Game #31 Preview: Tucson at Stockton
By: Alexander Kinkopf
January 10, 2018 12:24 PM
Game #31 – Tucson (17-10-2-1) at Stockton (17-10-2-3)
8:00 PM MST, Stockton Arena, Stockton, California
Referees: #46 Sean MacFarlane, #39 Evgenii Romasko
Linesmen: #60 Libor Suchanek, #43 Steven Berry
STOPPING IN STOCKTON: Tonight marks the sixth of eight meetings with the Heat this season, and the second of four scheduled visits to Stockton Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the first of a three-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 6-3 loss to the Ontario Reign Saturday night. The Heat are playing the fourth of a six-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 4-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday.
ROAD WORK: Beginning tonight, the Roadrunners will play 11 of their next 15 games on the road – including a season-long six-game trip from February 2-14. The team has earned points in 10 of its 12 games played away from Tucson Arena so far, posting a 8-2-1-1 mark. Their .750 win percentage as visitors is the fourth-best in the American Hockey League.
TOURING: Of the seven opposing buildings the Roadrunners have played in this season, they’ve earned a win in all but one – Stockton Arena. In their one and only previous visit to the Heat’s home this year on December 9, they fell by a 5-2 score. The Heat are 9-4-0-1 on home ice. Can the Roadrunners earn a victory tonight and check Stockton Arena off their list?
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at Stockton 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 Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this evening.
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - DYLAN STROME (91) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - MARIO KEMPE (20) - MIKE SISLO (9)
JENS LOOKE (24) - TYLER GAUDET (10) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
TYE MCGINN (16) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - DANIEL MAGGIO (47)
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - DAKOTA MERMIS (43)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
JOEL HANLEY (44) - KYLE WOOD (3)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
ADIN HILL (33)
EASING UP: Marek Hrivik, who has registered the most points (7) of any player for the Heat against the Roadrunners this season, was recalled by the Calgary Flames last week and will not be in Stockton’s lineup tonight.
ON THE LINE: The Roadrunners enter tonight’s match-up situated at first place in the Pacific Division with a .617 win percentage. Stockton, though, is hot on Tucson’s trail with a .609 win percentage. The winner of tonight’s game will finish the evening in first place – can the Roadrunners maintain their positioning with a win?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on December 23 at Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners fell to the Heat by a 2-1 score. Adam Clendening scored the lone goal for Tucson; Adin Hill stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced in the loss.
EYES ON MERKLEY: Nick Merkley comes into the evening with points in each of his last five games, totaling 10 (5G, 5A) during that span. Merkley is tied with Dylan Strome for the most points registered against the Heat this season with five (2G, 3A) in four games, including two multi-point performances.
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.