NEWS & STATS
Game #38 Preview: Tucson vs. Chicago
By: Alexander Kinkopf
January 26, 2018 12:14 PM
Game #38 – Tucson (22-12-2-1) vs. Chicago (21-15-5-2)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #44 Furman South, #20 Brandon Blandina
Linesmen: #30 Ken Bonham, #59 Rob Fay
MIDWEST VISITORS: Tonight marks the third of four meetings with the Wolves this season, and the first of Chicago’s two scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a two-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 2-1 overtime win over the San Antonio Rampage Saturday night. The Wolves are playing the first of a two-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Monsters on Sunday.
CHICAGO HOT: The Wolves come into tonight’s match-up having earned points in 17 of their last 20 games (15-3-1-1). They have, though, lost three of their last four games played on the road. Can the Roadrunners put a damper on Chicago’s recent winning trend with a victory tonight?
CENTRAL SAVVY: The Roadrunners have earned points in all seven games played against Central Division opponents this season, posting a combined 5-0-2-0 record against the Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Iowa Wild, and Cleveland Monsters. Can the team continue its run of success against Midwest region teams tonight?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at Tucson Arena ahead of tonight’s game. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this afternoon.
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - DYLAN STROME (91) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
MARIO KEMPE (20) - LAURENT DAUPHIN (15) - MIKE SISLO (9)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
RYAN MACINNIS (72) - LANE PEDERSON (18) - JENS LOOKE (24)
DAKOTA MERMIS (43) - ANDREW CAMPBELL (2)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - JOHN RAMAGE (55)
KEVIN EKMAN-LARSSON (7) - JOEL HANLEY (44)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
ADIN HILL (33)
SHOTS FOR CHICAGO: The Wolves fire away. They enter the night at third in the AHL in shots registered per game, averaging 32.77; they’ve scored a combined nine goals in their last two games to boot. Chicago has four players with 30 or more points scored this season; can the Roadrunners keep the Wolves’ forwards under control tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on October 22 at Chicago’s Allstate Arena, the Roadrunners fell to the Wolves by a 2-1 score in overtime. Nick Merkley scored the Roadrunners’ lone goal; Marek Langhamer stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced. Chicago’s Teemu Pulkkinen netted the game-winning goal with 26 seconds left to play in overtime.
SISLO’S STREAKING: Mike Sislo enters the night riding a seven-game point streak, a run that began on January 10. He has eight points (2G, 6A) during his current run. If he’s to find the score sheet tonight, Sislo will tie Dylan Strome’s franchise record eight-game point streak, which the rookie put together from November 10 – December 22, 2017.
POSSIBILE SIGHTINGS: Though no confirmation yet, there are a few possibilities involving returns and debuts in relation to the Roadrunners lineup tonight. Nick Merkley (upper-body) and Ryan MacInnis (undisclosed) each returned to practice with the team earlier in the week; both players have missed the team’s last five games. John Ramage, acquired in a trade on Monday from the Columbus Blue Jackets, participated in his first practice with the Roadrunners on Wednesday and could make his team debut tonight.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan and color commentator Tim Gassen will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.