The Texas RoadRunners captured the South division regular season title as they stepped up the pace after a bit of a slide late in the season. The Runners who led the South for much 2022-2023 took the regular season title in the final week of the regular season by sweeping the Austin Ice bats, The Texas Brahmas and the El Paso Rhinos.
The team then began the post season as the odds on favorite to emerge from the south to head onto the Fraser cup in St Louis, MO. But, it just was not meant to be as the team was an early exit from playoff contention losing in three games to the New Mexico Ice Wolves.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: New Mexico 0 @ TX RoadRunners 4 (RoadRunners lead series, 1-0) – RoadRunners goalie Hunter Hein stopped all 30 shots that came his way to lead his team to a 4-0 shutout in Game 1 of the South Division Semi-Finals. After a scoreless 1st period, the RoadRunners took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period with goals from Eitan Geralnik and TJ Lipsky. In the 3rd period, two more goals from Gabe Stoner and Brandon Wicker secured the 4-0 win for Texas. Ice Wolves goalie Krzysztof Jakubowski made 33 saves in the loss.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 2: New Mexico 4 @ TX RoadRunners 1 (Series tied, 1-1) – The Ice Wolves evened the series at 1-1 thanks to 32 saves from Krzysztof Jakubowski in a 4-1 win in Game 2. New Mexico jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Liam Mooney and Hunter Fischbach. The lead swelled to 4-0 in the 2nd period as the Ice Wolves struck two more times on goals from Ethan Secord and Ryan Talorico. The RoadRunners would get on the board early in the 3rd period with their lone goal from TJ Lipsky. Hunter Hein made 19 saves in the loss.
South Division Semi-Finals, Game 3: TX RoadRunners 2 @ New Mexico Ice Wolves 5 (New Mexico wins series, 2-1) – The Ice Wolves got a five-point night from Braeden Whitesell and two goals from Ryan Talorico as they upset the #1-seeded RoadRunners in Game 3, 5-2. Texas controlled the game in the 1st period thanks to a 9-4 shots edge and a goal from Matvey Ivanov. The tables turned in the 2nd period as the Ice Wolves scored three straight goals from Whitesell, Talorico, and Jaden Stiller to make it a 3-1 game. The RoadRunners cut the lead down to 3-2 with a power play goal from Noah Easterson, but before the period was up, Whitesell added his second goal of the game to make it 4-2. In the 3rd period, Talorico added his second goal of the game to put the series on ice and send New Mexico to the South Finals. Krzsztof Jakubowski made 23 saves in the win, while Hunter Hein made 19 saves in the loss.
The Runners had the best season they have ever had in regards to winning the south division and player promotion to the NCAA, ACHA and NAHL levels of play. “I am overall happy with our program, the players, parents and our billet parents. Everyone played a huge part of our programs success. Although we didn’t reach our season goals of making it to St. Louis i feel we accomplished most of what we set out to do and that is to become one of the top programs in the NA3HL.” states head coach Mike Beavis
Beavis went onto say that he was very excited to learn that the majority of his team that were eligible to return would be back for another season along with some very talented new players that he has already or would be tendering in the near future. For now the Runners year is over but next season is just around the corner with the staff already hard at work in rebuilding for another run at the Fraser Cup in 2023-2024.
The RoadRunner family would like to thank everyone involved this season including our great fans and support system of Volunteers and billet families as well as our players and their families. We hope to see you all back at Spirit Ice Arena next season!