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 Tucson Roadrunners

Franchise Record Playoff Crowd Sends off Roadrunners' 23-24 Season

April 27, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Tucson Roadrunners News Release

Tucson Roadrunners' Hunter Drew on game night
Tucson Roadrunners' Hunter Drew on game night
(Tucson Roadrunners, Credit: Kate Dibildox)

TUCSON, AZ - It was a record-breaking Roadrunners playoff crowd of 5,178 fans in the Tucson Arena for Game Two of the playoffs as the Tucson Roadrunners fell 4-3 to the Calgary Wranglers to fall 2-0 in the best-of-three series.

It would take just over 16 minutes for the 0-0 score to be broken and this time it would be by Roadrunners Forward Dylan Guenther. Guenther would score on the power-play and knock the roof off the building in the Tucson Arena. Guenther was assisted by Steven Kampfer and Matthew Villalta. Yes, THAT Matthew Villalta. Guenther's goal to give the Roadrunners their first lead of the series would be erased just 52 seconds later as Calgary would answer on a power-play of their own. Tucson held Calgary to seven shots in the period and held them under 10 shots for two of the three periods.

The 1-1 tie would take the two teams through the end of the first and seven minutes into the second. It was an even-strength goal from Calgary that would give the Wranglers a 2-1 lead and their first lead of the night. In a physical next couple of minutes Tucson would answer the bell and tie things up 2-2. It was Justin Kirkland scoring for the Roadrunners; punching one through the Calgary netminder's five hole and into the back of the net. Kirkland was assisted by Max Szuber on the play. Calgary would answer be and retake the lead 3-2 just 26 seconds later. Tucson outshot Calgary 13-10 in the frame and 43-24 in the game.

Calgary would extend their lead to two at the 9:56 mark of the third period. The 4-2 lead would be held by the Wranglers for just over two minutes. Hunter Drew would score and cut the lead to one. Drew was assisted by Curtis Douglas and the 5,178 fans in attendance would come alive.

The final seven and a half minutes would be a fight from both sides but ultimately the scoring was done. Calgary would hold on to the 4-3 lead and defeat the Roadrunners 2-0 in the series.

"It's tough, we worked so hard and fought all year. Obviously, it's do or die so there is a lot of fight in us. It's a good group in there, there are a ton of high character guys and we've had a blast all year. There is a lot of bright futures in there (the locker room) and I'm going to miss it for sure," said Forward Cam Hebig following Tucson's 4-3 loss on Friday night.

Images from this story

Tucson Roadrunners' Hunter Drew on game night
Tucson Roadrunners' Hunter Drew on game night

(Kate Dibildox)

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