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Looking At: Round 1, Game 3

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Pacific Division Semi-Final, Game 3
Tucson (1-1) vs. San Jose (1-1)
Series: Tied, 1-1
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #19 Tim Mayer, #48 Chris Schlenker
Linesmen: #67 Travis Gawryletz, #30 Ken Bonham
SERIES SO FAR: The Roadrunners split the opening two games of the series at San Jose’s SAP Center, winning Game 1 by a 4-2 count, and falling in Game 2 by a 6-3 score. Dylan Strome and Mario Kempe, who each had multi-point performances on Saturday night, lead the Roadrunners in playoff scoring with three points apiece. Adin Hill has made a combined 62 saves in his two starts.
WE’RE HOME: The Roadrunners earned points in five of their last six regular season contests played at Tucson Arena (4-1-1-0). Tonight marks the first Calder Cup playoff home game in franchise history, the first to ever be played in Arizona, and the first time an Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate has hosted a postseason affair since April 30, 2015.
THE FIRST ONE: San Jose posted a 24-4-3-2 regular season record in games where they scored the first goal. Rudolfs Balcers opened the scoring for the Barracuda 1:25 into Game 2 on Saturday, an eventual 6-3 win for San Jose. Can the Roadrunners strike first 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 Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 6:45 PM.
THEY SAID IT: “To get into the playoffs, you’ve got to be a good team, and to get into the playoffs the way they did, you’ve got to be hot at the end of the year. I think they won six in a row before the playoffs. They’re hot; they play hard, they play fast, so it’s going to be a tough Game 3 and we’ve got to be ready for it.” – Conor Garland, on the San Jose Barracuda.
EYES ON SJ: Rudolfs Balcers, who registered four points (2G, 2A) in San Jose’s Game 2 victory, finished second on the Barracuda roster in regular season scoring against the Roadrunners – totaling five points (3G, 2A) in eight games. Ivan Chekhovich, who the Roadrunners held without a point for the first time in his pro career in Game 1, responded with two assists Saturday night. Checkhovich now has 11 points (3G, 8A) in eight professional games.
TOUGH GUESTS: The Roadrunners went 1-2-1-0 in four home games played against the Barracuda this season. San Jose finished the regular season with three consecutive road wins, and earned points in five of their final six contests played away from the SAP Center (3-1-1-1). Can Tucson embrace home ice advantage with a Game 3 victory tonight against San Jose?
GAME 1: Tucson (4) – San Jose (2): BOX SCORE | RECAP
GAME 2: Tucson (3) at San Jose (6) – BOX SCORE | RECAP
GAME 3: Tucson vs. San Jose – Tonight, 7:05 PM - TICKETS
GAME 4: Tucson vs. San Jose – April 27, 7:05 PM - TICKETS
*GAME 5: Tucson vs. San Jose – April 28, 7:05 PM - TICKETS
*if necessary
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan, along with color commentator Tim Gassen will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.