Game #33: Tucson Roadrunners vs. Abbotsford Canucks

Game #33: Tucson Roadrunners (20-10-1-1) at Abbotsford Canucks (18-10-2-1)

Time: 8:00 p.m.



Tucson Roadrunners Current Roster: CLICK HERE

Referees: #40 Mogan Macphee, #58 Jack Hennigan

Linespersons: #76 Augus Middleton, #92 Nathan Howes

The Tucson Roadrunners close out their five-game road trip with a two-game series in Abbotsford for a crucial series against the Canucks. As the Pacific Division continues to heat up, the Roadrunners and Canucks are separated by just three points with Abbotsford having a game in hand. The two teams split their first series at the TCC in the middle of December, with each having a dominant win. The Roadrunners have not won a game at the Abbotsford Centre since the Canucks began play in the 2021-22 season.

Three things:

  1. Forward Justin Kirkland was reassigned back to the Roadrunners on Thursday and has been lethal this season in the lineup. Kirkland has 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists) in 12 games played this season and is the only player on the roster who averages over a point-per-game. Kirkland is also part of the five-player tie for the most multiple-point games this season by a Roadrunner. However, he is second amongst the five for the total points in the four multiple point games with one goal and nine assists. Kirkland is one of three Roadrunners players with a four-point night with his four-assist effort against the Chicago Wolves on November 4. The other two are Dylan Guenther (2 goals, 2 assists), who is currently with the Arizona Coyotes, and Aku Raty (3 goals, 1 assist).
  2. The Roadrunners’ shot margins have been impressive the past few games, but the second period has become the focal point in that success once again, similar to the beginning of the season. In their last six games, the Roadrunners have outshot their opponents in the second period by an 81-37 mark including three of those games in which they have 15 shots for more in the period. Overall, the Roadrunners are outshooting their opponents 356-284 in the second frame this season and have a 14-3-1-0 record overall when they outshoot the other team.
  3. Goaltender Matthew Villalta was selected for the 2024 All-Star Classic in San Jose along with forward Dylan Guenther. Entering tonight’s game, Villalta is second in the AHL in wins (15) while leading in games played (25), minutes (1481), and saves (674). Tucson’s goaltenders consisting of Villalta, Dylan Wells and Anson Thornton have allowed 88 total goals this season which averages 2.76 goals against per game while also combing for a .905 save percentage.

What’s the word?

It’s been nothing but awesome; top down from management to all the staff, I am very thankful to them and fortunate for the opportunity I have been given.”

Tucson goaltender Matthew Villalta on his All-Star Selection.

Number to Know:

11- Tucson is undefeated at 11-0-0-0 when scoring first on the road this season and has yet to lose in regulation when scoring first at 17-0-0-1 overall. Tucson’s 12-5-1-0 record away from the TCC is the third best winning percentage in the league at .694, right behind the Cleveland Monsters .711 and the Hershey Bears .800.

Latest Transactions:

  • Forward Justin Kirkland was reassigned by the Arizona Coyotes to the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) on Thursday, January 11.

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 British Columbia. The game will also be televised on AHLtv.