Game #68 Preview: Tucson vs. San Diego
By: Alexander Kinkopf
April 14, 2018 12:34 PM
Game #68 – Tucson (41-20-5-1) vs. San Diego (36-27-3-1)
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #27 Ben O’Quinn, #29 Troy Paterson
Linesmen: #7 Neil Campbell, #30 Ken Bonham
HERE WE ARE: Tonight marks the 12th and final meeting with the Gulls this season, and the sixth of San Diego’s six scheduled visits to Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners are playing the final of a two-game home stand; the Gulls are playing the final of a two-game road trip. Both clubs are coming off of a meeting Friday night in which the Roadrunners won, 3-2.
TOP OF THE CHARTS: Since clinching their first Calder Cup playoff spot in franchise history on March 31, the Roadrunners have also claimed the Pacific Division title and the Western Conference regular season championship, accomplishments that have been attained in their last two wins against San Diego.
WHO’S GOT NEXT?: All that’s to be decided tonight is a first round opponent for the Calder Cup playoffs. If the Roadrunners beat the Gulls in regulation, San Diego is eliminated from contention and Tucson will play the winner of this evening's contest between the Stockton Heat and San Jose Barracuda, which is scheduled for a 6:00 PM start at Stockton Arena. If the Gulls are able to attain at least one point tonight, San Diego will clinch the Pacific Division’s fourth and final playoff spot and act as the Roadrunners’ first round opponent.
PROJECTED LINEUP: The team held an optional 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 Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 5:00 PM this afternoon.
LAWSON CROUSE (67) - DYLAN STROME (91) - MIKE SISLO (9)
MICHAEL BUNTING (27) - TREVOR CHEEK (39) - CONOR GARLAND (8)
TYE MCGINN (16) - ZAC LARRAZA (26) - LANE PEDERSON (18)
PIERRE-CEDRIC LABRIE (22) - DEREK ARMY (11) - JENS LOOKE (24)
KYLE CAPOBIANCO (23) - KYLE WOOD (3)
KEVIN EKMAN-LARSSON (7) - DYSIN MAYO (37)
TREVOR MURPHY (28) - JORDAN GROSS (63)
HUNTER MISKA (35)
ADIN HILL (33)
SAN DIEGO'S NEEDS: Lawson Crouse, who extended his point streak to seven games with an assist Friday, touched on what he expects to see from a desperate San Diego Gulls club tonight: "They're going to be coming with everything they have; I guess you could say their lives are on the line here. They need a point, and I'm sure we can expect their best game."
OH MY, MARIO!: Mario Kempe registered his fourth multi-goal performance of the season Friday night, including the netting of his fifth game-winner. Kempe now has 10 points (5G, 5A) in his seven games played against the Gulls this year.
TIME AND TYE MCGINN: Should he be in tonight’s lineup, Tye McGinn will be playing in his 400th professional game, 89 of which have been played in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has played in 310 AHL games, 43 in a Roadrunners uniform.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the teams’ previous meeting on Friday night at Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners topped the Gulls by a 3-2 count. Dysin Mayo opened the scoring, while Mario Kempe netted the Roadrunners’ other two goals, including the game-winner with 3:10 left to play. Adin Hill turned away 24 of the 26 shots he faced to earn the win.
I-8 BORDER TROPHY: Friday night’s win also secured the I-8 Border Trophy for the Roadrunners in the award’s inaugural season. Entering the evening, the Roadrunners lead the Gulls in head-to-head points, 13-10.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: You can catch tonight’s action on AHL Live. Roadrunners play-by-play broadcaster Tom Callahan, along with color commentator Tim Gassen, will have the radio call on AM 1450 Fox Sports Tucson. Radio coverage begins at 6:50 PM.