Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Tucson Roadrunners

Texas Stars
4-3-1-0, 9 pts, 0.563
#5 Pacific Division
atTucson Roadrunners
4-1-0-0, 8 pts, 0.800
#1 Pacific Division
November 2nd at 9:05 PM
Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, AZ

For the first time ever, Texas plays Tucson. Their first contest will happen in Arizona, another first for the Texas Stars. The Roadrunners are having a good start to their first season in the AHL. To refresh the collective memory, the Roadrunners joined the league after the Springfield Falcons were purchased by the Arizona Coyotes and moved to the desert. Springfield was backfilled by the Portland Pirates.

The Roadrunners are one of those West Coast clubs that doesn't play as many games as the rest of the league. Tucson and Glendale are separated by just two hours of highway. They're not abusing that advantage as much as say, San Diego, but they'll surely do it at some point.

Leading the way for the Roadrunners are rookies. Center Christian Dvorak, who just won the Memorial Cup with London last season and racked up 230 points over two seasons, was just assigned to the AHL after a brief stint in the NHL. Kyle Wood, who was drafted in the third round, just won the AHL's Rookie of the Month honors for October with 2-6=8. Rookie Brendan Perlini and Ryan MacInnis (son of Al) make it three rookies in the top five of scoring for the team.

Other talent includes Jarred Tinordi, son of Mark, who was acquired from Montreal as part of that infamous John Scott trade.

The rest of the top five is veteran talent, some familiar and some not. Chris Mueller, of course, is well-known to the Stars. The free agent for hire is always good for a boatload of points and seems to have found his place in the less-strenuous 68-game schedule. Craig Cunningham, a fifth year player who has been in the Eastern Conference until this year, is good for at least 40 points per year.

Another veteran of note is on the backend, Zbynek Michalek. The long-time Coyote is in the AHL now and can provide that defensive defenseman lockdown vibe to a young squad.

In net, a rookie leads the way after Justin Peters was recalled to Arizona. Adin Hill has a 3.00 GAA and .913 SV%. He hasn't needed to be spectacular because the Roadrunners can score. Also, they're on a roll, having lost their first game and won every game since, a streak of four.

On the Stars' side, the forward corps will be bolstered by the return of Jason Dickinson to the lineup. The sophomore forward missed all of training camp and the start of the season recovering from surgery. This will be his first game action of the season.

Texas has a decision to make in net as well. There are three games on the trip in four days, so both goalies will get a chance. However, is it two for Desrosiers or Lagace? Last weekend's shutdown effort from 'Phil' may change the answer to that question.

Stars injury/call up report:
Smith (call up)

Twitter: @RoadrunnersAHL
Coverage: @CallahanOnAir (Tucson PBP)