After a tough 3-1 loss in their season opener Friday night in Anchorage, the Missouri Mavericks bounced back with a vengeance in their second of three match-ups against the Alaska Aces. With Parker Milner being recalled to Bridgeport after Friday’s contest, Josh Robinson got the start between the pipes and made the absolute most of his opportunity.
The Mavericks would net two goals during the opening frame, both off the stick of forward Josh Holmstrom. His first tally came at the 5:48 mark of the first period, as he knocked a rebound past Aces goalie Steven Summerhays to give the Mavs an early lead. Holmstrom would add his second of the night just four minutes later on a play worthy of SportCenter’s Top Ten. Colin Markison brought the puck into the Aces zone down the boards. His centering feed was deflected by an Aces defenseman into the air. Holmstrom was storming down the slot in anticipation of the pass, quickly reacted, and batted the floating puck out of the air and past Summerhays to double the Mavs’ lead.
The Mavs never let off the gas pedal for the rest of the contest. Jesse Root would add an insurance goal in the second period to extend the Mavs’ lead to 3-0. That would be more than enough for Robinson. The Mavs’ netminder frustrated the Aces’ offensive attack all night. Robinson turned aside everything Alaska had to offer, including multiple odd man rushes, a couple of penalty kills, and even a duo of breakaways to carry the Mavericks to a 3-0 shutout victory. Tonight belonged to Josh Robinson.
As good as Robinson was in this contest, the team defense as a whole was pretty impressive. A few aforementioned hiccups aside, the Mavericks were solid defensively from top to bottom. The forwards were back-checking all night. The defensemen were winning battles in the corners. The transition play was very effective, making every break out seem like an odd man rush. Contributions were made across the board, whether they show up on the gamesheet or not.
The Mavericks get their first win of the season (1-1-0-0) and will finish their three-game trip to Alaska on Sunday at 3:05pm AKDT.