Roadrunners look to get back into playoff picture this week

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Courtesy Tucson Roadrunner | The Daily Wildcat

Tucson Roadrunners forward and leading scorer Christian Fischer looking to put the puck in the net against San Diego Gulls goaltender Dustin Tokarski on Feb. 25.

After losing all three games last week, the Tucson Roadrunners find themselves outside of a playoff spot with a big week ahead. The Tucson Roadrunners will play three games this week with a home game against the San Diego Gulls and two road games against San Diego on Friday and then Ontario Reign on Sunday. The game on Tuesday at the Tucson Convention Center is a makeup game from the Craig Cunningham scare earlier this season.

There will be at least two new faces joining the Roadrunners for their three games including forward Jeremy Morin who was acquired on Saturday in a trade that saw former Roadrunner Stefan Fournier go to the Syracuse Crunch. The Arizona Coyotes and the Minnesota Wild made a trade yesterday that sent Coyote forwards Martin Hanzal, Ryan White and a fourth round pick to the Wild. In exchange the Coyotes received a 2017 first round pick, a 2018 second round pick, a 2019 conditional pick and forward Grayson Downing who will go to the Roadrunners. 

RELATED: Coyotes trade Hanzal

The NHL trade deadline is on Wednesday March 1st, and the Arizona Coyotes have made it known that Roadrunner forward Anthony Duclair is available. Jeremy Morin has 221 points in 310 AHL games and Grayson Downing has 65 points in 107 AHL games. Both players can score and have NHL experience.

The San Diego Gulls currently sit second in the Pacific Division with 64 points, 14 points ahead of the fifth ranked Tucson Roadrunners. The Gulls go into Tuesday 8-2-0 in their last ten games with two shutouts. The Roadrunners are 2-7-1 in their last ten which includes a 5-2 win over San Diego.

The Roadrunners lost their last two home games to the hottest team in the league, the San Jose Barracuda, who are currently riding a 14-game winning streak. The Roadrunners gave up late third period goals in both games and a shorthanded goal in each game.

Corey Tropp leads the Gulls with 40 points in 44 games played. Left winger Antoine Laganiere leads the Gulls in goals scored with 16. The San Diego Gulls will play the Tucson Roadrunners at the TCC Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., students can get discounted tickets at tucsonstudentrushpass.com. The Gulls will host the Roadrunners on Friday at the Valley View Casino Center.

RELATED: Roadrunners can't muster victories over the weekend

Saturday, the Roadrunners remain on the road to battle the Ontario Reign for the ninth time this season. The Roadrunners have a 5-3-1 record against the Reign, but the last time these teams played the Reign shutout the Roadrunners 3-0. The Reign are third in the Pacific Division tied in points with the Gulls at 64.

Reign center T.J Hensick leads the team in points with 41 in 50 games played, while right winger Jonny Brodzinski leads the team in goals scored with 21 in 50 games played. 

The Tucson Roadrunners are led in points by alternate captain Chris Mueller with 45 in 48 games played and Christian Fischer leads the team in goals with 19 in 43 games played. New Roadrunners forwards Jeremy Morin has 21 points in 43 games played and Grayson Downing has 22 points in 47 games played. The Roadrunners will be looking for offense from the newly added forwards to avoid getting shut out by the Reign again. 


Follow Tanner Harris on Twitter.



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