Game #13: Tucson Roadrunners (4) vs Coachella Valley Firebirds (5)

Roadrunners Recap: 11/18/2023

Game #13: Tucson Roadrunners vs. Coachella Valley Firebirds

SOG: TUC (30) – CV (30)

PP: TUC (1/2) – CV (0/4)

COACHELLA VALLEY SCORING: Max McCormick (6), Jacob Melonson (2), Cameron Hughes (2), Max McCormick (7), Devin Shore (1)

TUCSON SCORING:  Ryan McGregor (2), Cameron Hebig (3), Dylan Guenther (5), John Leonard (2)


TUCSON, AZ – The Tucson Roadrunners dropped a Hockey Fights Cancer Night matchup against the Coachella Valley Firebirds 5-4 Saturday night to go to 7-5-0-1.


Tucson Roadrunners Forward John Leonard scores a game tying third period goal in Tucson’s 5-4 loss on Saturday night. Leonard has three points in three games including a goal and an assist tonight, and a goal last night.


SPECIAL TEAMS The Tucson Roadrunners penalty-kill has been special all season and continues to trend in the right direction. The Roadrunners are batting a thousand in their last 18 penalty-kill attempts. To go along with the 18 successful PK’s, the Roadrunners have scored two power-play goals and a short handed goal in their last three games.


(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox, Tucson Roadrunners)

Tucson Forward John Leonard fires up the crowd with his heroic third period game tying goal. The emotion on Leonard’s face was the same feeling the Tucson faithful felt as the Roadrunners had climbed back from a 4-1 deficit in the first.


It was unfortunate the way we way started tonight but I couldn’t be prouder of our guys’ resilience and the way we competed the rest of the night

Head Coach Steve Potvin following the Roadrunners 5-4 loss


You can look at the first period in one of two ways. Either it was a slow start for the Roadrunners or a fast start for the Firebirds. Coachella Valley came out and scored two goals in the first 5:14 of play. Ryan McGregor would answer with a goal for the Roadrunners at the 10:03 mark. McGregor was assisted by Zach Sanford on the play. Just when you thought the scoring was done for the first period Coachella Valley would answer just over a minute later to take the 3-1 lead. After a Tucson goalie change, a fourth goal for Coachella Valley would find its way into the back of the net. 

The second period was more of a Tucson Roadrunners period as they would outscore Coachella Valley 2-0 in the frame to bring the score to a 4-3 game. A Hunter Drew roughing minor at the end of the first would put the Roadrunners on the penalty-kill. Just before the Coachella Valley power-play expired Cameron Hebig would light the lamp for the Roadrunners scoring a short-handed goal. Hebig was assisted by John Leonard and Max Szuber on the play and you could feel the momentum and energy in the building shift. After two more successful Roadrunner’s penalty-kills they would finally get their chance at a power-play. Dylan Guenther would let one fly on the power-play and get it past the Firebirds netminder with just seven seconds remaining in the period. A slow start to the first but a strong second period and we had a 4-3 hockey game.

In the third period it was John Leonard who found himself tying the game 4-4 with just under eight minutes remaining. The Tucson Arena erupted as the lamp was lit and all seemed right in the world. Austin Poganski picked up his first assist of the season and Travis Barron recorded his second assist of the season. Coachella Valley was unphased by the complete momentum shift as they would answer with the game-winning goal just 1:23 seconds after Leonard’s goal. The Roadrunners would go on the power-play late and pull goalie Matthew Villalta for a 6-on-4 power-play but would come up unsuccessful. Tucson would drop the contest 5-4 on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Tucson Arena. 

“It was unfortunate the way we way started tonight but I couldn’t be prouder of our guys resilience and the way we competed the rest of the night” said Head Coach Steve Potvin following the Roadrunners 5-4 loss.