Game #64: Tucson Roadrunners (7) vs San Diego Gulls (3)

Roadrunners Recap: 3/30/2024

Game #64: Tucson Roadrunners vs San Diego Gulls

SOG: TUC (36) – SD (29)

PP: TUC (2/4) – SD (1/4)

SAN DIEGO SCORING: Andrew Agozzino (19), Sasha Pastujov (9), Judd Caulfield (10)

TUCSON SCORING: Justin Kirkland (7,8), Jan Jenik (16), Hunter Drew (6), Nathan Smith (10), Aku Raty (14), Travis Barron (9)


TUCSON, AZ – It was a night full of gulls, seven of them to be exact, as the Tucson Roadrunners defeated San Diego 7-3 to improve to 37-22-3-2 on the year from the Tucson Arena.

Seriously, someone check on that net. Hunter Drew ripped a clap bomb that legitimately might have gone through the net. It would be more shocking to hear that Drew’s game-winning goal was not the hardest recorded shot in the AHL this season than that it was. Hunter Drew buried the second period goal tallying his sixth of the season, two of which have come against his former team, San Diego. Drew is a sixth year pro in his first season with the Roadrunners. Four of those season were spent in San Diego. That must’ve felt good.


FAN-TASTIC – Six different times this season the Tucson Roadrunners have scored four goals in a period. All six of those occasions have happened at the Tucson Arena. That HAS to have something to do with the best fan base in the AHL. December 1st, 2nd, and 15th all featured a four goal period for the Roadrunners as well as March 13th, 17th, and 30th. That is a three-game home streak of four goal periods, and another stretch featuring three of five consecutive home games with a four-goal period. Moral of the story:


(Photo Credits: Lucas Ault, Tucson Roadrunners)

Forward Jan Jenik stands up after scoring second period goal with his face covered in snow. Jenik, who dove in an effort to score the puck, scored his 16th goal of the season. Colin Theisen, who had two assists in the game, was there to brush the snow out of Jenik’s helmet. No two hockey games are the same and you see something new every night in hockey. Snow all over Jenik’s face was certainly new.      


“We knew we needed a response after last night and top down everyone went out and did their job. The boys made it easier for me tonight keeping the shot volume down. Hats off to all the guys, it was a great team effort. You could tell we were playing the right way even early on. We started to get rewarded for it in the second and it paid off with seven goals,”

Goalie Dylan Wells following Tucson’s 7-3 victory over San Diego on Saturday evening. 


San Diego started the scoring in period one just after the nine-minute mark of the frame. From that point forward it was a game dominated by the Roadrunners on Hockey Is For Everyone Weekend at the Tucson Arena. Justin Kirkland would score the early equalizer on a power-play from an odd angled shot just a minute and a half after San Diego took the 1-0 lead. Steven Kampfer and Aku Raty picked up assists on the Roadrunners first goal. San Diego would answer the Kirkland goal and take a 2-1 lead into the second period. 

It would be Justin Kirkland scoring his second goal of the game, this one at even-strength, to again, tie San Diego 2-2. Aku Raty and Steven Kampfer both assisted Kirkland again, giving all three players multiple-point games early in the second frame. Following the second goal Jan Jenik would make a diving play to score again giving Tucson their first lead of the night and series. Colin Theisen and Cam Crotty assisted Jenik who ended up with a face full of snow on the play. The pesky San Diego Gulls would again answer, tying things up 3-3 in the second period. It was a short-handed goal for San Diego to knot things back up. 

Just over a minute later it would be Hunter Drew, former San Diego Gull, scoring the game-winning goal for the Tucson Roadrunners. Drew has scored three of his six goals on the season this year against his former team. Drew was assisted by Curtis Douglas and Max Szuber. In the final minute of the frame it would be Nathan Smith receiving the puck in front of the net and shooting a bar-down beauty to extend Tucson’s lead and give the Roadrunners a four goal period. Colin Theisen and Victor Soderstrom picked up assists on the Smith goal. 

With a 5-2 lead, Tucson was not finished, Aku Raty, team’s active leading scorer, would light the lamp just 0:42 seconds into the third on the power-play. Just over a minute of gameplay elapsed between Nathan Smith’s goal at the end of the second, and Raty’s goal to begin the third. John Leonard and Justin Kirkland assisted Raty on the play. Kirkland picked up his third point of the contest after two early goals. In the final five plus minutes of the game, it would be Travis Barron scoring the seventh goal of the evening for the Roadrunners. Barron was so excited to score he himself slid into the net in the attempt to make sure the puck was in the back of the net. Vlad Kolyachonok and Curtis Douglas assisted Barron on the play.

Tucson netminder Dylan Wells recorded 26 saves on the night, including 11 in the first period. Wells picked up his ninth win of the season on Saturday night.  

Tucson would hang on to the 7-3 score and add two-points to the standings. The Roadrunners will square off against Bakersfield on the road on Wednesday evening.