The Tucson Roadrunners are set to begin their third season in franchise history on Saturday when they host the San Diego Gulls at the Tucson Arena.
Before the game, the Roadrunners will hoist a banner for winning the Western Conference regular season last year.
"It's an amazing feeling," said left wing Michael Bunting. "That's going to be there forever. Any time I come back and visit and go to a game, I know I was a part of that. We had a special group last year."
The Roadrunners lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Texas Stars.
Saturday, they open against a Gulls team they beat three straight times at the end of the regular season, knocking San Diego out of playoff contention.
"I'm sure its fresh in their minds," said Tucson goalie Adin Hill. "It's any rivalry. It's a new season for both sides, and we'll be ready to go at it for Saturday."
Jay Varady will coach the Roadrunners this season, their third coach in three seasons.