TUCSON, Ariz. - The Roadrunners opened their 2021 season Sunday, Feb. 7, taking on the San Jose Barracuda at the Tucson Convention Center and left with a 2-1 overtime win.
The first period didn’t see any goals, but there was plenty of action to go around.
The Roadrunners went on the power-play early in the period, courtesy of a hooking penalty by San Jose defenseman Jaycob Megna. Things got physical later into the period, with several players having to be separated by the officials, landing both teams a roughing penalty. Kevin Roy nearly scored off his own rebound during the 4 on 4, but Barracuda goaltender Alexei Melnichuk got in the way at the last moment. Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made 13 saves in the first period.
The second period was shaping up to be more of the same until Tyler Steenbergen found the back of the net with 1:49 left on the clock. Newcomers Josh Wilkins and Ryan McGregor assisted with the score. The intensity from the first period carried over into the second, as Tucson and San Jose exchanged two penalties each that period and Tucson entered the second intermission with a 1-0 lead.
San Jose would tie the game up at one 6:24 into the third period. Barracuda forward John Leonard got the puck past Tucson goaltender Ivan Prosvetov for the equalizing goal. Both teams had solid chances to take the lead, but neither could capitalize, and the Roadrunners’ season opener would go to overtime for the first time in team history.
Extra time was needed to decide this contest, but it was not by much. After Ivan Prosvetov added two more saves to his stat sheet in the overtime period, Cam Dineen secured the puck off a rebound and buried it in the back of the net 1:17 into the overtime period. The Roadrunners start the season strong at 1-0 for the third-straight year.
Ivan Prosvetov was stellar in net tonight for the Roadrunners, stopping 36 of 37 shots that came his way. San Jose’s backstop Alexei Melnichuk was 23 for 25.