HEAT (8-2-1-2) vs. ROADRUNNERS (10-3-0-0)
7:00 p.m. | AHLTV | Spreaker | iHeartRadio| Fox Sports Radio 1280
2019-20 Season Series: 0-1-1-1
2019-20 Heat Home Record: 3-1-1-1
2019-20Roadrunners Road Record: 4-1-0-0
2019-20 Leading Scorers:
Points – Phillips (14)
Goals – Robinson (8)
Points – Pederson (15)
Goals – Pederson (9)
Friday’s showdown with Tucson is the first of two divisional contests over the weekend for the Heat at Stockton Arena, the final home games until December. Stockton is coming off back-to-back six-point scoring efforts, which have vaulted the Heat into the top spot in the AHL’s team scoring rankings at 4.08 goals per game, nearly a half-goal better than the next-closest team (Toronto – 3.62). Matthew Phillips and Luke Philp led the way for Stockton last time out, with Phillips recording a career-best four points (1g,3a) and Philp netting the first two goals of his career and adding an assist in the win.
The Tucson Roadrunners come into Friday’s game tied with the Springfield Thunderbirds at 8-2 in their respective last 10 games. Tucson owns a four-game win streak heading into this weekend’s games, three of which came over Stockton and the second in the four-game hot streak against the San Jose Barracuda. The AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes has been inactive since Saturday’s meeting against the Heat on home ice, a game in which the club raced out to an early 5-1 lead before holding on late for a 7-6 win.
US VS. THEM
The Roadrunners have narrowly edged out the Heat in all three matchups this season, earning a hat trick of one-goal victories with two requiring extra time beyond the 60 minutes of regulation. Tucson has historically gotten the better of the Heat at Stockton Arena, owning an all-time record of 10-2-1-0 at the home of the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames. For the season, Stockton is led by sophomore forward Glenn Gawdin with five points (2g,3a) over three games against the first-place team in the Pacific Division.
Stockton’s power play is on fire. The Heat boast the league’s top marks on the man-advantage, coming into tonight’s game at 17-for-55 on the year, clicking at 30.9-percent for the season. That success rate is two full points above the second-best unit, belonging to the Milwaukee Admirals. Against the Roadrunners, the Heat have been even better with five goals in 14 chances when up a skater – four of those scores coming in the teams’ last meeting at the Tucson Convention Center.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Justin Kirkland
The forward has vaulted up to a tie for fourth in the AHL with 11 assists on the season, six of which have come over Stockton’s last three games. Kirkland has tallied four helpers in three meetings with the Roadrunners, including a trio of apples in Saturday’s tilt with Tucson. The Alberta native and offseason addition to the Flames system is up to three multi-point games through 13 games on the year.
Roadrunners – Andy Miele
With two goals last time out, Miele is up to four points (2g,2a) in three meetings with the Heat this season. The forward enters Friday’s game tied for third on Tucson’s roster with 11 points (3g,8a), plus-1 in 13 games this season. The Roadrunners are 6-0 when Miele registers a point in so far on the campaign.