Game #36 Preview: Tucson at Colorado
By: Alexander Kinkopf
January 19, 2019 11:03 AM
Game #36 – Tucson (20-11-3-1) at Colorado (18-14-3-1)
7:05 PM MST, Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, Colorado
Referees: #86 Chris Brown, #54 Olivier Gouin
Linesmen: #86 Lucas Bisbee, #34 Robert Keltie
An immediate opportunity for retribution presents itself tonight as the Roadrunners play the second of their back-to-back set against the Colorado Eagles; Tucson vies for a weekend split before transitioning into its season-long six-game home stand.
Depending on how you analyze, there’s usually positive to take from seemingly unfortunate outcomes. Three players put forth multi-point performances in last night's 7-3 defeat, highlighted by Michael Bunting’s first two-goal game of the season.
Both of Bunting’s goals came via special teams; his first on the power play and his second on the penalty kill (above), which served as the Roadrunners’ second shorthanded goal of the season.
Defenseman Dakota Mermis and forward Brayden Burke each finished the evening with two assists.
Seeing his first AHL action since November 21 after coming in for relief of Hunter Miska with 8:26 remaining in the first period Friday, Adin Hill stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced in 48:26 of action. Hill’s 26-save total was a season high in a Roadrunners uniform.
The Roadrunners come into the evening situated at third-place in the Pacific Division with 44 points. The two teams that surround Tucson in the standings, the second-place San Diego Gulls (45 points) and the fourth-place Bakersfield Condors (41 points), meet tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego for a 8:00 PM MST scheduled puck drop.
The Eagles, ranked in the bottom-third (22nd – 3.00 GF/Game) of the league in goals per game, have scored five or more in four of their last five contests.
NO LOVE IN LOVELAND: With Friday night’s loss, the Roadrunners have yet to win a game at Colorado’s Budweiser Events Center this season, posting a 0-3-0-0 record as visitors to the Eagles, losing 3-2 on November 2, 5-1 on November 3, and 7-3 on December 19. Overall, Colorado has earned points in 15 of its 19 games played at home, going 12-4-2-1.
SPECIAL STUFF: Since the return from the holiday break, the Roadrunners have converted on the power play in five of seven games played, going 7-for-31 overall during that span, a 22.6% conversion rate. Tucson enters the night 22nd overall in the AHL, finding the back of the net on 17.0% of its power plays (28-for-165).
WEEKEND WARRIORS: The Roadrunners are a favorable 9-4-0-0 on Saturdays this season, including a 5-2-0-0 clip on the road. In back-to-back situations on the sixth day of the week, and with zero days rest, the team has gone 8-6-1-0.
NUMBER TO KNOW
FOUR: Forward Brayden Burke leads all Roadrunners in points registered against Colorado this season, totaling four (1G, 3A) in five games played against the Eagles, the latest point a product of his magnificent cross-ice delivery to David Ullstrom in the third period Friday evening.
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 6:45 PM.