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Game #42 Preview: Tucson vs. Colorado

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Game #42 – Tucson (23-14-3-1) vs. Colorado (21-17-3-1)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #78 Jeremy Tufts, #27 Ben O’Quinn
Linesmen: #58 Colin Besch, #59 Rob Fay
The Roadrunners will look to end their home stand on a positive note tonight as they host the Colorado Eagles in a rematch while completing a run of six-straight played at Tucson Arena.
The team is 2-3-0-0 through the first five games of its aforementioned home stint, but enter the night riding a three-game losing streak, matching their longest of such this season, the previous taking place from December 12-16.
Adam Helewka was credited with the Roadrunners’ lone goal Friday night as the team was held to just one goal for the third straight game in its 3-1 loss to the Eagles. Helewka, his team-leading goal total now up to 13, has been the only name to find the back of the net for the Roadrunners in the club’s last two games.
Colorado’s goaltender, Spencer Martin, who made 30 saves last night, has a whopping total of 146 made in his last three starts.
For the first time this season, the Roadrunners have dropped to fourth-place in the Pacific Division.
Tonight, Tucson can only move up. The third-place San Diego Gulls, 6-1 winners over the Ontario Reign last night, host the Iowa Wild at 8:00 PM MST.
The Coyotes re-assigned defenseman Jalen Smereck to the Roadrunners from the ECHL affiliate Norfolk Admirals on Saturday morning and he is with the team. He’s registered 33 points (5G, 28) in 44 games with the Admirals this season, and has played in four-career AHL games, all with Tucson.


FOUR FOR GRABS: Entering the night side-by-side in the Pacific Division standings, and Colorado being the first team on the outside looking in of the grouping’s four-team playoff picture, tonight is, in fact, what many would tab a “four-point game.” With a win, the Roadrunners will move six points ahead of the Eagles in the standings. With a loss, the two will be just two points apart.
TWO-PLUS: The Roadrunners, held to just one goal in each of their previous three contests, are 1-6-0-0 this season when only once during any given game. When putting two in the net, the team is 4-4-0-1. When scoring three, they’re 3-3-1-0, and are a magnificent 15-0-2-0 when scoring at least four. Colorado, which is second-to-last in the AHL in shots-against per game, allowing their opponents an average of 34.45, surrenders a median of 3.12 goals each contest.
GONE FOR A WHILE: Following tonight’s contest, the Roadrunners will not be back at home until February 23 to host the Bakersfield Condors. The team, 13-8-0-0 at Tucson Arena this season, ventures off on a six-game road trip that begins next Friday in Rockford, Illinois.


NINETY-NINE: Adam Helewka is sitting on 99-career points in his professional career, 68 of which came while he was a member of the San Jose Barracuda during his first three pro seasons. Helewka, with 31 points (13G, 18A) on the year, is the Roadrunners’ current active leading scorer.




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.