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Game #21 Preview: Tucson vs. Ontario

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Game #21 – Tucson (12-5-2-1) vs. Ontario (9-8-2-1)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #55 Dan Kelly, #23 Jonathan Sitarski
Linesmen: #58 Colin Besch, #90 Mike Sarter
In welcoming the Ontario Reign to Tucson Arena for the first time this season, the Roadrunners will begin what is to be their longest home stand of the season thus far, playing the Los Angeles Kings’ affiliate for the third time in four games.
The Roadrunners enter the night riding a five-game point streak (3-0-2-0), matching their longest of such this season when they began the year with a 4-0-0-1 record.
Scoring for the Roadrunners hasn’t been an issue of late; they’ve totaled 21 in their previous four games. Tonight’s visitor, on average, allows the second-most goals in the American Hockey League. The Reign surrender a median of 4.15 goals per game, better only than the Toronto Marlies’ 4.18 mark.
Only the Charlotte Checkers have played as few home games as the Roadrunners this season, eight. The Roadrunners are 6-2-0-0 on home ice.
Remaining with the Arizona Coyotes on NHL recalls, the Roadrunners will be without goaltender Adin Hill and forwards Conor Garland and Mario Kempe tonight.
Forward Travis Howe was signed to a PTO from the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Thursday. Howe, in 20 games with Greenville this season, has one goal. He will wear #22 with the Roadrunners.
The Roadrunners and Reign have combined to score 35 goals in their first three meetings this season.


FIRE AGAINST REIGN: In three games against the Ontario Reign this season, all on the road at Citizens Business Bank Arena, the Roadrunners have scored a combined 18 goals. Tucson’s high-powered performances against Ontario have earned them a 1-0-2-0 record against their Pacific Division counterpart, earning four of a possible six standings points. Current roster players to have netted multiple goals against the Reign this season are Matteo Gennaro (3), Hudson Fasching (2), Michael Bunting (2), and David Ullstrom (2).
WHERE IT BEGAN: Forward Hudson Fasching, drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round (#118 overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, will face the organization which he began his professional career with, though he never played in a game with a Kings affiliate. In three games against the Reign this season, he has totaled five points (2G, 3A).
21 AND OVER: Through their first 20 games of the season, the Roadrunners have earned points in 15 games, entering their 21st contest of the year with a 12-5-2-1 mark, good for a .675 points percentage which is sixth-best in the American Hockey League, third in the Western Conference, and second in the Pacific Division.


FORTY-EIGHT: Michael Bunting comes into tonight’s affair one assist shy of tying Chris Mueller for the all-time franchise lead. Mueller registered 48 helpers during the Roadrunners’ 2016-17 season. Bunting, who is to play in his 225th professional game tonight, his 155th in a Roadrunners uniform, is the franchise’s all-time points leader with 89 (42G, 47A), and is coming off of his first-ever three-point (3A) game Wednesday night against San Diego.




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.