TUCSON - Members of the Coyotes and their new primary affiliate - the Tucson Roadrunners - played a scrimmage inside the Tucson Convention Center on Sunday afternoon to introduce their brand of pro hockey to the city.
Approximately 4,500 fans attended the game on the Roadrunners' home ice and witnessed a fun, high-scoring game. Team White rallied from a 2-0 deficit and beat Team Red, 7-5.
"It was great," said Shane Doan, who captained Team White. "There was a lot of people here, they were into it, people were having fun, and people were enjoying it, I think. That was the whole point of it."
Forward Christian Dvorak and defenseman Jarred Tinordi each scored twice for Team White. The other goal scorers were: forwards Radim Vrbata (Red), Chris Mueller (Red), Matia Marcantuoni (White), Dylan Strome (Red), Ryan White (White), Anthony Duclair (White), Christian Fischer (Red) and Stefan Fournier (Red).
Fans were not charged admission but were asked to make a donation to the University of Arizona hockey program, which also plays its home games at the Tucson Convention Center.
"It was a great way to kick it off here," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We did the Red/White game just to bring people out, show them what we're all about, introduce our organization to the city, and I think it worked very well. It was excellent."
The Coyotes purchased their affiliate in the American Hockey League in April and immediately relocated it from Springfield, Mass. to Tucson.
"Starting up a new franchise in a city is a lot of work, and I have to give the Tucson people a ton of credit," Tippett said. "We were here in early spring and they had a lot of work to do, and they got it done. Today is the first day that I think you really see the results of the hard work. Our players have commented already on it being a real nice building, they did a great job on the dressing rooms, so everything right now looks like its moving ahead just like we expected and in a very positive manner."