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Preview: Tucson at Texas [R2, G4]

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Pacific Division Finals, Game 4
Tucson (4-3) at Texas (5-2)
Series: Stars, 2-1
5:00 PM MST, H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, Texas
Referees: #3 Mitch Dunning, #10 Terry Koharski
Linesmen: #86 Lucas Bisbee, #67 Travis Gawryletz
SERIES SO FAR: For the second time in three games Monday night, the Roadrunners and Stars extended to overtime, Texas taking Game 3 via a goal from Sheldon Dries at the 13:36 mark of the extra frame. Five players (Dakota Mermis, Conor Garland, Trevor Murphy, Carter Camper, Lawson Crouse) registered multiple points for Tucson in the 5-4 OTL. The Roadrunners find themselves trailing in a series for the first time this postseason.
50 FOR CARTER: Carter Camper, expected he plays, will skate in his 50th-career American Hockey League playoff game tonight. With a fantastic three point (1G, 2A) performance Monday, he now has seven (1G, 6A) during the postseason, which is tied with Mario Kempe and Lawson Crouse for the second-highest total on the team. Can Camper, who extended to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals with the Hershey Bears, find the score sheet yet again during his milestone night?
THE FIRST ONE: For as much as this series has hinged on overtime game-winners, the first goal of the game has mapped out its own trend as well. Both the Roadrunners and Stars are 4-0 when scoring the first goal of a game this postseason. The Roadrunners are focused on putting forth a much better opening period tonight. “We have to start on time,” Assistant Coach Steve Potvin said Tuesday. “If we start on time, we’ll have the ability to wear the other team down.”
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at the H-E-B Center ahead of tonight’s game. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 4:45 PM.
MURPHY CREATING: Trevor Murphy scored his fourth-career Calder Cup Playoffs goal early in the third period Monday night, his first of such with the Roadrunners. Murphy is tied for first among all players in the postseason with a plus/minus rating of +8. Murphy’s 28 shots on goal is the second-highest total among all players during the postseason. “I’m shooting the puck a lot, and whenever I’m shooting the puck, that means I’m moving and I’m creating some opportunities,” he noted Wednesday morning.
THEY SAID IT: “We’re down in the series right now, but no one believes that we’re out, that that just speaks to the character in our room. Everyone wants to win, everyone has that will to win, and that’s what you need to see. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way, but it’s about having that short-term memory and bouncing back.” – Lawson Crouse, on the Roadrunners trailing 2-1 in the series.
DON’T SLIDE: The Roadrunners have now suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since February 24 and 28. Only once did they lose three consecutive games during the regular season, a span that stretched from December 9-13. They dropped consecutive road games on only two occasions during the regular season. Can Tucson respond to consecutive losses to Texas with a bounce-back win tonight?
GAME 1: Wednesday, May 2 - Texas (1) at Tucson (2) F/OT – BOX SCORE | RECAP
GAME 2: Friday, May 4 – Texas (4) at Tucson (1) – BOX SCORE | RECAP
GAME 3: Monday, May 7 – Tucson (4) at Texas (5) F/OT - BOX SCORE | RECAP
GAME 4: Wednesday, May 9 – Tucson at Texas – 7:00 PM
GAME 5: Friday, May 11 – Tucson at Texas – 7:00 PM
GAME 6: Sunday, May 13 – Texas at Tucson – 7:05 PM - TICKETS
GAME 7: Monday, May 14 – Texas at Tucson – 7:05 PM - TICKETS
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 4:45 PM.