Game #61: Tucson Roadrunners (3) vs San Jose Barracuda (1)

Roadrunners Recap: 3/23/2024

Game #61: Tucson Roadrunners vs San Jose Barracuda

SOG: TUC (38) – SJ (34)

PP: TUC (1/3) – SJ (0/3)

SAN JOSE SCORING: Brandon Coe (10)

TUCSON SCORING: Josh Doan (26), Colin Theisen (6), Vlad Kolyachonok (8)


SAN JOSE, CA – If you had the team from Tucson advancing in your bracket, you would be correct as the Tucson Roadrunners defeated the San Jose Barracuda 3-1 on Saturday afternoon to improve to 36-20-3-2 on the year from the TECH CU Arena.

In honor of March Madness going on, channel your inner Dick Vitale “Are you serious?” calls as you watch Matthew Villalta make an incredible save in the second period of Saturday afternoon’s contest with the Barracuda. Villalta picked up his 26th win of the season on Saturday afternoon, which is second in the AHL. The fifth year pro boasts a .910 save percentage and 2.61 GAA.


LIKE FINE WINE – The Tucson Roadrunners got better with age in Saturday afternoon’s contest with San Jose like a fine wine. It was a flawless final 59:12 minutes of hockey for Tucson netminder Matthew Villalta and the rest of the Tucson Roadrunners. After allowing a goal at the 0:48 second mark on just the second shot of the game, Villalta would make the next 32 saves and keep San Jose scoreless. The Roadrunners offense would need 39:24 to score their first goal of the game and tie things up. It would take just 5:34 for Josh Doan to score the game-tying goal and Colin Theisen to score the game-winning goal in the contest.


SAN JOSE, CA – MARCH 23: The San Jose Barracuda host a game against the Tucson Roadrunners at Tech CU Arena on March 23, 2024 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Andreea Cardani/San Jose Barracuda)

Defenseman Victor Soderstrom sprays himself with a water bottle to keep himself cool before Saturday afternoon’s contest against the San Jose Barracuda. The entire Roadrunners team could be in the shoes of Soderstrom keeping cool as they have won five of their last six games and are 7-2-1-1 in March. The Roadrunners are in second place in the Pacific Division with 77 points in 61 games played.  


“We just try to take it easy out there. The boys got going and found our game as the game went on. The penalty-kill was really good and the boys made some big blocks and cleared out traffic. We’re going to take it easy tonight and get ready for tomorrow,”

Goalie Matthew Villalta following Tucson’s 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon.


Tucson gave up a goal faster than in any other game this season, just 48 seconds into the contest, then goaltender Matthew Villalta and company would save the next 33 attempts and hold San Jose to just the early goal. A 1-0 San Jose lead would hold for nearly 40 minutes of play, until the final minute of the second period. In that final minute of the second frame, it would be Tucson Roadrunners leading scorer and AHL rookie leading goal scorer Josh Doan lighting the lamp and knotting the game up at one apiece. Doan scored on the power-play and was assisted by Jan Jenik and Aku Raty. Raty now has seven points in his last five games and Josh Doan has eight points in his last six, and a six-game point streak.

The third period would remain in a 1-1 tie for the first 5:10 seconds of play before Colin Theisen would score the game-winning goal to give Tucson a 2-1 lead. Theisen found the top corner of the net off the passes from Jan Jenik and Victor Soderstrom. It was Jenik’s second point of the night and his 10th multiple-point game of the season which leads the Roadrunners in that category.

San Jose pulled their goalie late and Vlad Kolyachonok would take advantage, scoring the empty net goal at the 18:27 mark to extend the Tucson lead to 3-1. The Roadrunners would secure the 3-1 victory and two points. Tucson was 1-3 on the power-play while holding the Barracuda to 0-3 on the power-play. The two teams battle it out tomorrow afternoon at 3:00pm in San Jose.