Game #27 Preview: Tucson at San Jose
By: Alexander Kinkopf
December 21, 2018 9:25 AM
Game #27 – Tucson (15-8-2-1) at San Jose (16-4-1-3)
8:00 PM PST, SAP Center, San Jose, California
Referees: #29 Troy Paterson, #27 Ben O’Quinn
Linesmen: #86 Jesse Marquis, #7 Neil Campbell
After a few days at home during the week in Southern Arizona, the Roadrunners take back to the road in continuation of their four-game trip, getting set to make their second and third visits of the season to San Jose’s SAP Center.
Tonight will mark the teams’ fourth meeting of the year; the Roadrunners are 2-0-0-1 in the previous three, including back-to-back shutout wins on November 9 & 10 at Tucson Arena.
The Roadrunners have earned five of a possible six points from San Jose this season, and account for half of the Barracuda’s league-low four regulation losses.
This evening’s affair will be the 20th all-time between the clubs, playoffs excluded, and the 10th to be played at the SAP Center. The Roadrunners enter with a .500 franchise record against the Barracuda, going 8-8-2-1 all-time against their Pacific Division counterpart, and 4-4-0-1 all-time in San Jose.
The Roadrunners’ current three-game losing streak is the longest of the season.
Hunter Miska’s career at SAP Center includes three starts and four appearances; he is 1-1-1 all-time in San Jose with a .939 SV% and a 1.90 GAA. Miska stopped 34 of the 36 shots faced in the Roadrunners’ previous visit to San Jose, a 3-2 shootout loss, on October 15.
Merrick Madsen, who earned the first back-to-back shutouts in consecutive games in franchise history in November against the Barracuda, has never played in a game at SAP Center.
HELLA HELEWKA: Former Barracuda Adam Helewka, drafted #106 overall by the Sharks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, will make his second return to San Jose tonight. Helewka has scored three goals in three games against his former team this season, the most by any Roadrunner, and enters the night as the team’s co-leader in goals (8) and points (20). His seven multi-point performances this season are also tied with Conor Garland for the most on the club this year.
SERIOUS STUFF: Following the Roadrunners’ back-to-back shutout wins over the Barracuda on November 9 & 10 at Tucson Arena, San Jose responded with a 10-game point streak, going 7-0-1-2, a run that was snapped on Wednesday night in San Diego, the team suffering its first regulation loss since Tucson in a 6-1 falling to the Gulls. The Barracuda’s .750 win percentage is tops in the Western Conference and second in the AHL.
TO THE NET: The Barracuda enter the night boasting the AHL’s stingiest goals-against in the league, allowing the lowest median among all 31 teams, an average of 2.42 surrendered to their opponents through 24 games. San Jose is coming off of a game Wednesday night in which they allowed a season-high six goals. The Roadrunners, 11th in the league in goals-for, have outscored the Barracuda 8-2 in regulation this season.
NUMBER TO KNOW
TWENTY: The Roadrunners have outscored their opponents 62-42 during full strength five-on-five play this season, a plus-20 margin.
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 7:45 PM.