Game #52 Preview: Tucson at Colorado
By: Alexander Kinkopf
March 03, 2019 10:16 AM
Game #52 – Tucson (25-19-5-2) at Colorado (27-22-3-1)
3:05 PM MST, Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, Colorado
Referees: #21 Chris Pontes, #65 Alex Normandin
Linesmen: #86 Lucas Bisbee, #98 John Grandt
The Roadrunners will make their final regular season visit to the Budweiser Events Center today when they take on the Colorado Eagles for the 10th of the teams’ 12 scheduled meetings.
Tucson comes into the afternoon with a 1-3-1-0 mark in Colorado’s home building and an overall record of 2-5-2-0 against their Mountain Standard Time counterpart.
Obliterating the Eagles in the shot department on Saturday by a 45-20 margin didn’t heed the end result the Roadrunners were seeking, but it was certainly a step in the right direction for an offense that has been looking to generate some extra buzz. The team has now outshot its opponent in just over half (26-of-51) of its games played. They are 13-10-3-0 when doing so.
The Roadrunners’ losing streak extended to four games (0-3-1-0) in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss; the Eagles’ win streak improved to three games. This will only be the fourth game the Roadrunners have played on a Sunday this season; they have a 0-1-2-0 record when playing on the final day of a week.
Defenseman Jason Demers was recalled to the Arizona Coyotes from his conditioning assignment on Sunday morning. He registered the primary assist on Lane Pederson's second period goal last night and finished the evening with three shots.
For the first time since April 15, 2017, a span of 120 regular season games, the Roadrunners find themselves outside of a qualified playoff position in the Pacific Division, falling to fifth-place following Saturday’s result. They can reclaim fourth-place today with a win of any kind.
There won’t be much scoreboard watching to do. The only other intra-division team in action today beside the Roadrunners and Eagles are the seventh-place Ontario Reign, winners of three-straight games. They host the Iowa Wild at 4:00 PM MST.
PRODUCE LANE: In depositing Jason Demers’ ricochet shot into an open net Saturday night, scoring the Roadrunners’ second goal of the game, Lane Pederson netted his 14th of the season and is now sitting handy with 30 points on the year. The 21-year-old forward is the team’s current leading scorer against the Eagles, totaling seven points (4G, 3A) in nine games versus Colorado.
MISKA MIGHT: With the Roadrunners playing their second game in a 20-hour window, there is a chance that Hunter Miska gets the nod to make his first start since February 15, when he stopped 27-of-29 in a 2-0 loss to the Texas Stars. Miska was pulled early in his last start against Colorado on February 2, allowing three goals on 18 shots in 31:11 of action. He has started just four games since Adin Hill’s January 14 assignment, a span of 17 games.
PAYDIRT: The Roadrunners have been held to two goals or less in 10 of their previous 13 contests, going 2-8-2-1 over that stretch. Both wins during that span came when the club scored five goals (February 9: 5-3 W at Rockford) and four goals (February 16: 4-1 W at Texas) respectively.
NUMBER TO KNOW
THIRTY: Defenseman Robbie Russo, who led the team with eight shots on goal Saturday night, is just one point shy (5G, 24A) of 30 on the season. He eclipsed the 30-point mark in each of his first three AHL seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins, including a career high of 39 (5G, 34A) in 2015-16.
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 2:50 PM.
Photo: Colorado Eagles