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Game #62 Preview: Tucson at Iowa

By: Alexander Kinkopf
 
 
Game #62 – Tucson (36-19-5-1) at Iowa (30-23-9-6)
5:00 PM PST, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Referees: #47 Pierre Lambert, #48 Chris Schlenker
Linesmen: #15 Kyle Larson, #36 Nathan Stanton
 
EYEING IOWA: Tonight marks the third of four meetings with the Wild this season, and the first of two scheduled visits to Iowa’s Wells Fargo Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the third of a four-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Barracuda on Sunday. The Wild are playing the first of a four-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday.
 
 
SAVVY VERSUS CENTRAL: The Roadrunners have earned points in 10 of the 12 games they’ve played against Central Division opponents this season, posting a 7-2-3-0 record. They are 2-0-0-0 against the Wild this year, both wins coming at Tucson Arena, earning a 4-1 victory on October 27 and a 5-4 overtime victory on October 28.
 
 
NEW TERRITORY: Iowa’s Wells Fargo Arena marks the 11th opposing building the Roadrunners will play in this season, and the 13th in franchise history. The Roadrunners have earned points in every building they’ve ever played in, but are without wins in two – Charlotte’s Bojangles’ Coliseum (0-1-1-0) and Manitoba’s MTS Centre (0-1-1-0) – both of which the team visited during their inaugural season. The Wild are 16-11-3-2 in 32 games played on home ice this year.
 
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held a morning skate at Wells Fargo Arena ahead of tonight’s game. Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 3:00 PM this afternoon.
 
FORWARDS
MIKE SISLO (9) - CARTER CAMPER (29) - LANE PEDERSON (18)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - MARIO KEMPE (20) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - RYAN MACINNIS (72) - TYE MCGINN (16)
ZAC LARRAZA (26) - TREVOR CHEEK (39) - JENS LOOKE (24)
 
DEFENSEMEN
ANDREW CAMPBELL (2) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - JOEL HANLEY (44)
DAKOTA MERMIS (43) - KYLE WOOD (3)
 
GOALTENDERS
ADIN HILL (33)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
 
THE MINDSET: “You don’t really think about it,” Andrew Campbell said in regard to facing possible clinching scenarios this weekend. “I think here, we’re not so much worried about clinching as we are finishing first in the division to have home ice through the first couple of rounds. There’s also the possibility of finishing first in the conference, where if we get to that point, we’ll have home ice as well. I think we’re striving for more than just a clinching scenario right now.”
 
"I think our group does a good job of just focusing on what's in front of them each day," Campbell continued. "The coaching staff does it, and we as players do it. It's just about attacking the day. It's worrying about getting better today as opposed to what's down the road."
 
REELING WILD: The Wild enter the night with the league’s second-longest current losing streak, having dropped each of their last six contests (0-5-0-1), including three straight at home (0-2-0-1). Iowa’s last win came on March 17, a 2-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins.
 
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on October 28 at Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners defeated the Wild in overtime, 5-4. Former Roadrunner Michael Latta netted two goals; Lane Pederson and Michael Bunting rounded out the team’s scoring in regulation. Ryan MacInnis buried the game-winner 3:19 into the extra frame. Hunter Miska stopped 37 of the 41 shots he faced to earn the win.
 
 
PLAYOFF PUSH: The Roadrunners enter the night tied with the Manitoba Moose for having the lowest magic number in the Western Conference (5). The Wild, on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, are currently situated at fifth-place in the Central Division.
 
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 4:45 PM.