Game #30: Tucson Roadrunners vs. San Jose Barracuda

Game #30: Tucson Roadrunners (19-8-1-1) vs. San Jose Barracuda (10-14-4-0)

Time: Wednesday, January 3, 8:00 p.m. MST, Tech CU Arena, San Jose, California



Tucson Roadrunners Current Roster: CLICK HERE

Referees: #83 Jordan Watt, #93 Phillip Kasko

Linespersons: #57 Matthieu Audet, #21 Alexander Ledovskiy

The Tucson Roadrunners are riding a five-game win streak heading out on a five-game road trip beginning in the Bay Area against the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate in the San Jose Barracuda. Tucson ended their December with the AHL’s second best record at 9-2-0-0 and has a chance to take sole possession of first place in both the Pacific Division and Western Conference with a victory. San Jose ended their December with a 5-6-0-0 record and look to start their new year off with their first win of the season against Tucson.

Three things:

  1. The Roadrunners are 3-0-0-0 this season against San Jose, scoring 20 goals combined in the three wins for an average of over six goals per-game. Forward Aku Ray, who lead the team in scoring in December, leads in scoring against San Jose with three goals and three assists for six points. This includes his four-point contest in Tucson’s last matchup at Tech CU Arena against the Barracuda on December 20, where he scored his first AHL hat trick and added an assist. The Roadrunners are also 6-for-19 in their last five games on the power-play (31%) and 4-for-12 (33%) against San Jose this season.
  2. Tucson netminder Matthew Villalta had a rest day in the team’s 3-2 win last Saturday against the San Diego Gulls; but still leads the AHL in games played (23), minutes (1365) and is tied for first in wins (15) with Jet Greaves from the Cleveland Monsters. In his last start, which came against the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Villalta stopped 36 of 37 shots faced. In games this season where Villalta has faced over 30 shots, he is 8-1-0-1 with a 2.77 goals against and .932 save percentage.
  3. After getting the 3-0 sweep in their last road trip, the Roadrunners are 11-3-1-0 (23 points) on the road this season; which is the best record away from their home barn in the Western Conference and one point behind Hershey’s best at 12-3-0-0 (24 points).

What did they say?

I think we’re clicking in a lot of ways and we’re doing good things off of the forecheck and creating chances off of that; it’s been our bread and butter as of recent.”

Tucson Forward John Leonard on the team’s success on their five-game winning streak.

Number to Know:

6 – The number of players who are currently on a scoring streak heading into Wednesday’s game. Dylan Guenther is on a four-game streak (4 goals, 4 assists) while Aky Raty (2 goals, 2 assists), John Leonard (3 goals), Justin Kirkland (5 assists) Milos Keleman (1 goal, 2 assists) and Nathan Smith (1 goal, 3 assists) are all on three-game streaks. Smith is considered day-to-day still with an injury and could return to the lineup at any given time.

Latest Transactions:

  • On Tuesday, January 1, forward Colin Thiesen was loaned to Toledo (ECHL).

On The Headset:

Tonight’s game will be broadcasted live on the radio on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app. Coverage will begin at 7:45 p.m. MST with Roadrunners Warm-up hosted by Jonathon Schaffer, before the “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny has all the action from Tech CU. The game will also be televised on AHLtv.