Ilya Lyubushkin celebrates with the Tucson Roadrunners in the first game in the season a 2-0 win at the Texas Stars.

Archiv: Slovan Bratislava – Lokomotiv Jaroslavl: #46 Ilya Lyubushkin, #7 Simon Després. Ondrej Nepela Arena –
©Puckfans.at/Andreas Robanser

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In their season-opening game, AHL’s Texas Stars faced Tucson Roadrunners and left the game without scoring. Stars couldn’t get past Roadrunners‘ goalie Raanta, who became the first star of the game. The game was haunted by 13 penalties, including a fight in the beginning of the 3rd period that started with a Pederson’s checking in the head resulted in a Misconduct penalty for Gleason.

Burke scored early in the game, in its 4th minute (A:Merkley and Ness) and Martin added the second goal in the second period (A: Gregoire). Roadrunners had 28 shots on goal compared to Stars 19. Stars called the goalie off in the end of the game and avoided 2 empty net goals only by luck. 

Two Russian players were on the Roadrunners roster, Ivan Prosvetov (G) and Ilya Lyubushkin(D). Lyubushkin was assigned to Tucson as one the last Coyotes‘ cut just before the NHL season opening. He was in the starting six and played a solid defense game. After the game, we got a chance to talk to him. 

Baltics Media: How was your transition from KHL to NHL and then to AHL?

Ilya Lyubushkin: „NHL is tough, needed to get used to a smaller rink, now it’s no problem.“

BM: You have a Russian colleague here on the team, is it good for you?

IL: „Yes, sure, we are roommates when we travel.“

BM: When you were assigned to AHL, was it a disappointment?

IL: „No, not at all. It’s a new challenge for me, but it’s my job, I have to work hard and maybe it will help to get back.“

BM: What do you say about the life style in America?

IL: „My family likes to have a good sunny weather every day, they enjoy the life in Scottsdale, where we live.“

BM: Thank you for the interview and wish you good luck

Texas Stars vs Tucson Roadrunners 0-2 (0-1, 0-1, 0-0)