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Preview: Tucson vs. Texas [R2, G2]

By: Alexander Kinkopf
Pacific Division Finals, Game 2
Tucson (4-1) vs. Texas (3-2)
Series: Roadrunners, 1-0
7:05 PM PST, Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Referees: #45 Peter MacDougall, #42 Corey Syvret
Linesmen: #90 Mike Sarter, #60 Libor Suchanek
SERIES SO FAR: The Roadrunners won their first overtime playoff game in franchise history Wednesday night to take a 1-0 series lead. Michael Bunting scored both of Tucson’s goals, including the game-winner 8:53 into the extra frame. Adin Hill’s shutout streak was snapped at 178:48 with Brian Flynn’s game-tying goal late in the third. Game 1 Recap.
SUPER MARIO: With the secondary assist on Michael Bunting’s first goal Wednesday, Mario Kempe extended his point streak to seven games, a run that dates back to April 11. He’s found the score sheet in all five of the Roadrunners’ playoff games, totaling seven points (4G, 3A), which is tied for the second-highest total in the league.
TOUGH STUFF: Entering the night, the Roadrunners have the lowest team GAA in the league, allowing just a median of 1.8 goals per game. They’ve surrendered nine goals through five games, one of them into an empty net. During their last three playoff games, all at home, they’ve allowed only one goal.
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 Per club policy, specifics regarding the team’s lineup will not be published until 6:45 PM.
WORKING OVERTIME: The Texas Stars have extended to overtime in three of their five playoff games, nine times in their last 14 contests, and 28 times during the regular season – the second-most in the league. In total, Texas has played past regulation on 31 instances. The Roadrunners are 3-0 in games against the Stars this season that require post-regulation play.
THEY SAID IT: “You’ve got to rely on each other in the playoffs, help each other through things, because it’s all about waves, peaks, and valleys right now. The teams that usually go through those the best, are the ones that are usually the most successful.” – Head Coach Mike Van Ryn, after the 2-1 overtime Game 1 victory
HOME COOKING: The Roadrunners have won five consecutive games on home ice at Tucson Arena, a stretch that dates back to April 13, the final weekend of the regular season. During those five wins, the Roadrunners have outscored their opponents by a combined 20-6 margin. The team will look to remain perfect at home in the playoffs tonight, where they’re 3-0 thus far, outscoring visitors 11-1.
GAME 1: Wednesday, May 2 - Texas (1) at Tucson (2) F/OT – BOX SCORE | RECAP
GAME 2: Friday, May 4 – Texas at Tucson – 7:05 PM - TICKETS
GAME 3: Monday, May 7 – Tucson at Texas – 7:00 PM
GAME 4: Wednesday, May 9 – Tucson at Texas – 7:00 PM
GAME 5: Friday, May 11 – Tucson at Texas – 7:00 PM
GAME 6: Sunday, May 13 – Texas at Tucson – 7:05 PM - TICKETS
GAME 7: Monday, May 14 – Texas at Tucson – 7:05 PM - TICKETS
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.