Game #56 Preview: Tucson at Stockton
By: Alexander Kinkopf
March 16, 2018 11:16 AM
Game #56 – Tucson (32-18-4-1) at Stockton (29-20-2-4)
7:00 PM PST, Stockton Arena, Stockton, California
Referees: #39 Evgenii Romasko, #42 Corey Syvret
Linesmen: #88 Brent Tubbs, #85 Steve Walsh
WEEKEND HEAT: Tonight marks the seventh of eight meetings with the Heat this season, and the third of four scheduled visits to Stockton Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the second of a three-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-2 overtime win over the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday night. The Heat are playing the third of a four-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday.
MR. CONSISTENT: Mike Sislo registered his first point against the Heat this season in the teams’ last meeting, assisting on Michael Bunting’s empty net goal in the Roadrunners’ 4-2 victory on January 10. Since then, Sislo has recorded points in 20 of the team’s last 25 games, totaling 24 (10G, 14A) during that stretch. He enters the night with 40 points on the year.
STOCKTON SCORES: The Heat have scored three or more goals in nine of their last 11 games. Stockton is currently ranked fifth in the AHL in scoring this season, averaging 3.24 goals per game, totaling 178 through 55 games played. Can the Roadrunners, whose 2.69 GAA ranks seventh in the league, keep the Heat’s offense in check tonight?
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 Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this evening.
MIKE SISLO (9) - CARTER CAMPER (29) - NICK MERKLEY (38)
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - DYLAN STROME (91) - LANE PEDERSON (18)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - MARIO KEMPE (20) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
TYE MCGINN (16) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - JENS LOOKE (24)
TREVOR MURPHY (28) - JOEL HANLEY (44)
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
DAKOTA MERMIS (43) - KYLE WOOD (3)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
ADIN HILL (33)
FOR 50: Dylan Strome’s next point will be his 50th of the season – making him just the second player in franchise history to reach that mark, accumulating all points in a Roadrunners uniform, in a single season. Chris Mueller registered 67 points in 2016-17. Strome enters the night with six points (4G, 2A) in five games played against the Heat.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on January 10 at Stockton Arena, the Roadrunners defeated the Heat by a 4-2 score. Four different players, Jens Looke, Dylan Strome, Conor Garland, and Michael Bunting, scored for the Roadrunners. Hunter Miska stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced to earn the win.
PLAYOFF PUSH: The Roadrunners enter the evening having the second-lowest magic number (20) in the Western Conference. The Heat, who currently hold the Pacific Division’s final playoff berth, have a points percentage (.582%) that is dangerously close to being caught and surpassed by the Texas Stars (.579%), who are on the outside looking in.
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.