Game #39: Tucson Roadrunners vs. Ontario Reign

Game #39: Tucson Roadrunners (24-12-1-1) vs. Ontario Reign (21-14-3-1)

Time: Friday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. MST, Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona



Tucson Roadrunners Current Roster: CLICK HERE

Referees: #71 Brody Sutter, #24 Jack Young

Linespersons: #74 Eric Anderson, #76 Gabe Lomen

The Tucson Roadrunners begin the final two games of the six-game home stand with a series matchup against Los Angeles Kings affiliate the Ontario Reign. The Roadrunners enter Friday with a slim lead for first place in the Pacific; they are tied in points with the Coachella Valley Firebirds (50) but have the better win percentage at .658 with one game in hand. Tucson is 2-1-0-0 against the Reign in the first three-games of the season series all played at Ontario in one-goal games. The Roadrunners are 13-2-1-1 in one-goal games this season and 4-1-0-1 at the TCC in such contests.

Three things:

  1. The Roadrunners are 3-1-0-0 in the first four games of the current six-game homestand that closes out this weekend. In the first 18 games of the season, Tucson was 3-4-0-1 in eight games played at the TCC averaging 2.25 goals per game and allowing 3.37 goals against per game. Since then, the Roadrunners jumped their home record to 11-6-0-1 after going 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 home games dating back to December 1. In that stretch, the Roadrunners have averaged 3.70 goals-per-game while allowing 2.30 goals-against per-game. In addition, Tucson is 8-0-0-1 when scoring first and with a lead after two periods at home.
  2. Goaltender Matthew Villalta looks for three-straight wins against his former team the Reign. Villalta is currently on a season-high win streak of four games while owning a 1.00 goals against average and .961 save percentage in that stretch. On the season Villalta remains first in games played (29), minutes (1721) and saves (773). He is currently tied for first in wins with Cleveland Monsters netminder Jet Greaves with a record of 19-9-1, a 2.47 goals against average and .916 save percentage.
  3. With defenseman Victor Soderstrom being called up to the Arizona Coyotes, Max Szuber now holds the top spot in scoring from a defenseman on the active roster. Szuber notched a crucial goal in Tucson’s 3-2 win over the Henderson Silver Knights in last Saturday’s affair with his first goal at the TCC this season. Szuber is on a two-game scoring streak with a goal and assist and has 11 points (1 goal, 10 assists) in his last 19 games with 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) overall on the season.

What’s the word?

We just have to make sure that we push the pace for the next couple of games because you want to maintain that first place position; so got to keep working.”

Tucson forward Lleyton Moore on being first place in the Pacific Division with the upcoming series against Ontario.

Number to Know:

79 and 37 – Roadrunners defenseman Montana Onyebuchi and Reign forward Jacob Doty dropped the mitts twice in the three games these two teams have faced against one another. Overall, the Roadrunners fight total is 20; Onyebuchi leads the way with six while Curtis Douglas is second at five.

Other Roadrunners who have been involved in a fight include:

Hunter Drew (2)

Travis Barron (2)

Ben McCartney (2)

Cam Crotty (1)

Jan Jenik (1)

Current Chicago Blackhawk Zach Sanford (1)

Latest Transactions:

  • Defenseman Victor Soderstrom was called up to the Arizona Coyotes (NHL) on January 23 for the first time this season.
  • Goaltender Dylan Wells was signed to an AHL contract following his Professional Tryout Agreement and defenseman Brandon Estes was signed to a PTO from Savannah (ECHL) on January 24.
  • Forward Justin Kirkland was reassigned back to the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) from the Coyotes on January 25.

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 6:45 p.m. MST with Roadrunners Warm-up hosted by Jonathon Schaffer, before the “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny has all the action from the TCC. The game will also be televised on AHLtv.