Game #57: Tucson Roadrunners (3) at Milwaukee Admirals (2)

SOG: TUC (31) – MIL (27)

PP: TUC (0/3) – MIL (1/6)

TUCSON SCORING: Michael Kesselring (14), Vlad Kolyachonok (3), Curtis Douglas (5)

MILWAUKEE SCORING: John Leonard (12 PP), Spencer Stastney (5)


Tucson, Arizona – The Tucson Roadrunners defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 on Friday night from the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena to improve to 4-1-2-0 over their last seven games. Roadrunners forward Mike Carcone highlighted the series opener by setting a Tucson franchise record for points in a season (68) with a pair of assists. After falling behind 1-0 with 6:04 gone by in the first period, defensive partners Michael Kesselring and Vlad Kolyachonok scored consecutive goals to give Tucson their first lead of the night, before forward Curtis Douglas put the Roadrunners on top for good in the third period with his fifth goal of the season. Tyler Parks started in goal for Tucson, stopping 25 of 27 shots faced to earn his fourth victory of the season in his first career start against Milwaukee.


Roadrunners forward Curtis Douglas scored the eventual game-winning goal for Tucson with 3:14 gone by in the third period Friday night, his fifth goal of the season. Since joining the Roadrunners on November 23, Douglas has tallied five goals and six assists for 11 total points in 35 outings. The 23-year-old’s goal on Friday was the first game-winning goal of his American Hockey League career and his 50th AHL point since scoring a goal in his North American Professional debut with the Belleville Senators on April 10, 2021.


DEFENSE GETS IT DONE – Each of the Roadrunners first two goals in Friday’s 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Admirals were scored by the defensive pairing of Michael Kesselring and Vlad Kolyachonok. Kesselring put Tucson on the board with 3:10 left in the first period when he netted his 14th goal of the season, the most by a Roadrunners defenseman and tied for the second most among AHL blue-liners this season. He then assisted on Vlad Kolyachonok’s second-period score to give Tucson their first lead of the night at 2-1 with 10:04 gone by in the middle frame. Kesselring and Kolyachonok were paired up for the first time last Friday on the Arizona Coyotes blue-line, as Kesselring made his National Hockey League debut after being acquired by Arizona the day before.


Friday’s series opener between the Roadrunners and Admirals marked Tucson’s first ever trip to Milwaukee in the regular season. The Roadrunners previously topped the Admirals in a preseason contest on September 28, 2019, with a final score of 5-0. After their 3-2 win over the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators, Tucson has earned at least a standings point in six of their last seven outings and in eight of their last nine series openers. In all, the Roadrunners have a 7-1-1-0 record in their last eight series openers dating back to a 6-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors on Friday, January 20.


“We’re trying to get to the playoffs here, and that’s the focus. I thought we did a great job [Friday]… We knew we had to buckle down, and we did a good job of doing that and came out with a win.”

Roadrunners Forward Mike Carcone on Tucson’s 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday. Carcone recorded a pair of assists in the win to set a new Roadrunners single-season scoring record with 68 points (26g 42a) in 50 outings this year.


The Admirals got the scoring started on their home ice with a goal 18 seconds into their second-straight power-play to open the contest. Forward John Leonard netted his 12th score of the season in his first game back from the NHL’s Nashville Predators to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead with 6:04 gone by in the first period. Penalties were even through the rest of the opening 20 minutes with each team taking one trip to the man-advantage, as the Roadrunners edged the Admirals in shots 14 to 13. Tucson tied the contest at 1-1 with 3:10 still to play in the period when defenseman Michael Kesselring lit the lamp for the first time since joining the Roadrunners last weekend, with assists from Nathan Smith and Mike Carcone. The goal put Kesselring in a tie for second place in the AHL in goals by a defenseman this year with 14, while Carcone’s assist tied him with Tucson’s single-season scoring record of 67 points. With the score still tied at 1-1 at the start of the second period, the Roadrunners took a 2-1 lead just past the midway point of the frame with a four-on-four goal by Vlad Kolyachonok, the blue-liner’s third time lighting the lamp this year. Michael Kesselring added an assist on the goal by his defensive partner for a multi-point performance, while Carcone registered his second assist of the game to stand alone with the Roadrunners single-season points record of 68 points (26g 42a) in 50 appearances. Milwaukee evened the contest back up at 2-2 with 4:34 still to play in the middle frame, sending the Roadrunners to the third period tied with their opponent for the third consecutive game. Tucson’s offense went to work quickly in the third, and Curtis Douglas fired in a shot for his fifth goal of the season and a 3-2 Roadrunners advantage 3:14 into the period. After going on the penalty-kill five times through the opening 28:43 of play, Tucson shut down Milwaukee’s only trip to the man-advantage in the third period and held the Admirals to just seven shots in the frame to come away with a 3-2 win in the series opener. The Roadrunners and Admirals will face off Saturday at 5:00 p.m. MST for the final matchup of their four-game season series.

(Photo Credits: Milwaukee Admirals)