Game #29 Preview: Tucson vs. Ontario
By: Alexander Kinkopf
January 05, 2018 12:21 PM
Game #29 – Tucson (16-9-2-1) vs. Ontario (15-13-1-1)
7:05 PM MST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #88 Chris Waterstradt, #26 Jason Faist
Linesmen: #58 Colin Besch, #59 Rob Fay
HELLO, 2018: Tonight marks the fifth of eight meetings with the Reign this season, and the third of Ontario’s four scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a two-game home stand; the Reign are playing the first of a two-game road trip. Both clubs are coming off of a meeting Sunday night in which the Roadrunners won by a 2-1 score.
HALFWAY HOME: Following the completion of tonight’s game, the Roadrunners will officially be halfway through their home regular season schedule. The team is 8-7-1-0 in 16 games as hosts this year. Can the team hit the midway point of its Tucson Arena slate with a victory over the Reign tonight?
EXTEND AND SNAP: With their victory Sunday night, their third straight, the Roadrunners have matched their longest winning streak of the season, a stretch they’ve strung together on two previous occasions (October 25-28, November 4-11). The team can set a new season-long streak with a win tonight. If they are to do that, they’ll also snap their current four-game losing streak on home ice.
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at Tucson Arena ahead of tonight’s game. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this evening.
TYE MCGINN (16) - DYLAN STROME (91) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - LANE PEDERSON (18) - MIKE SISLO (9)
MARIO KEMPE (20) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
RYAN KUJAWINSKI (17) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - JENS LOOKE (24)
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - ADAM CLENDENING (4)
JOEL HANLEY (44) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
DAKOTA MERMIS (43) - KYLE WOOD (3)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
ADIN HILL (33)
WELCOME BACK: The Roadrunners are likely to see Andrew Campbell and Mario Kempe return to the team’s lineup tonight. Campbell, reassigned to Tucson on Monday, has registered four points (G, 3A) in 24 games this season. Kempe, reassigned to Tucson on Thursday, has registered seven points (2G, 5A) in 11 games this season.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on Sunday Citizens Business Bank Arena, the Roadrunners defeated the Reign by a 2-1 score. Mike Sislo and Nick Merkley scored for the Roadrunners; Adin Hill stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced to earn his seventh win of the season. Tucson is 3-1-0-0 in four meetings against Ontario.
CASHING IN: The Roadrunners, having converted on five of their previous 12 power plays during the past three games, currently have the sixth-best man advantage success rate in the league, chiming in at 20.3%. Nick Merkley leads all rookies with nine power play goals this season, and ranks second in the league behind only Valentin Zykov’s 11. Can Tucson capitalize on the man advantage yet again tonight?
DON’T GET COMFORTABLE: After earning points in nine of their first 10 games (8-1-1-0) played on home ice, the Roadrunners have dropped six of their last seven contests played at Tucson Arena, their only win during that span coming against the Ontario Reign on December 5. The club has currently lost its past four games at home.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan, along with Arizona Coyotes color commentator Paul Bissonnette, will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.