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Game #2 Preview: Tucson at San Diego

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Game #2 – Tucson (1-0-0-0) at San Diego (0-1-0-0)
7:00 PM PST, Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, California
Referees: #43 Mitch Dunning, #64 Alex Garon
Linesmen: #43 Steven Berry, #20 Anthony Falette
Venturing out on the road for the first time this regular season, the Roadrunners kick-off a three-game trip tonight when they take on the San Diego Gulls at the Valley View Casino Center. The affair will mark the second of eight meetings between the clubs this season, and the first of Tucson’s four scheduled visits to San Diego.
Six nights ago, the Roadrunners topped the Gulls by a 6-4 count, netting four unanswered goals in the third period to claim the first tussle between the two teams. Tonight serves as the Gulls’ home opener.
“For us, it’s just another hockey game,” Lane Pederson stressed Thursday when asked about what is expected to be a hostile atmosphere in San Diego. “It’s game number two, we’re trying to build off of what we did on opening night, take strides forward, and keep this thing rolling and going in the right direction.”
The Roadrunners’ 24-7-2-1 record in opposing buildings last season was the best in the Western Conference and second in the AHL. Dating back to December 27, 2017, the Roadrunners have earned points in four of their previous five visits to San Diego, going 3-1-0-1 during that span.


WELCOMED ADDITIONS: Conor Garland, cleared from season-starting IR, was assigned to the Roadrunners from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday morning. Garland almost doubled his point-total with 27 (8G, 19A) last season, and is coming off a rather impressive preseason with the Coyotes, where he chipped in with two goals. Laurent Dauphin, who registered a goal and an assist in last weekend’s 6-4 win over the Gulls on a conditioning assignment, was re-assigned to Tucson on Friday morning.
FOUR!: The Roadrunners have a bit of a streak going against their I-8 Border rival, having won four consecutive contests against the Gulls dating back to April 11 of last season, outscoring San Diego by a 19-9 margin.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: 12 Roadrunners players found the score sheet in the team’s opening night victory over the Gulls last Saturday at Tucson Arena. Five names: Robbie Russo (2A), Laurent Dauphin (1G, 1A), Lane Pederson (2A), Adam Helewka (2G), Jens Looke (2G) finished the evening with multiple points.


SEVEN-HUNDRED TWENTY-NINE: The last time the Roadrunners skated as the opponent in a Gulls home opener, October 14, 2016, it served as the first regular season game in franchise history. The game, 729 days ago, saw the Roadrunners fall to San Diego by a 5-3 score, with Craig Cunningham netting two goals and Kyle Wood one. Only four players on the team’s current roster, Conor Garland, Dysin Mayo, Dakota Mermis, and Michael Bunting, took the ice for the Roadrunners on that historic night.




You can catch tonight’s action at Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ, the official watch party location for all Roadrunners road games during the 2018-19 season. A live telecast is available on AHLTV; Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Adrian Denny will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson, with coverage starting at 6:45 PM.