The RoadRunner Alumni Team, dubbed the \”Smack Pack\” after the head coach they\’d all shared rode a fortuitous deflection and a hot goalie to a 1-0 victory in a very entertaining hockey game on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Scott Langer acquired the nickname \”Smack\” during his softball days in Bismarck, ND, and his players all refer to him as such. Though it may seem disrespectful, he prefers it.
The weekend was already off to a tremendous start. Players arrived Saturday evening and were treated to an exclusive dinner with the owners and coaches. Sunday morning saw a pancake feed, followed by morning skates for both the Alumni and this years squad. Soon after, inflatables for the kids were put up, along with street hockey nets. A catered lunch was next which was included with ticket purchase, and finally, the Opening Faceoff.
The Alumni and RoadRunners both came out briskly, energized at the unique opportunity. The pace took some Alumni members by surprise, but they reacted quickly and by all accounts did a great job of keeping up with their younger counterparts. It was at the 8:46 mark of the first period when Alumni Randy Swank fired a puck through the slot that was intended to be a dump into the opposite corner but caromed off the skate of a RoadRunner defenseman and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
The story of the game was Nick Hopper. The Alumni goaltender who is headed to play for Wisconsin-Stout was \”unbelievable\”, \”off the hook\”, \”insane\” or \”standing on his head\”, depending on which Alumni teammate you asked after the game. He turned aside 50 RoadRunner shots, securing the victory. True, there were a couple of SOLID \”clangs\” off the pipe, but when all was said and done, Nick Hopper and the Alumni withstood a furious onslaught down the stretch as the ‘Runners pulled the goalie with 1:50 left trying to find the game tying goal.
Players from both teams gathered at center ice to salute the crowd, then went through a handshake line before heading to a local restaurant to mingle with fans. With the first Annual RoadRunner Alumni Game in the books as a solid success, plans are already underway for the Second Annual event.