TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A lot goes in to the game day production at a roadrunners game…” I always thought that the entertainment side is the best part,” says director of marketing and game operations Mark Iralson.
“The first game, right off the bat at the puck drop, the fans started to do let's go Tucson. And I was like that's it!”
Besides crowd chants...a group of fearless females fly on the ice during game nights. So I hit the ice with Tucson’s Rally Runners.
Responsible for keeping the ice safe during game breaks...the ice crew isn't just slick between puck drops.
“I helped volunteer teaching the learn to skate,” say Jessica Nordby, one of the Rally Runners that’s been with the program since the beginning. “And Mark came and found me asking if I wanted to work with the ice crew. And I started right after that.” Jessica is currently enrolled at the U of A as a chemical engineering major.
“I belong in the cold,” says Alli Gillian, the captain of the Rally Runners.
Alli has been around hockey her entire life.
“My dad put me on skates one day, and I fell in love with the rink and it kind of went from there. And I just never stopped.”
The next step for the Roadrunners, the game day crew says, will be to build a community hockey rink, not just for practice.
“Even just the scene of youth hockey from last year to this year, has just jumped so much”, says Gillian.
“We can keep growing from ice crew, to hockey players and one day that hockey player from Tucson will happen,” said Iralson.