Game #7 – Iowa (5-1-0-1) at Tucson (5-1-0-0)
7 PM MST, Tucson Arena – Tucson, AZ
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Referees: Ted Anstett (#77), Chris Waterstradt (#88)
Linesmen: Rob Fay (#32), Brent Hooks (#20)
Saying anything other than “the ball is rolling” for the Tucson Roadrunners would be a blatant lie.
On a four-game win streak most recently extended by handing Iowa their first regulation loss on Friday, it’s all coming up aces for the club as they’ll look to improve their record to 6-1-0-0 when they meet the same Wild tonight at Tucson Arena.
Led by a pair of goals from the captain Michael Chaput and a strong goaltending performance from Adin Hill, Tucson got the job done in 3-1 fashion less than 24 hours ago, but following the game, the reaction may not have been what you’d expect.
Head Coach Jay Varady remarked he didn’t think his group played a very good team game and team-leading scorer Lane Pederson shared a similar sentiment.
1) Last night’s contest felt a lot like the club’s season opener in Texas. Opponent shoots themselves in the foot by taking a penalty in the first minute, Tucson capitalizes and never looks back. Ideally, Iowa will fix that for tonight for their sake so how does Tucson get the upper hand if it doesn’t involve going on the man advantage. Two stats that fare in the favor of Tucson is that they’re outscoring their opponents 15-5 at five-on-five this year and last night’s first period goal for Iowa was the first Tucson has allowed in the opening 20 minutes all season.
2) With that being said, the Roadrunners have only outscored their opponents by one in the third period this season (8-7). Last Saturday’s outburst for four goals in the third period was a nice showing but obviously something that can’t be counted on every game as that frame alone has accounted for half of the team’s marks during the final frame. You never want it to get to the point where the group is using phrases like “we need to play a full 60-minutes”, but certainly consistency is something the group would like to achieve.
3) Between the pipes for Tucson last night Adin Hill was stunning and worked, so may we see Ivan Prosvetov for the second straight Saturday at Tucson Arena? The first-year netminder turned aside 29 of 31 earning the win in his first pro start and appeared to have played well enough to get back in there again. Or does the group go back to the hot hand in Hill?
What’s The Word?
Roadrunners Assistant Coach John Slaney on his team’s play defensively last night…
“I thought it was really good. There were just so many power plays going on it kind of took the rhythm out of the game but overall I thought the guys did a really nice job of sticking together.”
Roadrunners Assistant Coach John Slaney on what it will take to hold Iowa to a low score again tonight…
“We need to manage the puck and make sure we’re doing the right things. It’s the old cliché of getting the puck in, getting the puck out on both blue lines. It’s important that when we have the opportunity we get pucks to the net and we have people in and around the net to finish our touches.
Roadrunners Assistant Coach John Slaney on what he’d like to see the team correct this evening to play a better team game…
“We need more of an effort in certain things. There’s times where we thought we left guys alone and should’ve doubled up in both ends.”
Number to Know
21. While Lane Pederson paces the group with seven goals and Michael Chaput follows him with five, it feels like it won’t be long before their third linemate Michael Bunting joins in on the success. Still in search of his first goal of the season, the franchise’s all-time leading point-getter finds himself atop all Roadrunners with 21 shots on goal this season.
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 Tucson as he calls the game from the Roadrunners’ flagship radio station, where coverage begins at 6:45 PM.