Game #71: Tucson Roadrunners (5) vs San Jose Barracuda (1)

Roadrunners Recap: 4/19/2024

Game #71: Tucson Roadrunners vs San Jose Barracuda

SOG: TUC (20) – SJ (35)

PP: TUC (1/4) – SJ (0/1)

SAN JOSE SCORING: Scott Sabourin (18)

TUCSON SCORING: Aku Raty (15), Max Szuber (7), Cam Hebig (12), Nathan Smith (12), Ben McCartney (6)


TUCSON, AZ – The Roadrunners took a little extra time to warm up (about 54 minutes) as they scored four goals in the final 5:12 of the game to defeat San Jose 5-1 and improve to 43-23-3-2 on the year Friday night from the Tucson Arena.

Max Szuber scored a backhanded game-winning goal in the third period of Friday night’s game. The lives of Tucson Roadrunners fans (this might be a little dramatic) were saved as the puck was buried in the back of the net. Szuber, who made his NHL debut earlier this season, recorded his fourth multi-point game of the year. Szuber was a 6th round draft pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 draft and is playing in his first season with the Roadrunners. Szuber has recorded 27 points in 70 games for the Roadrunners.


JOHN LEONARD – The Tucson Roadrunners won their 43rd game on Friday evening defeating the San Jose Barracuda 5-1. The 43rd win of the year marks the franchise record for wins in a season. This is the same number of wins as John Leonard’s jersey number (to answer the question of why is this titled “John Leonard”). The Roadrunners have one more game to play to add to the win total.


(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox)

Forward Ben McCartney celebrates with teammates Travis Barron and Peter DiLiberatore after his third period goal in Friday night’s 5-1 victory over the San jose Barracuda. McCartney scored his sixth goal of the year on the play and was assisted by Travis Barron and Max Szuber.


“When we play a full 60 minutes and have four lines rolling we are a hard team to beat. We are looking to gear up for playoffs and playing in these games has been a lot of fun. We have a lot of great players coming down and we have a deep team and a lot of options,”

Forward Cam Hebig following Tucson’s 5-1 victory on Friday evening.


It was a quiet first twenty minutes from the Tucson Arena Friday night for the Roadrunners, who would surrender a goal to the Barracuda five minutes into the period, but only allow seven total shots in the frame. No penalties were given out in the first and San Jose would take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.

An early roughing minor on San Jose would send the Roadrunners to a power-play, one they would capitalize on, scoring the game-tying goal three minutes and change into the second frame. It would be Aku Raty, Tucson’s current leading scorer, tallying the power-play goal and knotting things up at one apiece. Raty’s top shelf beauty was assisted by Austin Poganski and Colin Theisen.

Through 10 total penalties given out in the frame the score would remain 1-1 for the remainder of the second. Tucson would outshoot San Jose 17-11 in the period and Tucson netminder Matthew Villalta was perfect; making all 11 saves. Villalta would pick up his 30th win, which leads the AHL, on Friday night.

Things would really get fun in the third period, starting at the 14:28 mark when Max Szuber would score game-winning goal on a backhanded shot from Hunter Drew. Curtis Douglas would also pick up an assist on the play. Just over a minute later, Cam Hebig would find the back of the net and light the lamp for Tucson, giving the Roadrunners a 3-1 lead. Austin Poganski and Ben McCartney would assist Hebig on the goal.

After San Jose pulled their goalie, Nathan Smith scored an empty-netter; sending the Tucson Arena into party mode. With the San Jose goalie back in net, Ben McCartney would join the action, scoring the Roadrunners fifth goal of the night, and fourth goal in a stretch of four minutes and thirty two seconds.

Tucson would win the game 5-1 in front of 5,397 Roadrunners fans. The regular season finale gets underway Saturday evening at 7:00pm.