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 Tucson Roadrunners

Tucson Roadrunners Road Ahead: Rollin' the Dice in Tucson

January 17, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Tucson Roadrunners News Release


Upcoming Games (All time MST)

Wednesday, January 17: Tucson vs Iowa, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, January 19: Tucson vs. Henderson, 7:00 p.m.

Monday, January 20: Tucson vs Henderson, 7:00 p.m.

This Year's Record:

22-11-1-1 (2nd Place In Pacific Division)

"OHHHH WE'RE HALFWAY THERE":

With game #36 coming on Wednesday against the Iowa Wild, the Roadrunners hit their halfway mark of the 72-game season. As of now the Roadrunners are well within the playoff mix and one of the top teams in the AHL. Tucson is within a point of first place with the Calgary Wranglers not only in the Pacific Division but the entire Western Conference. In the AHL the Roadrunners are currently tied at fourth place at 46 points, just two behind the second-best team the Cleveland Monsters. Dylan Guenther still leads the team in points despite being recalled to the Coyotes on January 6. He carries 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 29 games played. Josh Doan, who has been on a tear as of recent, leads Tucson in goals (15), power-play goals (6) and game-winning goals (7) and could be on pace to break or match Michael Carcone's single-season goal total at 31. Victor Soderstrom leads Roadrunners defensemen in scoring with eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points; which is tied for 11th in the AHL by scoring from a defenseman. Defenseman Montana Onyebuchi leads the team in penalty minutes (66) and fights (6) while Tucson has been in 19 total brawls this season with Curtis Douglas (5), Travis Barron (2), Hunter Drew (2), Jan Jenik (1), Ben McCartney (1), Cam Crotty (1) and former Roadrunner Zach Sanford (1).

He's Not Doan Yet:

As mentioned prior, Josh Doan leads the team in goals and is second overall in scoring but has advanced his play to the next level since December and is becoming one of the most dangerous players in the AHL. Since December 1st, Doan has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 17 games. His 15 goals on the season are currently tied for 5th in the AHL and second amongst rookies; just one behind AHL leading scorer Logan Stankoven. In addition, his seven game-winning goals stand alone at first in the league by three and his six power-play goals rank first in the AHL in rookie scoring.

Matthew Villwallta and Dylan Walls:

Tucson netminder Matthew Villalta has been one of the best goaltenders in the league as the season hits the halfway point. His 27 starts, 17 wins, 1601 minutes and 733 saves all rank first in the AHL. Since being named a 2024 All-Star, Villalta is 2-0-0-0 having allowed just one goal in six periods of play with 56 saves. Fellow netminder Dylan Wells has stepped in when needed this season for the Roadrunners. In his five starts, he has a 2.40 goals against average and .914 save percentage with a shutout. In Wells' last four starts and Villalta's last five starts, the two have combined for a 2.26 goals against average and .922 save percentage with two shutouts. In addition, Villalta and Wells had back-to-back shutouts on Saturday January 6 against the Chicago Wolves and Friday January 12 against the Abbotsford Canucks. It was third time in franchise history that Tucson had back-to-back game shutouts and the first time ever it was accomplished by two different goalies. In total Tucson had not allowed a goal in seven periods at 142 minutes and 53 second which is also a franchise high.

This Week:

The Roadrunners continue their six-game homestand with game two of the two-game mid-week series against the Iowa Wild and the Henderson Silver Knights on Friday and Saturday. Kids Free Night will commence again on Wednesday as kids under 12 will be admitted free with a paying adult at the Tucson Arena Box Office. El Lazo De Tucson Presented by the City of Tucson will return on Friday with Rudy's Texas B-B-Q packs will be offered that includes a game ticket, a Roadrunners merchandise item and a $25 gift card to Rudy's. Fans can also buy a ticket to Dusty's Cheering Section that includes a ticket, a Roadrunners merchandise item and a pregame Roadrunners Hockey Rules 101 Session with a Roadrunners player. Finally, Beach Night Presented by Tucson International Airport will be held on Saturday where the team will have a Roadrunners Beach Towel giveaway while supplies last as fans enter arena. The Roadrunners will also be wearing Beach Night themed Roadrunners warm-up jerseys with Beach Night themed signed Locker Room Name Plates and Straw Hats available for bid throughout the week.

On The Mic:

Tucson Roadrunners Happy Hour airs every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app, with a podcast version also available after each episode on the iHeartRadio app. This week "Voice of the Roadrunners" Adrian Denny, with Kim Cota-Robles Brett Fera are joined by Roadrunners Team President Bob Hoffman. In addition, a special Bus Stop episode of the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast released on Saturday as Adrian Denny and Jonathon Schaffer recapped Tucson's series in Abbotsford and discussed Matthew Villalta's All-Star bid while hearing un-aired cuts from his interview with Adrian. The full edition of this week's insider podcast will drop after Wednesday's game against the Wild.


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