The Roadrunners’ fourth season in Tucson will include 34 home games, including a seven-game holiday homestand following a late-ish start to the home schedule.
The goal will be the same: Make the playoffs while continuing to provide top talent to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, Tucson’s parent club. Tucson fell one win short of the postseason in 2018-19, finishing 35-26-5-3 and in fifth place in the American Hockey League’s Pacific Division. The Roadrunners went 18-14-1-1 at Tucson Arena; the final loss, 4-3 to San Diego on the last night of the regular season, kept them from the playoffs.
The Roadrunners will open the 2019-20 season Oct. 4 in Cedar Park, Texas, but won’t play their first home game until Oct. 18, according to a schedule released Wednesday. Their opponent that night will be the Chicago Wolves, the top affiliate of the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
The team will play six home games in October, four in November and then seven during a season-long homestand in December.
Between Dec. 20 and Jan. 4, the Roadrunners will play the Ontario Reign twice, the Colorado Eagles twice, the San Diego Gulls once and San Jose Barracuda twice. Their New Year’s Eve game against San Diego is scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m., one hour earlier than most games at Tucson Arena. All but three of Tucson’s home games will start at 7:05 p.m.
The Eagles, the top affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, will again serve as the Roadrunners’ natural rival. The teams will play 12 times.
The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase will again force the Roadrunners to hit the road for a long stretch of the season. The team will play nearly three full weeks on the road in February, returning home for a Feb. 21 game against the Stockton Heat.
Tucson will play its final home game April 4 against the Bakersfield Condors, then wrap the season a week later against the same team in California.