Game #20 Preview: Tucson at Stockton
By: Alexander Kinkopf
December 09, 2017 12:31 PM
Game #20 – Tucson (12-4-2-1) at Stockton (13-6-0-2)
7:00 PM MST, Stockton Arena, Stockton, California
Referees: #54 Olivier Gouin, #42 Corey Syvret
Linesmen: #60 Libor Suchanek, #43 Steven Berry
SATURDAY’S FOR STOCKTON: Tonight marks the third of eight meetings with the Heat this season, and the first of the Roadrunners’ four scheduled visits to Stockton Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the final of a two-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-1 win over the San Jose Barracuda Friday night. The Heat are playing the only of a one-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 6-0 win over the San Jose Barracuda Wednesday.
SEPARATION ANXIETY: The Roadrunners, who continue to position themselves at first-place in the Pacific Division, a spot they’ve held since the final week of October, will look to further separate themselves from the second-place Heat, who are hot on Tucson’s tail with a .667 win percentage.
LATTA DEPTH: Since sitting out last Sunday’s game against Ontario with an injury (undisclosed), forward Michael Latta has returned to the Roadrunners’ lineup in a big way, registering three assists in his two games back. Latta assisted on Tyler Gaudet’s game-winning goal Tuesday night, and dished helpers on each of Michael Bunting’s two goals scored Friday in San Jose.
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held an optional pregame morning skate ahead of tonight’s game at Stockton Arena. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this evening.
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - MARIO KEMPE (20) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
EMERSON ETEM (26) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - MIKE SISLO (9)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - JENS LOOKE (24)
TREVOR CHEEK (39) - MICHAEL LATTA (46) - LANE PEDERSON (18)
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
JOEL HANLEY (44) - ADAM CLENDENING (4)
DAKOTA MERMIS (43) - KYLE WOOD (3)
ADIN HILL (33)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
BUNTING’S BUZZING: With two goals Friday night, Michael Bunting now has points in three straight games, accumulating a total of five (2G, 3A) during that span. He has six points (3G, 3A) in the team’s last five games, including the Roadrunners’ first goal in the club’s 3-2 victory over the Heat on November 24.
VISITORS’ DELIGHT: Entering the evening with a 4-1-1-1 mark in opposing buildings away from Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners will look for another road win against a Heat club that is 7-3-0-0 on home ice this season at Stockton Arena. The Roadrunners posted a 3-0-1-0 record in their four visits to Stockton Arena last year, including the first win in franchise history on October 21, 2016.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Roadrunners are 1-1-0-0 in their two previous meetings with the Heat this season. In the teams’ last match-up on November 25 at Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners fell by a 4-2 score. Nick Merkley and Dylan Strome scored for Tucson; Adin Hill made 24 saves on 27 shots faced in the loss.
GIVE ME 20: The Roadrunners will be hitting the 20-game mark of their 68-game regular season schedule tonight. Other than the Ontario Reign, who play the Texas Stars tonight, the Roadrunners will be the final team in the AHL to play their 20th contest of the season.
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 6:45 PM.