Tucson Roadrunners Road Ahead: Road To The Cup Begins

Pacific Division First Round Best-Of-Three Series vs. Calgary Wranglers

Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 28, 7:00 p.m.

They’re Back!

On Friday, April 19, the Arizona Coyotes reassigned Dylan Guenther, Josh Doan and Michael Kesselring to the Roadrunners. Michael Kesselring was the first recall of the group on November 8; playing just the first six games for the Roadrunners. He would go on to have his breakout season in the NHL; tallying five goals and 16 assists for 21 points; with a plus/minus of +11 in 65 games. Guenther was the second to be called up on January 6; playing 45 games with the Coyotes and scoring 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points. Doan was the last recall of the three on March 25; combining five goals and four assists for nine points in his first 11 career NHL games. This season, the Roadrunners saw a record-breaking 19 player recalls this season; with six of them making their NHL debuts including: Matthew Villalta, Josh Doan, Max Szuber, Patrik Koch, Cam Crotty and Aku Raty. 167 NHL games were played between 14 different Roadrunner skaters this season; in which they all combined for 30 goals and 45 assists for 75 points.

Feelin’ Geekie

Arizona Coyotes 11th overall 2022 Draft Pick Conor Geekie was assigned to the Tucson Roadrunners by the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday, April 21; after his Western Hockey League (WHL) season ended with the Swift Current Broncos in the second round of the 2024 WHL playoffs. Geekie brings plenty of skill to the Roadrunners lineup; having played 215 games across five seasons in the WHL from 2019-2024. In those seasons, Geekie finished with a total line of 111 goals and 158 assists for 269 points. This season, Geekie played 26 games for the Wenatchee Wild before being involved in a blockbuster WHL trade on January 4 to the Swift Current Broncos. He then played 29 regular season games and nine playoff games with the Broncos to end his WHL season. Geekie finished the year with 43 goals and 56 assists for 99 points; with six goals and three assists for nine points in the WHL playoffs.

Playoff Experience:

With the Roadrunners being a relatively young team, many players will be playing in just their fourth or fifth playoff game in the best-of-three series with the Calgary Wranglers. However, players with more Calder Cup Playoff experience include: Austin Poganski, Justin Kirkland, Michael Kesselring and Steven Kampfer. Poganski has the most playoff experience on the team; playing in 29 total Calder Cup Playoff games with 24 of them coming last season with the Western Conference Champion Coachella Valley Firebirds as they advanced to the Calder Cup Finals. Kirkland has played in 21 Calder Cup Playoff games between the Milwaukee Admirals and Stockton Heat; in which he has 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) and a plus/minus of +5. Defenseman Michael Kesselring brings 13 AHL Playoff games under his belt; while Captain Steven Kampfer has played in 12 games.

Streaking Into Playoffs

The Roadrunners enter the postseason as the hottest team in the AHL; going 6-0-1-0 in the final seven games of the season. Tucson had lots of help closing out the year 7-2-0-1 in the final 10 games; come from the likes of: Cameron Hebig, Hunter Drew, Max Szuber, Travis Barron and Matthew Villalta. Hebig had the most points in the final month of April for the Roadrunners; tallying three goals and six assists for nine points; including a career-best four-point night on April 12 versus the Colorado Eagles. Hunter Drew finished second on the team in scoring for April with four goals and four assists for eight points; including a season-high four-game point streak with five points (2 goals, 3 assists). Max Szuber finished his last seven games of the season with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) and a plus/minus of +7; including his season-high three-game night on April 19. Szuber played the most games for Tucson this season at 70 in his rookie campaign. Barron had his best stretch for the Roadrunners to finish the season; notching two goals and four assists for six points in his last nine games. Goaltender Matthew Villalta started six games in April; going 5-1-0-0 with a 1.81 goals against average and .929 save percentage. Out of the goaltenders who played over 360 minutes in April, Villalta ranks first in GAA and save percentage.

We Are Live:
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 Adrian Denny with Co-Host Kim Cota-Robles are joined by Roadrunners President Bob Hoffman live from Tucson Appliance Co. In addition, the latest episode of the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast dropped Sunday after Ontario lost to Colorado; clinching the second seed in the AHL’s Pacific Division for the Roadrunners and pinning them against the Calgary Wranglers for round one of the Calder Cup Playoffs.