Game #1: Tucson Roadrunners (3) at Texas Stars (2)
SOG: TUC (30) – TEX (27)
PP: TUC (1/3) – TEX (1/5)
TEXAS SCORING: Kyle McDonald (1), Logan Stankoven (1)
TUCSON SCORING: Jan Jenik (1), Josh Doan (1), Milos Kelemen (1)
ROADRUNNERS WIN SIXTH STRAIGHT OPENING GAME IN TEXAS ON FRIDAY
Cedar Park, Texas – The Tucson Roadrunners kicked off the 2023-2024 regular season with two points and a tally in the win column. Tucson held off the Texas Stars 3-2, scoring a goal in each period and killing off 4 of the 5 Texas power-plays they faced. Jan Jenik, Josh Doan, and Milos Kelemen all found the back of the net for the Roadrunners and goalie Matthew Villalta made his presence felt in Cedar Park, Texas; stopping 25 of the 27 shots against him. The two teams will drop the puck tomorrow at 5:00pm for round two of the weekend series.
YA GOTTA SEE IT
The hopes are high for the Tucson Roadrunners, both in the locker room and from the eyes of the fans. With tonight’s 3-2 victory over the Texas Stars, Tucson looks to build on a playoff campaign in 2022-2023 and take the standard to an even higher level moving forward as a franchise as they won their season opener for the sixth-straight season.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
Prior to the game, Roadrunners Head Coach Steve Potvin announced that Steven Kampfer had been named Captain and Zach Sanford and Ben McCartney would serve as Alternate Captains. Friday was Kampfer’s 611th professional game after being acquired by the Coyotes from Detroit in March for Tucson’s playoff run. Sanford was signed this summer to a one-year, two-way contract and joined the Roadrunners from the Coyotes this past week. McCartney, 22, is an Alternate Captain for the second-straight year.
Roadrunners forward Jan Jenik celebrates with Stephen Kampfer after he broke the 0-0 tie with a goal in the first period of tonight’s contest. Tucson would hold off the Texas Stars and walk away with two points and an opening night win.
THEY SAID IT
Anyone in our lineup can play on any given night and make a big impact. It’s a pleasure coming to the rink with the boys and playing for this organizationRoadrunners Goalie Matthew Villalta after the win
The Tucson Roadrunners headed to Texas to take on the Texas Stars in the 2023-2024 season opener and left with a 3-2 win and their sixth-straight season opening win. Forward Jan Jenik got the party started for Tucson with a goal just 4:17 into the first frame. It wasn’t until 16:54 into the first that Texas would answer with a Kyle McDonald goal. Tucson was successful on three penalty-kills in the period but 0/1 on the power-play. Tucson netminder Matthew Villalta stopped 10 of the 11 shots on goal he faced in the period.
The second period was action packed; 13 shots on goal for Tucson and 2 penalty-kills for the visiting Roadrunners. The scoring was stagnant until Josh Doan found himself with a great rebound opportunity 12:27 into the period. Doan was assisted by Jan Jenik and John Leonard on the play. After a roughing minor on each side the teams skated 4-on-4 to no avail. It wasn’t until a Cam Crotty hooking minor with 4:03 left in the second period that Texas got their first power-play goal of the season. Tucson outshot Texas in the frame 13-8 but headed to the locker room still knotted up at 2 apiece.
Period 3 started with some chippy play but nothing was called until a slash on Nicholas Caamano. Texas would ultimately kill off the slashing minor, but give up the game winning goal to Tucson forward Milos Kelemen. Kelemen, who had ripped a huge one timerm that hit the pipe, in the second nearly giving Tucson the lead at the time found the back of the net with help from teammates Aku Raty and Ryan McGregor who were credited with assists on the play. The stingy Tucson defense would bend but not break for the rest of the contest eventually giving Tucson the 3-2 victory on opening night.