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Game #11 Preview: Tucson vs. San Diego

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Game #11 – Tucson (6-3-0-1) vs. San Diego (3-3-1-1)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #88 Chris Waterstradt, #57 Andrew Wilk
Linesmen: #61 James Tobias, #59 Colin Besch
Returning to play at home for the first time in 17 days, the Roadrunners host the San Diego Gulls in what will be the fourth of the teams’ eight scheduled meetings this season, the second of such at Tucson Arena.
The Roadrunners have played no opponent more than they have they Gulls this season, but it’s been far from detrimental to their record, results. 3-0-0-0 against San Diego this season, the Roadrunners have outscored the Gulls 5-2 in third periods, and are responsible for two of the Gulls’ three regulation losses.
“They’ve got a lot of good veteran guys, they play a veteran-style game,” Kyle Capobianco said of the Gulls following the morning skate. “When we outskate them and move our feet we, we really take advantage, and we’ve had good third periods against them.”
Sans Dakota Mermis, who earned his second-career NHL recall to the Coyotes on Tuesday, the Roadrunners will not have their newly anointed captain on the ice as he provides depth, insurance to Arizona’s blue-line.
The Roadrunners will also be without goaltender Hunter Miska, who was recalled by the Coyotes earlier today. The team has signed Ty Reichenbach to a PTO. Merrick Madsen is likely to make his first American Hockey League start tonight.
Five of the Roadrunners’ next six games will be played at Tucson Arena.


FILLING THE VOID: With the absence of Dakota Mermis, the Roadrunners’ blue-line is expected to include another rookie on a more consistent basis. The team’s two first-year defensemen, Cam Dineen and Jordan Gross, have concurrently been in the lineup on just two occasions this year, October 15 at San Jose and October 27 at San Diego. Dineen has two points (2A) in four games played, Gross three points (1G, 2A) in eight games played.
BEEN A WHILE: Tonight is the first time in 99 games that neither Adin Hill or Hunter Miska will dress for the Roadrunners, dating back to February 24, 2017, a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Barracuda at Tucson Arena. Marek Langhamer started that game, with emergency back-up Nathan Schoenfeld on call.
NEED SOMETHING SPECIAL: The Roadrunners enter the night 27th overall in power play success percentage, scoring seven goals on 56 man advantage opportunities this season, calculating in at 12.5%. They are last in the AHL in killing penalties with a 71.1% kill rate, allowing 13 goals during 45 shorthanded instances. San Diego’s power play ranks fourth in the league, their penalty kill 11th. Can the Roadrunners improve their special teams’ numbers tonight against the Gulls?


ONE-HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN: The Roadrunners have eclipsed the 30-shot mark in all three games against the Gulls this season, totaling 127 shots on their division rival, averaging 42.3 shots per contest when playing San Diego. They registered 44 shots on October 6, 32 shots on October 12, and a season-high 51 shots on October 27.




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.