Game #44: Tucson Roadrunners vs. Iowa Wild

Game #44: Tucson Roadrunners (28-13-1-1) vs. Iowa Wild (15-25-1-2)

Time Friday, February 9, 6:00 p.m. MST, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa



Tucson Roadrunners Current Roster: CLICK HERE

Referees: #49 Riley Brace, #29 Samantha Hiller

Linespersons: #5 Chad Evers, #28 Jake Paugh

The Tucson Roadrunners play their first game out of the All-Star Break and fourth-straight game on the road; while also bringing a four-game winning streak back to action. Tucson looks to match their season-high with a five-game win streak that they set December 20 to December 30 as well as their season high win streak on the road which is four. Tucson is 7-1-0-0 against Central Division opponents and last swept the Iowa Wild in two games back at the TCC on January 15 and January 17. As for the Minnesota Wild Affiliate, Iowa is currently in sixth place in the Central Division; having allowed 30 goals in the last five games which is six goals-against per-game.

Three things:

  1. The current line of Curtis Douglas, Travis Barron and Cameron Hebig have mixed well in Tucson’s recent win streak. Out of the last 13 Roadrunner goals, that line has contributed to four goals with two on January 27 against Ontario, the game-winning goal in San Diego on February 2 and the second game-tying goal in Coachella Valley on February 3. All three members of the line are on current two-game scoring streaks. Hebig has five points in his last four games, Douglas has four points in his last six games and Barron has three points in his last four games. In addition, Hebig is tied for first on the team with Josh Doan in multiple-point games (6) and has seven total points (1 goal, 6 assists) in his last nine games.
  2. Coming out of the All-Star break, goaltender Matthew Villalta leads the AHL in wins (22), games played (33), minutes (1965.59) and saves (888). He has two more wins and four more starts than the next goaltender who has played the most games in the league, Jet Greaves from the Cleveland Monsters. On the road this season, Villalta is 13-4-0 with a 3.01 goals against average and .909 save percentage.
  3. Though Tucson’s second period shot totals have been a highlight of the season, the Roadrunners first period has now become the top outshooting period for the team. On the season, Tucson is outshooting the opposition 424-370 in first periods which is a 54-shot differential. In second periods, the Roadrunners have outshot other teams 471-419, higher numbers but that is a 52-shot differential. In the last nine games, Tucson has outshot opponents 109-67 in first periods with having 12 or more in seven of those first periods and allowing single digit shots in five games.

What’s the word?

Seems that a lot of things are going right for us right now; the biggest thing is we’re showing up, working hard, taking it one day at a time and we’re having fun doing it.

Roadrunners goaltender Matthew Villalta on Roadrunners success prior to the All-Star Break.

Number to Know:

52 – Defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok was reassigned to the Roadrunners on February 6 after suffering an injury on November 25 against the Vegas Golden Knights with the Arizona Coyotes. Kolyachonok has not played a game with the Roadrunners since November 12; he has three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in 11 games played with Tucson this season.

Latest Transactions:

  • Defenseman Steven Kampfer and forward Justin Kirkland were recalled by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL), then assigned back to Tucson (AHL) on Sunday, February 4.
  • Defenseman Brandon Estes was released from his PTO on Sunday, February 4.
  • Forward Micah Miller was assigned to Atlanta (ECHL) on Sunday, February 4.
  • Forward Reece Vitelli was assigned to Atlanta (ECHL) on Monday, February 5.
  • Defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok was assigned to Tucson (AHL) on Tuesday, February 6 by the Coyotes.
  • Goaltender Anson Thornton was assigned by Arizona (NHL) from Tucson (AHL) to Reading (ECHL) on Thursday, February 8.


Tonight’s game will be broadcasted live on the radio on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app. Coverage will begin at 5:45 p.m. MST with Roadrunners Warm-Up hosted by Jonathon Schaffer, before the “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny has all the action from Wells Fargo Arena. The game will also be televised on AHLtv.