Doan and Villalta Help the Pacific Division Win the All-Star Challenge

San Jose, California – Tucson Roadrunners Forward Josh Doan and Goaltender Matthew Villalta helped the Pacific Division win the 2024 AHL 3-on-3 All-Star Challenge for the second-straight season Monday evening in San Jose California.

The team overall went undefeated at 2-0-2 (4 points) in the tournament.

In the Pacific’s first game, Josh Doan had a couple of good looks for his team against the North Division, but game one ended in a 1-1 shootout tie.

In the Pacific Division’s game two against the Atlantic, Doan led a zone entry with just 14 seconds remaining down 2-1 with Villalta pulled. San Jose Barracuda defenseman Shakir Mukhamadulin tied things up with seven seconds left that forced another shootout. Shooting first, Doan scored on his first try with a nice forehand backhand on Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins netminder Joel Blomqvist. Villalta stopped 2/3 shootout attempts with a left saguaro pad save on Leigh Valley Phantoms forward Tuomaala and glove save on Springfield Thunderbirds forward Adam Gaudette. In result, Doan scored the only shootout goal for the Pacific and they tied 2-2 against the Atlantic.

In the Pacific’s game three, they faced the Central Division where the winner would advance to the final round of the All-Star Challenge. Villalta played in one half in of regulation making two saves on three shots while Calgary Wranglers netminder Dustin Wolf played the second half. The team entered its third-straight shootout of the tournament, where Wolf stopped all five shot attempts he faced and fellow Calgary forward Matt Coronato made the only goal in the shootout, advancing the Pacific to the finale.

In the finale game against the Atlantic, the Pacific Division was down 2-1 with a 1:23 left, but Doan tied things up with a rebound goal on a setup from San Diego Gulls Defenseman Olen Zellweger. Abbotsford Canucks forward Arshdeep Bains sealed the win on a breakaway game-winning goal with 15 second left on the clock.

The Pacific would go on to win 3-2 for their second-straight All-Star Challenge championship in front of the San Jose crowd and Arshdeep Bains was named the tournament MVP.

Doan finished the tournament with a goal, a shootout goal and an assist while Villalta stopped five out of nine shots he faced.

The Roadrunners now go back to action on Friday February 9 and Saturday February 10 to face off the Iowa Wild currently at first place in the Pacific Division and Second in the Western Conference with a 28-13-1-1 record.