1-on-1 with Hunter Drew

Roadrunners Forward Hunter Drew joined Adrian Denny, Kim Cota-Robles and Brett Fera on this week’s edition of Roadrunners Happy Hour to preview the season and Saturday’s home opener. 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 “Postgame with Hunter Drew” on Spreaker.

Q: San Diego was kind of pushing back, they had just tied the game and, Curtis Douglas, at the end of a shift, just kind of chips a puck deep into their corner and it bought out our next line of Ben McCartney, Ryan McGregor and yourself. Then next up, Nathan Smith, Dylan Guenther and Milos Kelemen, they drew a penalty. Stuff like that shifts the game and everybody did a great job and were making it happen in the win.

A: I think we have a good group here and I think what you’re talking about, we have a lot of smart players who set up the next shift. I feel like that’s a big part of hockey. Dougy did a really good job there. We had back-to-back good shifts and we drew a penalty and then the game was back in our favor.

Q: It’s usually our daily routine to be at the rink right when we got to the rink (Tuesday). To play a game was kind of a bonus. It was almost like showing up to school and you get to watch a movie in second period.

A: That actually hits the nail on the head. I talked to a couple of those guys after the game, my buddies on San Diego, and I talked to their coach a bit too, and I was telling them that for us the only thing that changed today was that we were putting our game jersey on instead of the practice. The schedule was the exact same, slept in my own bed last night, no travel involved, just a regular day. I’m bias, but I think 1:30 or 2 o’clock is the perfect time to be going home. It’s nice. Not a late night, you get to just relax and kick your feet up for the rest of the day and recover a little better.

Q: You told us on the podcast over the summer how good of friends you are with Goaltender Matt Villalta and all of your similarities. What a great guy to be best friends with; especially now that we know him too!

A: He’s the man. He’s awesome. He’s fun to be around. At home obviously, all of our best friends are the same. We were in the same circle growing up. We’ve been close for a long time. Playing against him for four years and then now having him on my team is definitely a blessing. It’s great to see how well he’s played the past four games.

Q: You and Matt are Ontario (Canada) boys who’ve spent the last four years in Southern California. Arizona is not that different. I have to believe that in that sense it feels like an extension of where you guys were in San Diego and L.A.

A: Both of us are very fortunate to play pretty much our whole careers in the best parts of America. Two or three of the best five cities in the league. We’re very fortunate to play here and I’m definitely not taking it for granted.

Q: Have you noticed that the Pacific Division is usually pretty good because players want to play for these teams?

A: That is a fact, that’s league known, that everyone wants to come out here and everyone wants to play here. I remember one of the first things I got asked when I got out to Rockford was what’s you favorite place to go out there and they have a couple games against San Diego and San Jose and they’re texting me like: what’s a good place for dinner or what’s a good place for this and that. I am definitely fortunate to be playing out here.

Q: Not to keep pumping Matt’s tires but talk about his play in the first four games.

A: He set the tone, he set the standard real high for our group in Texas. Game one, he was lights out. Game two, believe it our not, he played even better. Game three against Coachella, you know was 4-0 with an empty netter but it could have been a lot worse than it was. He made a lot of big saves. (Today) you saw it, every day he makes big saves and keeps us in the game and it kind of turns the momentum. He’s driving the bus for us right now and I am really happy for him. All of the guys in the room are happy for him and our family and friends are all close so everyone’s happy to see him be successful.