Game #72 – San Jose Barracuda at Tucson Roadrunners
7:00 p.m. MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
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Referees: Brandon Schrader (46) Jake Kamrass (3)
Linespersons: Ryan Jackson (92) Riley McCauley (25)
The Tucson Roadrunners close out the 2022-2023 regular season Saturday night with a rematch against the San Jose Barracuda after the Barracuda took a hard-fought series opener on Friday by a final score of 4-3. Saturday’s regular season finale and series finale against San Jose is Fan Appreciation Night Presented by the Arizona Daily Star at the Tucson Arena, with a Roadrunners Player Poster Giveaway courtesy of AMR. Tucson wraps up their regular season slate on their home ice before heading on the road for the First Round of the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs next week.
1) Tucson’s top forward line of Mike Carcone, Adam Cracknell and Josh Doan combined on a goal scored by Doan with 1:20 gone by in Friday’s third period against the Barracuda. All three Tucson forwards extended their active scoring streaks to four games dating back to April 5 against the Henderson Silver Knights, while Doan lit the lamp in his second-straight third-period in his fifth consecutive outing with at least three shots on goal. Cracknell’s assist was his sixth point in the last four games, pushing his AHL single-season career high to 53 total points with 21 goals and 32 assists. Carcone’s assist on Friday was his 17th total point (5g 12a) in his last 11 appearances, extending his American Hockey League scoring lead to three points with 31 goals, 54 assists, and 85 total points in 64 games played. The 26-year-old also registered seven shots on goal on Friday against San Jose, as his league-leading 270 shots on goal are the most in a single season since 2014-2015 when Victor Arvidsson recorded 272 in 70 games played.
2) The Arizona Coyotes assigned five players to the Tucson Roadrunners on Friday after closing out their season against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Forward Milos Kelemen returns to the Tucson roster on a two-game assist streak after last taking the ice for the Roadrunners during their last home stand on Tuesday, March 21, as the 23-year-old has amassed 29 points (14g 15a) in 58 games played in his first AHL campaign. Defenseman Victor Soderstrom is set to put on a Roadrunners uniform for the first time since February 10 after recording an AHL career-high 21 points (2g 19a) in 44 appearances with Tucson this season. Soderstrom finished his third Coyotes campaign with nine assists in 30 games played, which both represent NHL career highs. Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov also posted a pair of career highs at the National Hockey League level with four wins and seven games played, as the 24-year-old rejoins the Roadrunners having last been in net for Tucson on March 4 against San Diego. In addition, forward Jan Jenik and defenseman Michael Kesselring are back in Tucson after being recalled by the Coyotes earlier in the week, with Kesselring notching his first multiple-point performance in the National Hockey League with a pair of assists on Thursday at Mullett Arena.
3) While the Roadrunners are locked into the seventh seed from the AHL’s Pacific Division for the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs, their First-Round opponent is still undecided entering play on Saturday. The Calgary Wranglers currently possess a one-point lead over the Coachella Valley Firebirds for the best record in the American Hockey League and a first-round bye as the Pacific Division’s top-seeded team. With both teams taking the ice for one final regular season contest on Saturday, Coachella Valley could surpass Calgary with a win over Bakersfield and a Wranglers loss in regulation on the road in Abbotsford, which would send the Roadrunners to the Saddledome in Calgary to face the Wranglers in the First Round beginning next week. Any other result would confirm a best-of-three series between Tucson and Coachella Valley at the Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert.
What’s The Word?
“They’re firing on all cylinders right now, creating a lot of energy for us and playing at both ends of the rink. When you play with a good, hard mindset in the defensive zone, you’re going to get a lot of offensive looks. They’re playing well together, they’re playing with speed and are gelling very well.”Roadrunners Head Coach Steve Potvin on Tucson’s high-scoring forward line of Mike Carcone, Adam Cracknell, and Josh Doan.
Number to Know
3 – The number of Roadrunners players to record 50 total points this season after forward J.S. Dea became the latest on Friday with his 27th assist paired with 23 goals scored. Dea joins forwards Mike Carcone (85 points) and Adam Cracknell (53 points), as this year represents the first season in team history to feature multiple players with 50 points while playing for Tucson. Entering the 2022-2023 season, four different players have reached the 50-point mark since the Roadrunners inaugural 2016-2017 campaign: Chris Mueller (67, 2016-2017), Dylan Strome (53, 2017-2018), Brayden Burke (52, 2019-2020), and Matias Maccelli (57, 2021-2022).
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 Tucson Arena.