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Looking At: Round 1, Game 1

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Pacific Division Semi-Final, Game #1
Tucson (0-0) at San Jose (0-0)
Series Tied: 0-0
7:00 PM PST, SAP Center, San Jose, California
Referees: #34 Stephen Reneau, #44 Furman South
Linesmen: #53 Bevan Mills, #21 Alexander Ledovskiy
SERIES SO FAR: The Roadrunners met with the Barracuda on eight occasions during the regular season, posting a 3-4-1-0 record. Michael Bunting (6G, 2A) and Mike Sislo (3G, 4A) led all Tucson skaters in scoring against San Jose. The teams played four games each at Tucson Arena and the SAP Center, respectively; the Roadrunners went 1-2-1-0 at home, 2-2-0-0 on the road.
SOLID START: The opening goal will prove to be huge, and the earlier it comes, the better. The Roadrunners will look to take advantage of a Barracuda team that has had difficult times in first periods this season, San Jose finishing the year with a -16 goal differential in the opening 20 minutes of play. When the Barracuda do strike first, they are a commanding 24-4-3-2.
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at SAP Center ahead of tonight’s game. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 6:30 PM.
THEY SAID IT: “It’s a new season for everybody, so you’re looking to get off to a good start in the series, it doesn’t matter if it’s at home or away, you’re just trying to have a good opening game. We’re excited. We’ve got a lot of good guys in that room, a lot of older guys that have been through this before, and I think they’re excited to get going, and for all of the young guys who will be playing in their first playoff game, we’re just as excited to get going.” – Conor Garland, on the start of the postseason
BAD MAN BUNTING: Michael Bunting scored at a point-per-game pace against the Barracuda this season, totaling eight (6G, 2A) in the Roadrunners’ eight meetings with San Jose. He registered four goals at the SAP Center.
EYES ON THEM: Since forwards Alexander Chmelevski and Ivan Chekhovich made their professional debuts with the Barracuda on April 4, San Jose has not lost a game. Chmelevski has four points (3G, 1A) in six games played, while Chekhovich has nine (3G, 6A). Can the Roadrunners shut down San Jose’s hot rookies tonight?
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.