Game #65 Preview: Tucson at Ontario
By: Alexander Kinkopf
April 07, 2019 8:26 AM
Game #65 – Tucson (33-23-5-3) at Ontario (23-31-6-4)
3:00 PM PST, Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California
Referees: #8 Ryan Hersey, #10 Terry Koharski
Linesmen: #53 Bevan Mills, #85 Steve Walsh
The Roadrunners continue their final regular season road trip this afternoon in taking on the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena, marking the eighth and final meeting between the teams this year.
Tucson has posted a 3-2-2-0 mark in seven games played against the Los Angeles Kings’ affiliate, which includes a 1-0-2-0 record as visitors in Ontario.
The teams have not met since they played a two-game weekend series at Tucson Arena on March 8 and 9, the Reign winning both contests. Since then, the Reign have only won twice over a span of 10 games, going 2-5-1-2 during that stretch.
Goaltender Adin Hill, re-assigned to the Roadrunners from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday, is back with the team and will be available for today’s contest. He has not fared particularly well against the Reign, however. In three starts against Ontario this season, Hill is 0-2-0 with a .842 SV% and a 4.69 GAA.
The Roadrunners have earned points in five-straight games (5-0-0-1) and in nine of their last 10 contests (8-1-0-1).
Entering the day, the Roadrunners continue to occupy the fourth and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division, sitting one point ahead of the fifth-place Colorado Eagles.
The Eagles play at the Chicago Wolves, which is scheduled for a 1:00 PM PST start at Allstate Arena. The Wolves beat the Eagles 3-2 on Saturday evening, netting the game-winning goal with 1:13 left to play in regulation.
There is only one clear-cut scenario that will see the Roadrunners surrender fourth-place at day’s end: a regulation loss to Ontario and an Eagles win of any kind over Chicago.
LIGHT ‘EM UP: The Ontario Reign, coming off of a 6-1 drubbing courtesy of the San Diego Gulls on Friday, come into the afternoon allowing their opponents an average of 4.06 goals per game, the worst median in the AHL. The Roadrunners have scored a total of 18 goals in three games played at Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena this season, and in total, have netted 29 in seven games against the Reign, an average of 4.14 scored each contest.
PLAYING WITH POWER: With his power play goal in the third period of Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Iowa Wild, Lane Pederson registered his seventh of the season on the man advantage, tying Michael Bunting for the team lead in that department. The Roadrunners have scored a combined 10 power play goals in their last eight games. Ontario enters the day with the second-worst penalty kill in the AHL with a 76.9% kill rate.
FASCHING’S A FORCE: Hudson Fasching leads all active Roadrunners players in scoring against the Reign this season, putting up a total of seven points (2G, 5A) in seven games played against Ontario, including three multi-point performances. Fasching, who opened the scoring in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Iowa, is currently working with a career-high in goals (16) and points (32).
NUMBER TO KNOW
SIX: Following the Colorado Eagles’ 3-2 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Saturday night, the Roadrunners’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot has dropped to six.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE
You can catch tonight’s action at Brother John’s Beer Bourbon & BBQ, the official watch party location for all Roadrunners road games during the 2018-19 season. A live telecast is available on AHLTV; Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Adrian Denny will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson, with coverage starting at 2:45 PM.
Photo: Ontario Reign