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Game #16 Preview: Tucson vs. Stockton

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Game #16 – Tucson (9-5-0-1) vs. Stockton (9-7-1-0)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #6 Carter Sandlak, #78 Jeremy Tufts
Linesmen: #30 Ken Bonham, #90 Mike Sarter
For the third time in six nights, the Roadrunners will match-up with the Stockton Heat as they transition into the Thanksgiving holiday with a little extra motivation to rebound from the teams’ previous two meetings, both losses, 3-1 Friday night at Stockton Arena, 8-2 Tuesday night at Tucson Arena.
The Roadrunners will look to avoid dropping three-straight games for the first time all season; they have lost consecutive games on one prior occasion this year, November 2 & 3 to the Colorado Eagles at the Budweiser Events Center.
Tuesday night presented the Roadrunners’ worst margin of defeat of the year, six goals, and tied a franchise-high for goals allowed in a single game, eight.
With tonight’s quick turnaround, an opportunity is presented to rebound from a rather forgettable evening.
“I think you want to get back at it, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” Jay Varady stressed in regard to the teams meeting again 24 hours later. “A game like that, you have an awful taste in your mouth, you want to get back and you want to get to work.”
Tonight marks the Roadrunners’ final home game until December 7 when they host the Ontario Reign, a 16-day span. They will venture out to begin a four-game road trip on Thursday.


HEY, CAPTAIN!: Defenseman Dakota Mermis is expected to return to the Roadrunners lineup tonight upon his re-assignment to Tucson from the Arizona Coyotes this morning. Mermis, should he play, will be donning the ‘C’ on his jersey for the first time on home ice. He has five points (1G, 4A) in nine games played with the Roadrunners this season; he logged 11:20 of ice time in the Coyotes’ 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday.
ASSIST SPECIALISTS: Defensemen Kyle Capobianco and Robbie Russo each registered their 9th assists of the season Tuesday night, Capobianco setting up Michael Bunting’s goal, Russo credited with the secondary helper. Both players are tied with Conor Garland for the team-lead in assists.
TAKING ADVANTAGE: The Roadrunners have been held scoreless on the power play in their last two games against Stockton, going a combined 0-for-11 in man advantage situations. Entering the night, the team’s power play ranks in at 29th in the AHL with a 11.3% success-rate (9-for-80), and could surely benefit from the boost of a power play goal or two this evening.


FOUR-HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN: The Roadrunners have fired away for a total of 497 shots this season, averaging 33.13 per game, the fourth-highest median in the AHL. In scoring a total of 50 goals thus far through 15 games, they’re finding the back of the net on an average of every 9.94 shots taken. They are 5-3-0-0 when outshooting opponents this season, 3-1-0-1 when getting outshot.




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.