1-on-1 with Matt Villalta

Roadrunners goalie Matt Villalta joined Adrian Denny, Kim Cota-Robles and Brett Fera on this week’s edition of Roadrunners Happy Hour to talk about coming to Arizona and the season so far. Catch Happy Hour every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1450 AM and the Roadrunners Happy Hour Podcast on the iHeartRadio app.

Listen to “Goalie Time With Villalta” on Spreaker.

Q: Welcome to Happy Hour, how are you doing?

Thank you I appreciate it. I’m doing pretty good, just taking it easy this afternoon. I looking forward to chatting with everyone then I’m going to head to dinner later. It’s been a pretty good day.

Q: I don’t remember us ever having three-straight weekends at home. We were on the road to open the season and then then here for six-straight games, three-straight weekends, and we’ve only got one other trip until Thanksgiving. So nice to get settled in a good time of year to be here.

Totally, yeah, it’s definitely nice. You know we moved into our place, Hunter Drew and I, maybe a couple weeks ago now. It’s kind of nice getting everything in the house settled and it feels like home now. I feel like there’s always a lot going on when you first move into a new place. You have to get all of your things and everything you need. Now it just kind of feels like we got that part sorted out and it’s just comfortable. It’s definitely nice to be at home for three weeks and get our feet settled in here and get rolling with the Roadrunners.

Q: Is it a pretty chill vibe in your house with you and Hunter in there?

I would say so, yeah. We obviously spend a lot of time together at the rink and whatnot, when we come home we like to play Xbox, Call Of Duty, and our girlfriends are in town so we’re spending a lot of time with them, just hanging out. We like to have our own time, but we also do a lot of things together. One of our things is Hunter’s a pretty good cook in the kitchen so we do fun things like that. It’s just always fun hanging out and spending good quality time together. It’s just been a blast and it’s an absolute pleasure to live with someone who I’ve known for a long time.

Q: You mentioned at the start of the show, Matt, that you were going to head out to dinner. Where are you going tonight? We like to know where you guys like to go or what you haven’t tried, so that next time we talk to you we can ask you what you got and if it was good and if we should go follow up.

Tonight, I’m heading to Texas Roadhouse. That’s the spot. My girlfriend actually showed it to me this past summer when I was living in Scottsdale. I’d never been to one before this summer. I got hooked on the bread rolls and the cinnamon butter.

Q: You mentioned last time we talked to you, that you like the tight games. At the same time, teams aren’t going to win if you don’t score goals, so where does it leave you when you’re in the game? Where’s your confidence level with that at this point so far?

I think the biggest thing is just patience. From my standpoint, my position, or I guess anyone’s position on the team, is control what you can control. My job is in the net and I have to keep the puck out of the net; everyone’s going to be doing their job on the ice so I believe in our group. I believe in everyone as a player and like I said, everyone’s very good and they’re definitely capable of scoring goals so even though we haven’t scored a whole lot. I really do believe that that we’re going to be finding the net. As long as everyone’s doing their part to contribute to the team; I think we’re pretty well off as a group.

Q: What else do you think are the big things you see with this team that is the next step to kind of take the next step? What do you kind of like that you’ve seen so far out of this team through six games? What do you think that is the next key is to getting over whatever the next hump may be?

A big thing and on a team is everyone’s family and you see that on the ice. Guys sticking up for each other, guys going to battle every single night for the guy next to him and I think that’s the biggest thing. One of the most important things on a team is that everyone has each other’s backs. I feel like in the last couple games we’ve had really good shifts of consistent pressure, playing our game, doing all of the fundamentals that we talked about within the locker room. I think the biggest thing is consistency, doing it over and over and over again. Just not doing it two or three shifts. I think the next step for us is being able to play our system, play our game consistently and not take a couple shifts off. Obviously it’s early in the season and it’s a long season, but I think if we can be consistent with our structure and everyone’s doing their job the right way, I think the sky’s the limit for this team. I’ve definitely seen parts of really very good hockey that we play, and then there’s also times where we kind of let off of the gas a little bit. It’s part of the game, you get tired, mentally everyone gets a little mentally fatigued. Especially with the busy schedule. We can’t make excuses for ourselves. It’s our job and I think that just the next step is just being consistent and doing it shift after shift.