HEAT (28-14-4-3) vs. ROADRUNNERS (31-16-1-2)
6:05 p.m. PST | AHLTV | Spreaker | iHeartRadio
2019-20 Season Series: 1-2-2-1
2019-20 Heat Road Record: 15-7-1-2
2019-20 Roadrunners Home Record: 15-7-1-1
Power Play – 46-for-178 (25.8%); 2nd
Penalty Kill – 183-for-208 (88.0%; 2nd
Power Play – 45-for-251 (17.9%); 15th
Penalty Kill – 149-for-189 (78.8%); 27th
2019-20 Leading Scorers
Points – Quine (46)
Goals – Froese (18)
Points – Burke (50)
Goals – Burke (21)
The Heat have a different look to them with a combination of injuries and roster movement causing some line juggling and new roles up and down the lineup. The Heat have performed admirably while shorthanded but have come up just shy in the first two contests of the current three-game road trip, dropping a pair of one-goal games while earning a point in Friday’s game against the Roadrunners. Martin Pospisil scored a couple of career-firsts in last night’s game against Tucson, potting his first-career goal in the second period and recording his first pro multi-point effort with a goal and an assist. Defenseman Corey Schueneman provided the other Heat marker, a coast-to-coast goal in the first period to tie the game at a goal apiece.
Tucson earned at least a share of the top spot in the Pacific Division beyond this weekend with the overtime win last night, entering Saturday’s game two points clear of Stockton’s 63 points on the year. The Roadrunners have struggled of late, 3-5-0-2 in their last 10, but have found a way to earn three of a possible four points against the Heat in that span. Beau Bennett led the way for Tucson to earn the extra point in last night’s game, scoring twice to push the game to overtime. The Roadrunners have scored first in four of six meetings with the Heat, a positive sign for the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes as Tucson is now second in the league with a .813 point percentage when taking a 1-0 edge. The Heat are 1-0-0-1 in the season series when scoring first.
US VS. THEM
The Roadrunners have earned 11 of a possible 12 points against the Heat in the season series, but the crooked record is not indicative of just how tight this matchup has been throughout. In six meetings, five have been one-goal games and four have required play beyond regulation to determine the winner. Stockton is 1-2-2-1 against Tucson, 1-1-2-1 on the year in the one-goal games, well off the team’s overall mark of 11-6-4-3; 10-5-2-1 against teams outside of this season series. The Roadrunners, by comparison, are 10-4-1-2 on the year in one-goal games – 6-4-1-1 against teams besides Stockton.
The penalty kill played a big part in keeping the Heat within striking distance in last night’s contest, withstanding an onslaught of more than 10 minutes shorthanded in the second period and going 8-for-9 in kills Friday. The unit plays particular importance against the Roadrunners, who draw the most penalties in the league with 251 in 50 games entering Saturday, and Stockton has been able to stifle the Roadrunner power play to 5-for-38 (13.2-percent) on the year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Corey Schueneman
The defenseman rides a three-game point streak into tonight’s game and has six points in Stockton’s last eight games, but his importance extends beyond the point column. Schueneman’s role has grown with the losses of Brandon Davidson and Alexander Yelesin to Calgary, and the Heat will need another strong game from the second-year pro to earn two points in the weekend finale against Tucson.
Roadrunners – Michael Bunting
Bunting found the back of the net in overtime to clinch Friday’s win, his latest score against Stockton as he has seven points (2g,5a) in six games against the Heat this season. Bunting, who leads the Roadrunners with 34 assists, has factored into a pair of game-winners against Stockton.