Game #1: Tucson Roadrunners (0) vs Calgary Wranglers (2)

Roadrunners Recap: 4/24/2024

Game #1: Tucson Roadrunners vs Calgary Wranglers

SOG: TUC (46) – CGY (35)

PP: TUC (0/5) – CGY (0/3)

CALGARY SCORING: Cole Schwindt (1), Matt Coronato (1)



TUCSON, AZ – It was an electric Whiteout atmosphere in the Tucson Arena for Game One of the playoffs as the Tucson Roadrunners fell 2–0 to the Calgary Wranglers to open the three-game series from the Tucson Arena.

The only three guarantees in life are death, taxes, and Tucson Roadrunners netminder Matthew Villalta making big saves in big moments. Villalta, the AHL’s regular season wins leader, made 33 saves in the contest against Calgary. Villalta allowed just one goal in the game and looks to continue standing on his head in game two on Friday evening.


OH SO HE’S GOOD GOOD – That puts it mildly, but yes. The 2023-2024 AHL All-Star Goaltender Matthew Villalta allowed one goal or fewer in 14 of 49 starts during the regular season. Villalta led the AHL in wins (31), minutes, and potentially games of one goal or fewer allowed (we’ll let the true diehards fact check us on that one). Villalta made 33/34 stops in Wednesday’s night’s Game One matchup of the playoffs.


(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox)

Forward Conor Geekie awaits an incoming puck in the third period of Wednesday night’s contest. Geekie, the Arizona Coyotes 11th overall pick in the 2022 draft, made his professional debut for the Roadrunners in the game. Geekie was a standout in the Western Hockey League scoring 99 points in 55 games for both the Wenatchee Wild and Swift Current Broncos.


“We have to get our rest and get ready for Friday. It is fun playing in the moment and keeping the puck out of the net. We will see what areas we need to improve on and find some spots to put the puck in the net. Intensity better be high and we better leave it all on the ice for our fans,”

Goalie Matthew Villalta following Tucson’s 2-0 loss on Wednesday night.


Despite having 46 shots on goal, the Roadrunners were unable to find the back of the net in the Wednesday night matchup against the Wranglers. The two sides squared off in a back and fourth battle that featured two goalies who stood on their head for the entire contest.

The first period was scoreless between the two teams, however, Calgary had 13 shots on goal while Tucson had 15. Tucson had three power-play opportunities in the period while Calgary had one. Tucson would successfully kill the first period power-play for the Wranglers as well as one in the second period and one in the third.

The scoreless tie was broken at the 6:14 mark of the second period when Calgary would find the back of the net on an even-strength goal to take the 1-0 lead. Tucson would record 15 shots on goal in the period for the second consecutive period, but were still unable to get one by the Wranglers netminder.

Calgary would hold the one-goal lead for much of the frame, despite the valiant effort from the Roadrunners, hitting the post on multiple occasions throughout the game; but ultimately being unable to score. Calgary would add an empty-netter late after Tucson pulled goalie Matthew Villalta to give the Wranglers a 2-0 lead. Matthew Villalta shined bright for the Roadrunners making 33 saves and giving up just a single goal.

Tucson looks to bounce back in a must-win game two on Friday evening against the Wranglers from the Tucson Arena. Puck drop is at 7:00pm.