Game #18: Tucson Roadrunners (3) at Ontario Reign (2)

Roadrunners Recap: 11/28/2023

Game #18: Tucson Roadrunners at Ontario Reign

SOG: TUC (21) – ONT (33)

PP: TUC (0/3) – ONT (1/4)

ONTARIO SCORING: T.J. Tynan (3), Akil Thomas (4)

TUCSON SCORING:  Austin Poganski (2), Jan Jenik (3), Cameron Hebig (4)


ONTARIO, CA – There was not a cloud in the sky as the Tucson Roadrunners defeated the Ontario Reign 3-2 on Tuesday in Ontario to improve to 10-6-1-1. The Roadrunners finish their five-game in eight-day trip at 3-1-1-0 and return home to host San Jose Friday and Saturday from Tucson Arena.


Tucson Roadrunners Forward Austin Poganski scored the breakaway shorthanded goal to give Tucson the 1-0 first period lead. Poganski was unassisted on the play and scored the Roadrunners second shorthanded goal of the season. Cameron Hebig had the first shorthanded goal of the year for Tucson on November 18 and also scored in this period on an assist from Poganski. 2-point Poganski and the Roadrunners led 3-0 after one,


NO SHAVE NOVEMBER Okay, now replace the word “shave” with “one scores on Matthew Villalta in”. In the month of November Matthew Villalta was fantastic going 6-2-0-1 with a .926 save percentage. He allowed just 22 goals against in 298 shot attempts and wasn’t without help from an offensive standpoint though, Dylan Guenther led the way for Tucson with 11 points in 12 games played during the month of November with 4 goals and 7 assists along with a plus-7. Victor Soderstrom was also on a tear with 9 points in 12 games played during the month; scoring 2 goals and adding 7 assists. Nathan Smith had 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) and Josh Doan had 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists) to round out the top four point scorers in the month. The Roadrunners, as a team, went 7-3-1-1 in November.


(Photo Credits: Ontario Reign)

Forward Austin Poganski skates through the handshake line after scoring a shorthanded goal in the first period. Poganski also added an assist in the period on Cameron Hebig’s goal. Tucson jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first 20 minutes.


We’re relentless and we don’t give up. When the going gets tough, we step it up a notch and battle for each other. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and have fun doing it.

Goalie Matthew Villalta following Tucson’s 3-2 win in Ontario, CA.


The first period would’ve led you to believe it was going to be a nice relaxing evening for Roadrunners fans everywhere. An early high-sticking minor on the Roadrunners was not to be an issue for the Tucson penalty-killing unit. Forward Austin Poganski would find himself with the puck and nothing but the Ontario netminder in the way. He would put the puck in the back of the net and light the lamp for a shorthanded goal. Poganski was unassisted on the play, his second goal in two games after he tied the game at two in the third period Sunday in Henderson. Just under two minutes later Jan Jenik, recently returned from the Arizona Coyotes, would find out what the Ontario goal horn sounds like and put one in the back of the net himself. Jenik was also unassisted on the play. At the 17:37 mark, Cameron Hebig decided he wanted to make it a crowd and score Tucson’s third goal of the period. It was Hebig’s fourth goal of the year, and he was assisted by Austin Poganski and Victor Soderstrom.

A three-goal lead is not something Tucson has seen a bunch of this season, and Ontario wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Reign stormed back with two goals of their own in the second frame. The supposed to be relaxing Tuesday evening for Roadrunners fans was no more as it was suddenly a one-goal game with a third period to go. Ontario scored at the 8:26 and 12:20 mark of period two. Their second goal was on the power-play.

In the third period Ontario seemed to be knocking of the door the entire frame but stellar defense and netminder Matthew Villalta, standing on his head, would fend off the feisty Reign team. An early period penalty-kill would lead into some tensions rising. Defensemen Montana Onyebuchi would drop the gloves near center ice with a Reign player. A 5-minute fighting penalty would lead the two sides to skate 4-on-4. Ontario would pull their goalie with 2:17 remaining in the game in an attempt to tie things up. Villalta and the Roadrunners would prevail and secure the two points. Ontario outshot Tucson in all three periods totaling 33-21 on the night. Matthew Villalta would stop 31/33 shots and pick up his 9th win of the season.