Tucson Roadrunners Road Ahead: March Madness

Upcoming Games on Three-Game Road Trip In California (All Times MST)

Wednesday, March 20, Tucson @ Ontario, 7:00 p.m. 

Saturday, March 23, Tucson @ San Jose, 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 24, Tucson @ San Jose, 3:00 p.m.

Roadrunners Record Through 59 Games: 35-19-3-2 (75 points), second place in the Pacific Division, third place in the Western Conference.

Playing The Percentages:

The Roadrunners are coming off of their best homestand of the season going 4-0 in four games and outscoring their opponents 20-6; which is the best goal differential for the Roadrunners in a homestand that is four games or more this season. This included three of those four home games where Tucson scored 10 total goals in the third period while just allowing two goals in the same span. This also included two games where the Roadrunners scored four goals in the third period; marking 14 total periods this season that Tucson has scored three goals or more in a period. In addition, when scoring three goals or more in a period the team is undefeated at 11-0-0-0. In the first nine games of March, Tucson is outscoring opponents by a 31-23 mark; which averages to a 3.44 goals for per game and 2.55 goals against per game. The highest goal differential the Roadrunners have had this season came in December where they outscored opponents 47-34 in 11 games; which averaged to 4.27 goals per game and 3.09 goals against.

Three Headed March Monsters All Around:

In the month of March, Tucson’s line combinations have stayed solidified; which have resulted in great offense for the team. However, the current line combos have shown the best chemistries the Roadrunners have seen all season with: Milos Kelemen-Nathan Smith-Aku Raty, Colin Theisen-Jan Jenik-Josh Doan, Ben McCartney/John Leonard (Coyotes)-Justin Kirkland-Austin Poganski and Curtis Douglas-Travis Barron-Cameron Hebig all finding ways to score for Tucson. Since March 1st, Kelemen, Smith and Raty have combined for 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists), Theisen, Jenik and Doan have combined for 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists), Kirkand, Poganski and McCartney/Leonard have combined for 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) and Douglas, Hebig and Barron have combined for nine points (3 goals, 6 assists). Forward Aku Raty has led the way for Tucson with 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in March including; one goal and five assists in his last three games. Jan Jenik is second in March scoring with five goals and five assists for 10 points. Raty and Jenik are also in the top 10 in scoring of the AHL in March with Raty tied for second and Jenik tied for fourth.

Feelin Blue:

Heading into the series with the Texas Stars, Roadrunner defensemen had combined for 30 points in the previous 12 games. After a combined eight points in the two-game series versus the Texas Stars, Roadrunner defensemen have now combined for 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists) in the last 14 games with Captain Steven Kampfer still leading the blue line with 11 points (1 goal, 10 assists) in the same span. Out of the entire AHL, Kampfer is tied for fourth in defensive scoring in the last 14 games since February 16 and leads Tucson now in multiple-point games from a defenseman with four after a three-assist night versus the Stars on March 17.

Goalies Guarding The Net:

In the month of March, Tucson netminders Matthew Villalta and Dylan Wells have become the one-two punch for the Roadrunners in back-to-back matches against their opponents. Since March 1, the two goalies have combined for a 2.74 goals against average and .909 save percentage with a 6-1-1-1 record. This includes Wells’ 2.34 GAA and .933 save percentage in March with an undefeated record of 3-0-0-0. In those three starts, Wells faced 34 shots or more to secure huge wins for Tucson. In total, Wells is 6-1-1-0 with a 2.76 GAA and .923 save percentage when facing 33 shots or more this season. In addition, Villalta is 2-0-0-0 with a .50 GAA and.982 save percentage in his last two starts. 

From SoCal to NorCal:

The Roadrunners head to California for a three-game road trip against the Ontario Reign and two games against the San Jose Barracuda. This season, the Roadrunners are 16-12-0-1 against California teams and 9-4-0-0 in the Golden State. The Roadrunners look to win the season series against the Ontario Reign currently up 4-3 with the eighth game coming on Wednesday March 20. This season, the Roadrunners have already won a season series against the Henderson Silver Knights (5-1-1-1), Texas Stars (4-0-0-0) and Chicago Wolves (3-1-0-0) while up 4-0-0-0 on the San Diego Gulls and 3-1-0-0 on the San Jose Barracuda. In addition, though the season series remained tied 2-2, the Roadrunners technically have winning records against the Calgary Wranglers and Iowa Wild with records of 2-1-1-0 against each of those teams.

We’ll Do It Live:

Tucson Roadrunners Happy Hour airs every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app, with a podcast version also available after each episode on the iHeartRadio app. This week, Jonathon Schaffer, Kim Cota-Robles and Brett Fera host a round-table special joined by Ben McCartney, Peter DiLiberatore and Montana Onyebuchi. In addition, the latest edition of the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast dropped Saturday Night after Tucson’s 4-0 homestand where they heard from multiple players with head Coach Steve Potvin as well as Brad Koerner and his “Hey I have a question” segment that plays for the third straight week.