Game #54: Tucson Roadrunners (3) vs Calgary Wranglers (2)

Roadrunners Recap: 3/6/2024

Game #53: Tucson Roadrunners vs Calgary Wranglers

SOG: TUC (27) – CGY (34)

PP: TUC (2/6) – CGY 0/7)

CALGARY SCORING: Adam Klapka (14), Brett Sutter (7)

TUCSON SCORING: John Leonard (11), Justin Kirkland (5), Milos Kelemen (13)


TUCSON, AZ – If you took the first letter of the day of the week Wednesday’s game was played on, you would get the result for the Roadrunners who defeated the Wranglers 3-2 to improve to 31-18-3-2 on the year from the Tucson Arena.

If your name is John Leonard, we are pretty sure hockey is just easy for you. Or at least penalty shots look easy. John Leonard got Tucson on the board in the second period of Wednesday night’s contest against the Calgary Wranglers. Leonard scored his 11th goal of the season on the play and has 27 total points. Leonard is in his first season with the Roadrunners.


Left to right: Jake Wagman (Director of Hockey Operations) and Eric Bechtol (Head Equipment Manager) pose for a photo before Eric’s 2,000th professional game worked and his ceremonial puck drop on Wednesday.

TORREY PINES – Is it your dream course to play a round of golf on? If so, all you have to do is work your 2,000th game in professional hockey and the trip to California would be yours. Thank you and congratulations to Eric Bechtol (pictured above) who worked his 2,000th professional hockey game on Wednesday night. Eric joined the Roadrunners in July 2016 after working for the Coyotes’ ECHL affiliate the Rapid City Rush. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Eric has a lengthy career working in professional hockey with the Fort Worth Fire (CHL), St. Louis Blues (NHL), Kalamazoo Wings (UHL, IHL, ECHL), and the Nurnberg Ice Tigers (DEL). Eric has been with the Roadrunners since day one, and worked all 564 Roadrunners regular season games.


(Photo Credits: Lucas Ault, Tucson Roadrunners)

Milos Kelemen hurls the puck down the length of the ice to score an empty net goal late in the third period of Wednesday night’s contest. Kelemen, Justin Kirkland, Calgary skaters and Dylan Wells all watch with anticipation as the Kelemen goal was slowing down as it approached the net. A Calgary skater was also hustling down the length of the ice to try and stop the puck; but the skill of Milos Kelemen was just too much for the Wranglers to defend.


“I thought the game went excellently to be honest with you. I think that was the most the game has ever challenged us. Our guys kept emotional control and fought for a purpose that was greater than themselves. We were challenged all night to dig into our foundation and roots that got us here.”

Head Coach Steve Potvin following Tucson 3-2 win over Calgary on Wednesday evening.


Calgary scored early in the first period of Wednesday night’s contest giving them a 1-0 lead. It was the only first period goal for either side and the only even-strength goal Tucson netminder Dylan Wells would allow. Calgary outshot Tucson 17-10 in the first period and 34-27 on the night. Dylan Wells had 32 saves on the game and was the Roadrunners first star of the night.

At the 6:41 mark of the second period a Calgary skater would get called for goalie interference. That would put the Roadrunners on the power-play for the second time in the contest. Eventually, a penalty shot for Roadrunners Forward John Leonard would be given. Leonard buried the shot with one second remaining on the Roadrunners power-play and tied the game up 1-1. Dylan Wells was phenomenal in net for the Roadrunners, making 8 saves in the period and keeping things tied up 1-1 despite facing four Calgary power-plays in the period.

With a tie game in period three, it would be Justin Kirkland breaking the tie for the Roadrunners on the power-play. Kirkland would rip a one-timer from around the blue line and light the lamp; giving Tucson a 2-1 lead. Kirkland was assisted by Steven Kampfer and Aku Raty. Raty has now scored at least a point in the last six games for the Tucson Roadrunners. The game would stay 2-1 for the next nine minutes of play before an empty-netter from Milos Kelemen. Kelemen sent a shot from just in front of the Roadrunners net that traveled the distance of the ice and beat the hustling Calgary skater into the net. The 3-1 lead would not be safe for the Roadrunners as the Wranglers would score at the 19:49 mark of the period, cutting the lead to one. Calgary had pulled their goalie and made things more interesting than Roadrunners fans would’ve liked at the end. The Roadrunners held on to win 3-2 and took 3 of 4 possible points from the Wranglers in the midweek series.