Upcoming Games (All time MST)
Friday, January 12: Tucson at Abbotsford, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 13: Tucson at Abbotsford, 8:00 p.m.
Monday, January 15: Tucson vs Iowa, 6:00 p.m.
This Year’s Record:
20-10-1-1 (2nd Place In Pacific Division)
Continuing To The Trip To British Columbia:
After their three games last week in San Jose and Chicago, the Roadrunners continue their road trip to Abbotsford to face the Canucks in a grudge match series. The Roadrunners and Canucks are split at 1-1 on the season series that began back at the TCC on December 15 and December 16. Both sides each had a dominant win with Tucson winning game one 5-0 and Abbotsford winning game two 6-2. Before these teams met this season, Tucson was 4-0 at the TCC against the Canucks but are currently 0-4 at the Abbotsford Centre where the Canucks play. With Abbotsford getting their first win ever at the TCC in December, the Roadrunners have a chance to even the score and achieve their first ever win at the Canucks rink.
The Roadrunners have signed four players to a Professional Tryout Agreements (PTO) this season in: forward Austin Poganski, defenseman Peter DiLiberatore, goaltender Dylan Wells and defenseman Lleyton Moore. All four of these players have made positive impacts for the Roadrunners this season when needed to step in for an injured or called up player with some earning AHL contracts. Austin Poganski, who has been with the team since training camp, began the season mainly as a scratch. However, after all the injuries and call-ups to other players, he is now an every game player for Tucson, having four goals and seven assists for 11 points in 24 games. Peter DiLiberatore was signed to a PTO after the injury to Steven Kampfer and the callups of both Michael Kesselring and Vlad Kolyachonok. In 13 games with Tucson, he has notched a goal and two assists while playing stout defense paired with Roadrunners top scoring defenseman Victor Soderstrom. Both Poganski and DiLiberatore earned AHL contracts before Christmas from their impressive play. Goaltender Dylan Wells signed to a PTO right after Thanksgiving making his first start as a Roadrunner days later in a 3-2 overtime loss in Henderson. Since then, he has yet to lose a game in regulation and is 3-0-1-0 with a 1.98 goals against and .918 save percentage. This comes after earning his third career pro hockey shutout against the Chicago Wolves on Saturday. Defenseman Lleyton Moore signed to a PTO after DiLiberatore went day-to-day with an injury, scored a goal in his first career AHL game on December 20 and has helped Tucson win three out of the four games he has played in.
Forwards Jan Jenik and Josh Doan have both lead the away in Tucson’s recent road games. Jan Jenik has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last six games but all of those have come in his last four road contests. On Saturday, December 23 in San Diego, he scored two goals, on Wednesday January 3 in San Jose, he notched two assists and in the previous series against Chicago, he had a goal and assist. Josh Doan, who is now the leader in scoring on the team with the Coyotes call-up of Dylan Guenther, is currently on a six-game road point streak (2 goals, 4 assists) dating back to December 20 in San Jose. Overall in away games this season, the two have combined for 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points.
No Margin For Error:
The Pacific Division continues to be the tightest in the AHL as the season nears the halfway mark. The Roadrunners currently own the second spot behind top seeded Calgary in both the Pacific Division and Western Conference. Though Tucson has been playing great hockey, their two losses in a row last week opened the gateway for the Ontario Reign, Coachella Valley Firebirds and Abbotsford Canucks to get within three points. With the Roadrunners and Canucks pairing against one another this weekend, the standings could be drastically different by next week’s Road Ahead.
Coming Back Home:
The Roadrunners return home on Monday, January 15, right after the series in Abbotsford for a matchup against another Central Division Opponent, the Iowa Wild. The Roadrunners will have an early MLK Day Holiday start at 6:00 p.m. where kids under the age of 12 will also be admitted for free at the Tucson Box Office with $2 Hot Dogs, $2 Soft Drinks and $2 Popcorn also available.
More information can be found at TUCSONROADRUNNERS.COM/FUN.
Is This Thing On?
Tucson Roadrunners Happy Hour airs every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app, with a podcast version also available after each episode on the iHeartRadio app. This week “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny, with Kim Cota-Robles and Brett Fera are joined by Roadrunners General Manager John Ferguson. In addition, a new episode of the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast released on Sunday as Adrian Denny and Jonathon Schaffer recapped Tucson’s first three games of the five-game road trip, Adrian’s pizza disaster in Chicago and Johnny’s postgame celebratory meal.