On the shores of Lake Michigan, a Coyotes related article in Chicago typically concerns the Mad House at 1900 W Madison and a showdown with the Blackhawks. But the Blackhawks aren’t in town right now. In fact, they’re in Glendale facing the Coyotes as former Yote Connor Murphy travels back to Arizona for the first time since the offseason trade.
Instead, another Arizona hockey team travels to Chicago, as the Tucson Roadrunners take their first long road trip, spending two games in suburban Chicago this weekend before climbing on a bus and taking the I-94 east to Michigan for a Wednesday night rubber match against Grand Rapids.
The Meeps, who are 1-1 so far, are not operating with a lack of talent. Dylan Strome was demoted from the NHL squad as the Coyotes sought to get him some more professional experience and ice time. Strome is aided by former first-round pick Nick Merkley and top defensive prospects Kyle Capobianco and Kyle Wood.
In net, expect Tucson to roll with the duo of Marek Langhamer and Hunter Miska, as Adin Hill is still running with the Coyotes in Glendale, having started Arizona’s last two games.
Tucson is also under new management in just their second season, with a new coach in Mike van Ryn and new leadership in Captain Andrew Campbell, Assistant Captains Mike Sislo, and Michael Latta. Additionally, Joel Hanley and Dakota Mermis were named to the leadership group to start the season.
On the Wolves side, who recently partnered with the newly founded Vegas Golden Knights after being longtime affiliates of the St. Louis Blues, are 1-1-1 coming into this weekend. After losing 6-5 in regulation and overtime to the Texas Stars, the Wolves hung 5 on the Ontario Reign (Los Angeles affiliate), including goals from former Coyote Teemu Pulkkinen, Alex Tuch, and Brandon Pirri.
The Roadrunners won’t have to worry about some of Vegas’s top prospects in this game, however, as Tuch and Vadim Shipachov (who really isn’t a prospect) were recalled to Vegas earlier in the week. Chicago still fields some NHL-caliber talent with former Anaheim defenseman Shea Theodore and former Chicago Blackhawk Brandon Pirri.
Tonight’s game kicks off at 5 pm Arizona (7 pm Central) and the Sunday game starts at 2 pm Arizona (4 pm Central). Five For Howling will have live coverage for both games from Chicago. Both games can be found streaming on Fox Sports 1450AM Tucson for radio and on AHL Live for TV.