The Missouri Mavericks opened their season on Friday night in Anchorage against the Alaska Aces. With much hype surrounding a team rife with talent (18 players on AHL contracts), the start of the season was much anticipated. Unfortunately, the reality check came, and it came quickly.
Justin Breton put the Aces on top early, stuffing home a second effort after Mavs goalie Parker Milner made the initial save. David Eddy fed Breton perfectly as he was untouched coming down the slot. The initial storm brought by the Aces had the Mavericks stumbling over their own feet, but they rebounded nicely and eventually found their groove. Though they trailed heading into the first intermission, they had outshot Alaska 13-12.
The Mavericks chances would continue in the second frame, but Aces netminder Troy Redmann would have none of it. While Redmann starred all night, the second period was his best work, turning aside all 16 shots that he faced, including the best scoring chances of the night for Missouri. Some controversy filled the Sullivan Arena as Colin Markison appeared to best Redmann, but referee Kenny Anderson disallowed the goal, citing that the net behind Redmann had been dislodged before the puck crossed the line. Gleason Fournier would later double the Aces lead when his backhanded attempt on the power play squeaked through Milner’s five-hole. Alaska would take a 2-0 lead into the third and final period.
The Mavs continued to knock on Redmann’s door, only to be continually denied. Missouri was finally able to break his forcefield when Jesse Root whistled a wrister past Redmann to get the Mavericks on the board. That would be as close as the Mavericks would get. Justin Breton would add the empty netter in the final second to give Alaska the 3-1 victory.
These two teams are back at it again tomorrow night from the Sullivan Arena here in Anchorage, Alaska. The puck drops at 7:05pm AKDT.