Game #50 Preview: Tucson vs. Bakersfield
By: Alexander Kinkopf
February 25, 2019 1:22 PM
Game #50 – Tucson (25-18-4-2) vs. Bakersfield (32-15-2-1)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #44 Furman South, #6 Carter Sandlak
Linesmen: #3 Colin Gates, #90 Mike Sarter
The Roadrunners get set for a rematch with the Bakersfield Condors tonight at Tucson Arena, the seventh of eight scheduled regular season meetings between the clubs this year.
Home ice hasn’t been necessarily kind to either team through the season series thus far; the visitor has been victorious in each game played. The Roadrunners come into the night with a 3-3-0-0 record against the first-place Condors, all three wins coming at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena.
Bakersfield tied the 1984-85 Baltimore Skipjacks for the third-longest win streak in American Hockey League history on Saturday night with its 16th-straight victory. They can surpass Baltimore and match that of the 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms’ run of 17-straight, the second longest in league history, with a win tonight.
Forward Michael Chaput, acquired by the Arizona Coyotes today from the Montreal Canadiens for forward Jordan Weal, will report to Tucson but is not expected to be available for tonight’s contest.
Back to the bigs! The Coyotes recalled Christian Dvorak from his conditioning assignment this morning. He registered six shots in two games played with Tucson.
The Roadrunners have recalled forward Kelly Klima from the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. Klima, who was on Tucson’s training camp roster, produced at a more than point-per-game pace with the Admirals, totaling 28 (14G, 14A) in 27 games played. He will be available for tonight's game.
Entering the night at fourth-place in the Pacific Division, the Roadrunners are currently eight points behind the third-place San Diego Gulls and four points ahead of the fifth-place Colorado Eagles.
In the spotlight! Tonight’s meeting with the Condors is the only game to be played in the AHL this evening.
TAKING OFFENSE: The Roadrunners were held without a goal for just the third time all season on Saturday night. The team, following its second shutout on February 15 in a 2-0 loss to the Texas Stars at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, responded the following game with four goals en route to a 4-1 win. Tucson is a striking 17-0-3-0 in games when it scored four or more goals.
SEEING DOUBLE: Brayden Burke is just one goal shy of his 10th of the season; he will become the sixth player to hit double-digits in goals scored for the Roadrunners this year when he next finds the back of the net. The 22-year-old leads all Tucson rookies in points with 20 and is tied for the team lead in goals scored against the Condors this season with two.
HOUSEWORK: Coming into the night, the Roadrunners have dropped each of their last five games played on home ice, posting a 0-4-1-0 record during that span that dates back to January 25. The team’s longest stretch of home losses is seven games, that coming from February 4 – March 25, 2017, when the inaugural club went 0-6-1-0.
NUMBER TO KNOW
SIX: Forward Kelly Klima will wear #6 with the Roadrunners, becoming the second player to wear that number in franchise history. The first game Klima plays with Tucson will also serve as his AHL debut.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE
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.
Photo: Kate Dibildox