Tucson Roadrunners Road Ahead: Rounding Out The Month On The Road
Upcoming Games (All times MST)
Wednesday, March 23: Tucson at San Diego, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 25: Tucson at Henderson, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 26: Tucson at Henderson, 3:00 p.m.
Who’s On The Schedule
The Roadrunners head out on the road this week for a three-game trip to close out the month of March. The trip begins Wednesday night in California, as Tucson will face off against their I-8 Border Rivals, the San Diego Gulls for the first time since the start of February. The season series against the Gulls is currently even at two wins apiece, with four total meetings left in the regular season. The last time Tucson was in San Diego, forward Mike Carcone recorded his first of two hat tricks this season in a 5-4 win on Saturday, February 5. The Roadrunners will then travel to Las Vegas to take on the Henderson Silver Knights for the final two times this season at the Orleans Arena Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26. After the three-game trip, Tucson will only have five road matchups left on their schedule compared to eight games remaining on their home ice.
Fans Flock To First Responders Night
One of the highlights of the Roadrunners three-game set with the Barracuda last week was the fan turnout all week. The total attendance across the series was the largest at the Tucson Arena over a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday since November 7, 9, and 10 in 2018. A total of 5,111 fans were in attendance for First Responder’s Night on Friday, March 18, as Tucson Head Coach Jay Varady remarked that “there was a ton of energy.” The number represented the most fans for a Friday Roadrunners home game since October 18, 2019. Prior to the Roadrunners 4-3 shootout win, the Tucson Police and Fire Departments faced off in their Inaugural Battle of the Badges Game, with the Fire Department taking home the trophy with an 8-2 victory.
A Weekend For Everyone
Rounding out the weekend at the Tucson Arena last Saturday was Hockey Is For Everyone Night presented by O’Rielly Chevrolet, as the Roadrunners took on the San Jose Barracuda for the final time this season. Fans and staff throughout the arena wore special Rainbow Roadrunners shirts from Proforma and Arizona Cottons, as the first 1,500 fans to arrive also received a Kachina-themed poster featuring Roadrunners Mascot Dusty courtesy of Tucson International Airport. Several Roadrunners, including: goaltender Ivan Prosvetov and defenseman Doyle Somerby, warmed up prior to the game with sticks featuring rainbow tape.
Carcone Clinches Team History
Tucson forward Mike Carcone cemented his place in Roadrunners team history Friday night when he lit the lamp for the 24th time this season, after returning to Tucson from the Arizona Coyotes earlier in the day. The score set a new Tucson franchise record for goals in a season as he became the second Roadrunner this year to reach 40 points. Carcone was recalled by the Arizona Coyotes Monday afternoon for his third call-up to the NHL this year, with his last outing for the Coyotes on March 14 against the Ottawa Senators. The 25-year-old made his NHL debut with Arizona on December 28, 2021 alongside six teammates from this season with the Roadrunners.
Carcone And Korenar On The Move
Along with forward Mike Carcone, the Arizona Coyotes announced Monday afternoon that they had recalled goaltender Josef Korenar from the Roadrunners. Korenar made his NHL debut on April 10, 2021 with the San Jose Sharks, before appearing in 10 games across the 2020-2021 NHL season. The 24-year-old was acquired by Arizona last offseason and has started in net for 16 games with Tucson this season. Korenar represents the 15th player this season to be on both the Coyotes and Roadrunners rosters this season and joins Ivan Prosvetov as the second goaltender to appear on both rosters.
Fasching Fires Up The Squad
Roadrunners Captain Hudson Fasching sparked the beginning of last Friday’s 4-3 win over the San Jose Barracuda by netting back-to-back goals in the first period. The outing marked Fasching’s second multiple-goal performance of the season, after his second career AHL hat trick on October 30 against the San Diego Gulls. Two of the 26-year-old’s three goals that night were also scored back-to-back in the first period, as eight of his ten total goals this season have come in the opening frame.
Matt Makes Plays
Tucson defenseman Matt Foley has found a sizeable role on the Roadrunners blue line. Foley has appeared in each of Tucson’s last nine matchups and enters the three-game road trip on his first AHL point streak. The 26-year-old has recorded an assist in each of his last two outings and posted a plus-two in Friday’s 4-3 shootout win over San Jose. Since the start of March, Foley has only taken one minor penalty and has finished with an even or better rating in all but one appearance.
Fight Night In Tucson
After a physical weekend with San Jose who ranks second in the AHL Pacific Division for penalty minutes, Tucson now takes on third-place San Diego. The series opener between the Roadrunners and Barracuda on Wednesday, March 16 was a game filled with fisticuffs. Tucson and San Jose dropped the gloves five times throughout the night, setting a new season-high for most fights in a game for the Roadrunners. Each of the first two periods only featured one bout, as Tyson Empey and Travis Barron dropped the gloves for Tucson. Tensions boiled over in the third period, with 80 total penalty minutes and three separate fights. Jan Jenik, Cedric Lacroix and Stephen Baylis each took on San Jose skaters in the final 15:29 of regulation. The Roadrunners and Gulls have dropped the gloves twice in four prior matchups this season, both times being between Tyson Empey and Hunter Drew.
Joining The Fold
The Roadrunners had three fresh faces in the lineup for their three-game series with San Jose last week. Appearing in all three contests were forwards Stephen Baylis and Mitch Lewandowski. Baylis was back with Tucson for his third stint of the season, after previously playing in four games with the Roadrunners since the start of 2022. The leading goal scorer for the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush tallied three shots on goal and his first AHL fight in Wednesday’s series opener. Lewandowski joined Tucson at the end of their previous road trip for back-to-back matchups with the Texas Stars on March 11 and 12. The 23-year-old from Michigan State University recorded his first professional point with an assist in Saturday’s series finale with the Barracuda. Making his professional debut in Saturday’s game was forward Philip Lagunov out of the University of Vermont, where he was the team’s leading scorer this season. The 23-year-old faced off against new teammate Cam Crotty six times during his collegiate career while Crotty was at Boston University. Another addition to the Tucson roster this week is forward Colin Thiesen on a PTO. The 24-year-old takes the trip down I-10 to join the Roadrunners from Arizona State University, where he tallied 42 points (19g 23a) in 35 games to lead the Sun Devils in scoring this season. One final addition to the roster with Josef Korenar heading up to the Arizona Coyotes is backstop David Tendeck from the Rapid City Rush. Tendeck appeared in three games with Tucson earlier this season and has posted a .915 save percentage with a 2.49 goals allowed average (GAA). The 22-year-old began his Roadrunners career with a shutout streak of 92:30 across February 9 and 11.
Did You Know?
The Roadrunners have had a reputation this season for playing close games with their opponents. 21 of Tucson’s 52 total contests so far this year have been decided by one goal, with the Roadrunners possessing a 12-4-4-1 record over those matchups. Tucson has had ten games go past regulation this season, including twice over their last four outings. With the Roadrunners heading to Henderson this weekend, three of their six previous meetings this season have been one-goal games.
On The Air
The Tucson Roadrunners Happy Hour with Adrian Denny and Brett Fera goes live every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fox Sports 1450 AM and the iHeartRadio app. This week’s edition will feature special guest Jody Jackson from Bally Sports Arizona to preview this week’s Coyotes Insider episode that originates from Tucson. In addition to Roadrunners Happy Hour, the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast is available every Sunday, where Adrian Denny and Jimmy Peebles talk most things Tucson Roadrunners. The weekly podcast can be found on the iHeartRadio app.
(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox/Chris Hook)