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 Tucson Roadrunners

Roadrunners Win 38th; Beat San Diego 4-1

April 7, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Tucson Roadrunners News Release

Tucson Roadrunners' Sam Lipkin in action
Tucson Roadrunners' Sam Lipkin in action
(Tucson Roadrunners, Credit: San Diego Gulls)

SAN DIEGO, CA - It was a national holiday in San Diego, Sam Lipkin's professional debut, as the Tucson Roadrunners defeat the San Diego Gulls 4-1 to improve to 38-23-3-2 on the year from the Pechanga Arena.

Hunter Drew got the scoring started in San Diego at the 14:22 mark on a rip from just in front of the blue line. Drew, who scored his seventh of the year and third against San Diego, was assisted by defenseman Max Szuber on the play. Matthew Villalta stood on his head all night, especially in the first, stopping a breakaway chance from San Diego and all nine shots he faced in the frame.

Matthew Villalta kept the hot streak rolling into the second period where he was again, perfect, making nine saves on nine attempts and keeping San Diego scoreless. It wouldn't be until a cross-checking minor on San Diego late in the frame that Tucson would extend their lead. Defenseman Victor Soderstrom would light the lamp for the Roadrunners on the power-play and give Tucson the 2-0 lead. Colin Theisen and Austin Poganski assisted Soderstrom on the power-play snipe.

The third period would truly begin at the 6:15 mark when Cam Hebig would receive a pass from Sam Lipkin, a Quinnipiac alum making his professional debut, and dance his way through defenders and bury the puck. It was Hebig's 10th goal of the season and the first professional point for Lipkin who assisted Hebig. San Diego would answer with a goal at the 15:02 mark breaking the 55+ minutes of shutout hockey from netminder Matthew Villalta. It would take just 47 seconds for Curtis Douglas to respond with a Roadrunners goal making it a 4-1 game. Douglas was assisted on a beautiful pass in front of the net from Travis Barron who picked up his seventh assist of the season. Hunter Drew would also assist Douglas on the goal giving him a two-point night, his second multiple point game of the season.

Tucson would hold on to win with a score of 4-1 and look to add another two standings points on Sunday against the Gulls.

"That one felt good, it's been a long time coming to play in this arena again and it feels good to help the team win especially at this time of the year. We are jelling at the right time and all year he (Matthew Villalta) has been our rock. Home ice goes a long way in this league and in this division and we want to stay in Tucson as much as possible," said Forward Hunter Drew following Tucson's 4-1 victory over San Diego on Saturday night.

Images from this story

Tucson Roadrunners' Sam Lipkin in action
Tucson Roadrunners' Sam Lipkin in action

(San Diego Gulls)

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