Game #27 Preview: Tucson at Bakersfield
By: Alexander Kinkopf
December 29, 2017 12:47 PM
Game #27 – Tucson (14-9-2-1) at Bakersfield (11-13-4-0)
8:00 PM MST, Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, California
Referees: #74 Michael Sheehan, #17 Peter Tarnaris
Linesmen: #37 Brett Martin, #43 Steven Berry
BACK IN BAKO: Tonight marks the fourth of eight meetings with the Condors this season, and the second of four scheduled visits to Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the second of a three-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 4-1 win over the San Diego Gulls Wednesday night. The Condors are playing the final of a four-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Ontario Reign Wednesday.
FIGURED OUT: The Roadrunners come into the evening having won each of their three previous meetings with the Condors this season, posting a 3-0-0-0 mark and outscoring Bakersfield by a 14-4 margin. The team has been rather successful at Rabobank Arena since their inaugural 2016-17 campaign, earning points in four of their five games played in Bakersfield’s home arena, posting a 3-1-1-0 record.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Roadrunners have been impressing on the road this season; they are 6-2-1-1 in 10 games played in opposing buildings. Their .700 win percentage away from home is tops in the Pacific Division, second in the Western Conference, and fourth in the entire AHL. Can they improve upon their road record with a win tonight in Bakersfield?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate ahead of tonight’s game at the Rabobank Arena. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 6:00 PM this evening.
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - DYLAN STROME (91) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
TYE MCGINN (16) - LANE PEDERSON (18) - MIKE SISLO (9)
RYAN KUJAWINSKI (17) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - JENS LOOKE (24)
ARTUR TYANULIN (13) - TREVOR CHEEK (39) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
JOEL HANLEY (44) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - DAKOTA MERMIS (43)
KEVIN EKMAN-LARSSON (7) - ADAM CLENDENING (4)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
ADIN HILL (33)
BAKERSFIELD AT-BAY: The Condors, who enter the evening 26th in the American Hockey League in scoring, averaging 2.71 goals per game, have scored just a combined four in three meetings with the Roadrunners this season. Bakersfield, though, has seen resurgence in scoring of late, totaling 14 goals in its past five games, posting a 2-2-1-0 record during that span.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on November 11 at Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners defeated the Condors by a 4-1 score. Lawson Crouse scored a pair of goals, while Lane Pederson and Nick Merkley added the others. Hunter Miska stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced in the win.
RESTED AND READY: With 26 games played thus far, the Roadrunners have played the least amount of games of any other American Hockey League team this season. Three teams, the Cleveland Monsters, San Jose Barracuda, and San Diego Gulls are currently at 27 contests completed.
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 7:45 PM.