Tucson Roadrunners Road Ahead: Back Home For Bakersfield

Upcoming Games (All times MST)

Saturday, October 22: Bakersfield at Tucson, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 23: Bakersfield at Tucson, 4:00 p.m.

Who’s On The Schedule

The Roadrunners will host the Bakersfield Condors at the Tucson Arena this Saturday and Sunday for their Home Opener weekend, as they’ll look to win the first game of the season in the Old Pueblo for the fifth-straight year. The Condors, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, take the trip to Tucson for the first time since January, 2022. In their last matchup at the Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners came out on top with a 3-2 overtime victory, with forward Ben McCartney netting the game-winning goal just 50 seconds into the extra three-on-three period for his second score of the game. The series will also mark Roadrunners Captain Adam Cracknell’s first meeting with his former team, as the 37-year-old forward joined Tucson this offseason after spending each of the last two seasons as a member of the Condors. Saturday and Sunday’s contests with the Condors mark the first of eight total meetings between Tucson and Bakersfield this season.

Home From Henderson

Tucson returns home with a 1-1-0-0 record after their opening series of the season against the Henderson Silver Knights. The Roadrunners took game one by a score of 2-1 on Friday, October 14, before falling to the Silver Knights the following afternoon to split the weekend with one win apiece. Tucson’s roster featured 12 players back with the Roadrunners from last season, with returning forwards Travis Barron (1a), Cameron Hebig (1a), Tyson Empey (1g), and Mike Carcone (2a) all recording points. Friday’s win represented the fifth-consecutive Opening Night win for the Roadrunners to improve to a 5-2 all-time record in the first game of the season.

Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov

Last Chance For Lunch

It’s not too late to kick off the 2022-2023 season by having lunch with your favorite Roadrunners players and coaches. The Roadrunners are hosting a Face-Off Luncheon at the Tucson Arena Thursday, October 20 at 1 p.m. The opportunity to have lunch with the entire Roadrunners team and hear from General Manager John Ferguson, Team President Bob Hoffman and Head Coach Steve Potvin is $45 for Roadrunners Season Ticket Members, $50 for the General Public and $500 for a table of 10 which also includes a Roadrunners jersey. Fans will also have the opportunity to win signed raffle items and other prizes to support the team’s community efforts throughout Southern Arizona.

More Fun At The Tucson Arena

As part of their Home Opening Weekend, the Roadrunners will be hosting a variety of festivities on and around the ice at the Tucson Arena. Saturday’s Opening Night presented by the Arizona Daily Star will feature the traditional Roadrunners Red Carpet Reception to welcome the players into the arena at 4 p.m., as well as a Food Drive for Impact of Southern Arizona and a Rally Towel giveaway for the first 1,500 fans, presented by Williams and Associates. Sunday’s 4 p.m. contest will be the first of several Family Day’s on Tucson’s home schedule, with four-person family packs available for purchase HERE. Fans can also participate in a Pre-Game Trick or Treat courtesy of Raytheon, and even take the ice after the Roadrunners for a Post-Game Open Skate with select players.

Captain Adam Cracknell

1,000 For The Captain

Saturday’s series finale with the Henderson was a special night for Roadrunners Captain Adam Cracknell, as the game was the 1,000th in his professional career. Adam’s father, Peter, announced the starting lineup in the Roadrunners dressing room, with Cracknell penciled in at right wing. The 37-year-old has played professional hockey on three different continents after being drafted by the Calgary Flames in the Ninth Round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Cracknell has 210 career National Hockey League games under his belt across seven different teams, and even represented Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Dropping The Gloves

Two familiar Roadrunners dropped the gloves against the Henderson Silver Knights in Saturday’s matinee matchup: Tyson Empey in the first period, followed by Jan Jenik in the third period. Empey took on Henderson’s Zack Hayes for his first bout of the season near the end of the first period after racking up ten total fights and 100 penalty minutes in his first season with Tucson last year. Jenik squared up with Mason Primeau in the final minute of regulation after dropping the gloves three times last season.

Defenseman Ronald Knot

North American Firsts

Both games with the Henderson Silver Knights to open the season saw a Roadrunners skater notch their first North American professional goal. 23-year-old forward Milos Kelemen put Tucson on the board for the first time in 2022-2023 with his first pro score on North American ice. Kelemen joined the organization this offseason after having previously played in Slovakia, Russia, and Czechia. Kelemen also won a bronze medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics representing his home country of Slovakia. Opening the scoring in game two of the series was defenseman Ronald Knot, who also played in the 2022 Olympics for Czechia. Knot skated in the KHL last year after seven years in the Czech Extraliga. Both Kelemen and Knot, along with Knot’s KHL and Olympics teammate Lukas Klok, signed with the Arizona Coyotes during the offseason for their first North American contracts.

Ivan Doing Ivan Things

Roadrunners netminder Ivan Prosvetov was between the pipes for the third-straight Opening Night, earning his third-straight Opening Night win with 29 saves on 30 shots faced. Prosvetov has now allowed two goals across three Opening Night starts in his AHL career and has started each of his four years in Tucson with a win for a .969 save percentage and a goals against average of 0.990 across those four outings. In all, Prosvetov stopped 42 of 44 shots faced across the first two games of the season.

Forward Jean-Sebastien Dea

Did You Know?

Recording the first two multi-point performances of the season for Tucson on Saturday were linemates Mike Carcone (2a) and Jean-Sebastien Dea (1g 1a). Both forwards led their AHL clubs in goals last year, as Carcone set a Roadrunners franchise for goals in a season with 24, while Dea arrives in the desert after lighting the lamp a career-high 26 times last season with the Laval Rocket.

On The Air

Lazy Sundays returned this weekend to the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast, as “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny and TucsonRoadrunners.com’s Jimmy Peebles released the latest episode breaking down the opening weekend of the season. The podcast, including an exclusive interview with Tucson Captain Adam Cracknell, can be found on the iHeartRadio App. In addition, Roadrunners Happy Hour airs every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1450AM and the iHeartRadio app, with a podcast version also available after each episode on the iHeartRadio app. This week, co-hosts Adrian Denny, Brett Fera, and Kim Cota-Robles will be joined by Roadrunners goaltender Ivan Prosvetov, as they’ll look ahead Saturday’s Home Opener at the Tucson Arena.

(Photo Credits: Henderson Silver Knights)