Tucson Roadrunners begin season with split in Stockton

The Coyotes’ AHL affiliate faced off against the Heat to start the 2021-22 season


Northeast Valley News

A Tucson Roadrunners player was recently subjected to a racist taunt.

After a long offseason following the shortened 2020-21 season, the Tucson Roadrunners were back in action on Friday and Saturday for a two-game set with the Stockton Heat in Stockton, Calif.

The weekend opened with a defensive battle on Friday, in which the teams combined for 64 shots and only one goal from Tucson defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok less than two minutes into overtime. The Roadrunners capitalized on a defensive zone turnover, leading to Matias Maccelli centering a pass across the middle to Kolyachonok. The blueliner walked in on the right side, and fired a shot past Heat goaltender Dustin Wolf

In his season debut, Ivan Prosvetov stopped all 29 shots he saw, backstopping his team to victory. 

This set up Saturday’s exciting battle, where the scoring started early.

Late in the first, Heat forward Justin Kirkland landed the game’s first goal at 14:11 of the first period.  Hudson Fasching returned the favor in the closing minutes of the first period, on a shot that trickled beyond Wolf. 

The game remained tied through the intermission, until Walker Duehr gained the lead for Stockton 14 seconds into the period on a hash-to-hash pass in the offensive zone. 

Jakob Pelletier extended Stockton’s lead to 3-1 later in the period on a rebound off Josef Korenar, playing in his first game with the Roadrunners following a one-for-one trade with San Jose. 

Tucson played from behind most of the game and did manage to get one back. Michael Carcone drove the length of the ice and ripping a shot on goal. The shot was redirected, allowing the Roadrunners to set the play up in their offensive zone. 

After receiving a pass from Carcone, Ty Emberson launched the puck across the zone to an open Cam Dineen. Dineen wasted no time and ripped a shot past Wolf to bring the visitors closer.

Despite landing eight more shots on net, the Roadrunners’ comeback efforts fell short, and the game finished 3-2.

Tucson, now 1-1 on the season, will now prepare for their home opener against the Texas Stars at the Tucson Convention Center on Oct. 23.