career highs for saves in a game with 40 and 38, respectively. Parks has earned the victory in three of his last four starts with eight total goals allowed during that stretch. Though neither Parks nor Tendeck have appeared against the Gulls this season.
3) Tucson has an even or better points percentage against all three opponents remaining on their six-game road trip, as well as an outright winning record over three of the final five teams left on their full regular season schedule. Following Wednesday’s contest with San Diego to decide the winner of the I-8 Border Cup Trophy, the Roadrunners will look to secure a winning record on the year against the Bakersfield Condors this weekend, who they have defeated in four of the first six meetings entering the two-game weekend series from Bakersfield. Tucson will then conclude the six-game road trip next Wednesday by taking on the Henderson Silver Knights for the eighth matchup of the year, with the Roadrunners currently possessing a 4-3 record over the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.
What’s The Word?
“It’s my third year here now, and there’s a good group that we’ve had for a couple of seasons. We’ve grown together, and we’re in a good spot [right now]. There’s a lot of chemistry, and we’ve had a lot of guys come up and step into bigger roles and become really key members of our team. Those guys have also gotten some time up in the NHL with the Coyotes, and I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I know a lot of guys have.”Roadrunners defenseman Cam Crotty on the team coming together to push for a playoff spot over the final eight games of the regular season. Crotty is one of six players on Tucson’s active roster that have been with the team since the 2020-2021 campaign.
Number to Know
5 – The number of Roadrunners players to record multiple points over the two-game series against the Colorado Eagles Saturday and Sunday to begin Tucson’s current road trip. Forwards Mike Carcone and Adam Cracknell led the series with two goals and two assists for four points each, while defenseman Steven Kampfer (1g 1a) joined them as the three players to record a point in both wins against Colorado. In addition, forwards Jan Jenik (1g 2a) and Colin Theisen (3a) each posted three-point performances in Tucson’s 7-1 victory in the series opener on Saturday, as Jenik enters Wednesday on a team-leading four-game active point streak with three goals and four assists during that span.
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 6:45 with Roadrunners Warm-Up hosted by Jimmy Peebles, before “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny has all the action from the Pechanga Arena.