Embarking on their fourth journey of professional hockey in Southern Arizona, the Roadrunners began the 2019-20 campaign with a pair of contests in the largest state within the continental United States.
Beginning a schedule outside the Pacific Division for the first time, the Roadrunners raised some eyebrows with a controlling 2-0 victory over the Texas Stars on Friday.
Led by a defensive effort that held the Stars in a vice-grip, Antti Raanta, making a spot start on a conditioning loan from the Arizona Coyotes, posted a 19-save shutout before being summoned back to Glendale on Saturday.
The momentum of the season-opening victory continued into Sunday afternoon’s matinee 100 miles south in San Antonio against the Rampage.
A goal in the first by Lane Pederson was followed by fellow Swift Current Bronco alum Tyler Steenbergen in the second and the Roadrunners were rolling.
Penalty trouble and a bit of let-up per Pederson allowed San Antonio not only back into the contest but handing them the power in all facets by way of five unanswered goals.
Making his season debut, Adin Hill was removed from the game in the third period after allowing five goals on 30 shots. First-year Swedish netminder Erik Kallgren stopped both shots faced in his North Amercian pro debut.
Where They Stand
Record: 1-1-0-0 (.500 Win Percentage)
Pacific Division: Fourth Place
Western Conference: Eighth Place
The Week That Was
Friday, October 4
Roadrunners (2) at Stars (0)
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
Sunday, October 6
Roadrunners (2) at Rampage (5)
Up & Down
Recalls (TUC -> ARI)
Wednesday, October 3: Kyle Capobianco
Saturday, October 5: Antti Raanta (Removed From Conditioning Loan*)
Assignments (ARI -> TUC)
Wednesday, October 3: Ilya Lyubushkin
Alumni In Action
This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Over three seasons Conor Garland paid his dues in Tucson, playing in 131 games with the Roadrunners. This Opening Night though, Garland was playing in front of 17,125 at a sold out Gila River Arena.
Highlight Of The Week
First power play attempt of the season, first successful power play of the season. After Michael Chaput is tossed from the faceoff dot, Brayden Burke, a natural winger, wins the draw back to Aaron Ness at the point. Like clockwork, Ness goes right to Merkley, drawing the attention of the Texas penalty killers. This allows #10 to sling a pass back through the circles before Burke unleashes a wicked shot that beats Landon Bow over the shoulder for the club’s first goal of the season.