Game #58 Preview: Tucson vs. Iowa
By: Alexander Kinkopf
March 20, 2019 10:45 AM
Game #58 – Tucson (28-22-5-2) vs. Iowa (33-19-7-5)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #10 Terry Koharski, #6 Carter Sandlak
Linesmen: #90 Mike Sarter, #85 Steve Walsh
The Roadrunners will play the second game of six-straight at home tonight when they host the Iowa Wild at Tucson Arena.
With Tuesday’s win, a 5-2 final, the Roadrunners extended their win streak to three games and snapped an eight game skid on home ice, picking up two points at Tucson Arena for the first time since January 23.
Welcome home! Michael Chaput scored his first home goals last night, burying the first two for the Roadrunners, and now has five points (3G, 2A) in five games since joining Tucson’s roster.
With his goal last night, Brayden Burke became the seventh rookie in Roadrunners history to hit the 25-point mark. He has 12 goals and 13 assists in 56 games.
Defenseman Akim Aliu was signed to a PTO on Wednesday morning, and is presumed to be available for tonight’s game. Aliu, a #56 overall selection by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has 245 AHL games on his pro playing resume.
The 29-year-old, who stands at 6’4” and 225 lbs. has played in 11 games with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears this season, putting up nine points (4G, 5A).
At evening’s outset, the Roadrunners sit seven points out of a playoff spot in the Pacific Division with 11 games remaining on their regular season schedule.
They are the only team from the grouping in action tonight, presenting a valuable opportunity to gain ground. Tucson has three games in hand on the fourth-place Colorado Eagles and two games in hand on the second-place San Diego Gulls.
IN A GROOVE: Michael Bunting continues to stay hot. He extended his goal scoring streak to four games last night, redirecting home the Roadrunners’ third goal of the evening, the eventual game-winner. With 16 goals now on the season, Bunting is tied with Lane Pederson for the team lead. His three-point (1G, 2A) performance last night was his third of such this season.
IN IT TO WIN IT: The Roadrunners are one victory shy of matching their longest win streak of the season, a stretch of four games from December 5-11. The team’s current three game win streak is their fourth of the season to date. The club’s longest point streak of the year, a span of eight games, took place from November 21 – December 11.
POWERFUL OFFENSE: Offense clicking, the Roadrunners have now scored five goals in consecutive games. They are virtually unbeatable when scoring four or more goals in a given game this season, posting a 19-0-4-0 record when doing so. Five of the Roadrunners’ 10 goals scored over the last two games have come on the power play; they are 9-1-2-0 in games this year when they net two or more on the man advantage.
NUMBER TO KNOW
THIRTEEN: Hudson Fasching set a new career high in goals scored last night, scoring his 13th of the season, surpassing the 12 he netted during the 2017-18 campaign in 69 games as a member of the Rochester Americans.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE
Catch tonight’s action LIVE on AHLTV or join Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Adrian Denny on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson as he calls the game from the Roadrunners’ flagship radio station, where coverage begins at 6:50 PM.
Photo: Kate Dibildox