Game #38: Tucson Roadrunners (3) vs Henderson Silver Knights (2)

Roadrunners Recap: 1/20/2024

Game #38: Tucson Roadrunners vs Henderson Silver Knights

SOG: TUC (34) –HSK (22)

PP: TUC (1/4) – HSK (0/3)

HENDERSON SCORING: Daniel D’Amato (2, 3)

TUCSON SCORING:  Austin Poganski (9), Max Szuber (4), Milos Kelemen (8)


TUCSON, AZ – The Tucson Roadrunners defeated the Henderson Silver Knights 3-2 on Saturday night to cause the second dealer’s choice of the season series between the two teams as the Roadrunners improved to 24-12-1-1 on the year.

Milos Kelemen is riding a hot hand and robbing the dealer (Henderson Silver Knights) as he scored a goal in the third period of Saturday night’s contest to give Tucson 3-1 lead, and he also scored in Friday nights contest. Kelemen has eight goals on the season and has scored a goal in four consecutive games.


WHAT RHYMES WITH ALL-STAR – Matthew Villalta. Well, not really, but he is really good. Since being named a 2024 AHL All-Star Matthew Villalta has been nails. Or a wall. Or both, whatever you prefer to describe him as. Since the All-Star announcement, Villalta is 4-0 in four starts. In those four games he has allowed just four goals. In those four wins he has added to his season total and AHL league-leading 19 wins on the season.


(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox, Tucson Roadrunners)

Pictured left to right Milos Kelemen, Austin Poganski and Justin Kirkland celebrate after Austin Poganski’s first period goal to tie the game 1-1. Kelemen and Poganski give each other knucks, both players scored in the two games against Henderson this weekend. Kelemen has scored in his last four games and Poganski has scored in his last three. The celebration happened in from of 4,368 Roadrunners fans in attendance on Saturday night.


“It was the end of a long stretch for both teams, but we managed the puck and have Matt Villalta behind us; which gives us a lot of confidence. Everybody buys in and plays the right way,”

Forward Justin Kirkland after Tucson’s 3-2 win no Saturday night.


It was Beach Night at the Tucson Arena on Saturday night and the Tucson Roadrunners found themselves enjoying their toes in the sand and a power-play opportunity early in the first period. The Margaritaville-like relaxation would come to an end though as the Henderson Silver Knights would score a shorthanded goal and take the 1-0 lead. The second power-play of the evening for Tucson would end in a better result as Austin Poganski would find the back of the net and knot things up at one apiece. Poganski has been on fire, scoring in three consecutive games for the Roadrunners. Poganski was assisted by Victor Soderstrom and Justin Kirkland on the play.

The second period was quiet for both teams through the first 19 minutes and change. Henderson outshot Tucson 10-5 in the frame and the Tucson penalty-kill unit was successful on two Silver Knights power-play chances. In the final 45 seconds of the period Max Szuber found himself on a breakaway and buried the puck off of a Henderson defender’s stick. Szuber, who picked up his fourth goal of the season, was assisted by Ryan McGregor and Curtis Douglas on the play. Tucson would take their first lead of the night into the final frame.

Milos Kelemen, who has spent time back and forth between Tucson and Scottsdale/Tempe (with Coyotes) this year, would start the third period how the Roadrunners ended the second – with a goal. Kelemen has now scored a goal in four consecutive games for the Roadrunners and has increased his goal total on the year to eight. Aku Raty would get the assist on the Kelemen goal, which gave Tucson a 3-1 lead. Henderson added a goal at the 12:54 mark to make things interesting for the final seven minutes of the game. Tucson held off the Silver Knights and maintain first place in the Pacific Division.

Tucson returns home on Friday and Saturday January 27-28th for a series with the Ontario Reign.