Game #8 – Chicago (4-3-1-0) at Tucson (6-1-0-0)
7 PM MST, Tucson Arena – Tucson, AZ
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Referees: Mike Campbell (#36), Andrew Howard (#50)
Linesmen: Kyle Flemington (#55), Ken Bonham (#30)
Tuesday night hockey in Tucson has a decent ring to it.
Does the train keep rolling tonight? Does the win streak extend to six? Does Lane Pederson make franchise history? We’ll have answers to those three questions tonight for sure.
The team’s answered the bell when it came to the tests presented by San Antonio and Iowa over the past two weekends and now the team wraps up a six game home stretch that started their slate of games at Tucson Arena against the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.
1) Entering with some steam themselves having won three in a row, Chicago comes to town after victories over Chicago, Milwaukee and Manitoba on their home ice in Illinois. Limiting the first two to just a pair of goals and blanking the Moose completely, Chicago hasn’t allowed more than three goals since the first game of their season when they dropped a chaotic 8-5 game to Grand Rapids. Backstopped by former Calder Cup Champion Garret Sparks in five of their eight contests, Chicago’s defense also got bolstered with two massive additions on Monday in the form of Jake Bischoff and Nic Hague, who were with the NHL club.
2) On top of the reinforcements received Chicago’s roster also boasts the league’s leading scorer, forward Lucas Elvenes. A fifth round selection of Vegas in the 2017 draft, the left-handed 20-year-old has three goals and ten assists for 13 points in eight games. A bit of a mystery, the native of Sweden is in his first North American season and had only three goals in 42 games playing in the top league there last year. In fact, his history of numbers doesn’t exactly suggest this type of offensive output but clearly he’s enjoying success in the early part of this season. Regardless, he’s got points in seven of eight games as well, so it wasn’t just one big night for Elvenes, he’s contributing regularly. #25 in the dark-colored sweater will be an interesting watch tonight.
3) Adin Hill has not yet returned to Tucson from his leave of absence, so logic would suggest it’s Ivan Prosvetov’s crease again tonight after his 42-save performance in Saturday’s win over Iowa. Or is it? Erik Kallgren’s waiting in the wings and has seen action already this season, entering in place of Hill in the team’s lone defeat in San Antonio in October 6. The options are there and it could be Kallgren’s crease over one of the next two nights.
What’s The Word?
Roadrunners forward Michael Bunting on digesting the weekend’s results and what led to the wins…
“We stuck to our identity. We played fast. We knew Iowa was coming in as a really good team but we stuck to our game plan and we got four points.”
Roadrunners forward Michael Bunting on the quick turnaround from Iowa to Chicago…
“You just kind of have to forget about this past weekend and move forward. It’s day-by-day. Chicago’s always a good team, I’ve played them every year but we’re expecting a really good team. They’re fast but I think if we stick to our game, we’ll be fine.”
Roadrunners forward Michael Bunting on leading the team in shots yet still being in search of his first goal…
“Obviously I want to get the first one. It’s been a little frustrating but it’s hockey. I can’t dwell on that. I’m happy I’m getting the chances. If I weren’t, I’d be freaking out a lot more than I am right now. Once I open the flood gates, things will happen for me.”
Number to Know
7. If Lane Pederson finds the back of the net tonight he’ll become the first Roadrunner in team history to score in seven straight contests. Currently tied with for the franchise record with the timely Brendan Perlini, who set the record in November of the team’s inaugural season, things are trending in the way of 18 who currently has the second most goals of
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.