Game #1 – Tucson (1-0-0-0) at San Antonio (1-0-0-0)
1 PM MST, AT&T Center– San Antonio, TX
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Referees: Reid Anderson (#49), Carter Sandlak (#6)
Linesmen: Julien Fournier (#56), Carl Sasyn (#12)
Less than 48 hours after opening their season with a 2-0 blanking of the Texas Stars, the Roadrunners are back in action for a Sunday afternoon matinee in the Lone Star State.
While the talk of Game #1 undoubtedly was Antti Raanta’s flawless effort on a conditioning loan start, the collective effort defensively shouldn’t be disregarded.
But now, a new day and a new challenge.
San Antonio enters today’s contest at 1-0 themselves, taking down an impressive Manitoba on Friday, limiting them to just 22 shots and one goal
1) While the Roadrunners would love to roll out Antti Raanta as their starter for all 68 games this season, the reality of it is that Mr. Raanta is a solidified NHL starting goaltender and above all we should be thrilled that he appears healthy and ready to return to his post in Glendale. With that being said, that means one of three goalies will be making their season debut for the Roadrunners today. Does the franchise staple Adin Hill get the nod or due to yesterday’s travel does the club get a North American pro debut from either one of Erik Kallgren or Ivan Prosvetov?
2) What a job by the special teams units Friday in Texas. You can’t ask for much more than a power play goal less than four minutes in and a perfect night on the penalty kill. The man advantage was operating at a very impressive clip, moving the puck around at a pace that gave zero implications that it was the team’s first game of the season and first time playing together. There’s firepower and a lengthy list of personnel that can contribute for the Roadrunners each team the opposition commits an infraction and something we’ll want to keep an eye on.
3) It’s only one game and sample sizes are obviously small but looking across the ice today, this San Antonio team is no joke. Featuring a batch of high-end St. Louis Blues prospect and a mix of established AHL contributors, this will be a nice early-season test for Tucson. Goaltending is a strong part of the Rampage’ fabric as well, featuring a tandem of Ville Husso and Adam Wilcox. Husso once recorded a 44-save shutout at Tucson Arena back in February of 2018 and Adam Wilcox has registered a winning record each of his last four seasons with three different clubs. While it’s likely Tucson will see both over the next 13 days, they know they’re in for a challenge.
What’s The Word?
Roadrunners Forward Michael Bunting on the team’s win Friday…
“I’m really happy with the guys play. I think we played really well, actually, for the first game. It was a long summer and to come out like that, it was pretty impressive.”
Roadrunners Forward Michael Bunting on the team’s early man advantage…
“We were actually saying in the room that we haven’t seen a six-on-five that long in a long time. It built a lot of momentum for us that led into the first power play and then [Brayden Burke] had a really nice goal.”
Roadrunners Forward Michael Bunting on his line with Michael Chaput and Lane Pederson…
“Both of those guys are really good players. I played with Chaput a lot last year and [Lane Pederson] was my center for a bit as well. We’re all really good friends off the ice as well and I think that goes a long way.”
Number to Know
3. Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe not. Through three full seasons as a franchise, all three seasons the Roadrunners second game of the campaign has come on the road. Additionally, they’re 3-0. Can they make it four today?
We’re Doing It Live
Catch tonight’s active LIVE on AHLTV or join Roadrunners play-by-play voice Adrian Denny on 97.1 The Bull today only as he calls the game from the Roadrunners’ flagship radio station, where coverage begins at 12:45 PM.