The Missouri Mavericks were defeated by the Colorado Eagles in Game One of the Turner Conference Semifinals Friday night, 5-2. Colorado defenseman Aaron Schneekloth had a pair of goals in the second period which proved to be the difference, and forward Riley Nelson had a goal and three assists in the win. Ray DiLauro and Toby Lafrance scored the goals for Missouri who take a 1-0 series deficit into Game Two Saturday night in Loveland.
The first period saw plenty of action as the Eagles and Mavericks combined for four goals and a 2-2 tie. Colorado struck early in the period on the first shot of the game when Riley Nelson wristed his shot over the shoulder of Mavericks’ goaltender Robby Nolan. The goal came just 42 seconds into the opening frame on assists from Dan Sullivan and Kevin Ulanski.
Missouri struck back with a pair of goals including one on the power play. Defenseman Ray DiLauro ripped a shot from the top of the point through traffic to tie the game at one. The power play goal was assisted by Toby Lafrance and Simon Watson. Just over two minutes later, Lafrance connected on a rebound to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead. Brandon Coccimiglio earned the lone assist on the play, but the Mavericks were unable to take the lead into the first intermission. Colorado connected on a five-on-three power play with 23 seconds remaining in the opening stanza to tie the game at two. After the first period, the teams were tied, but the Eagles had the edge in shots at 15-8.
Mavericks’ goaltender Robby Nolan faced 21 shots in the second period, and he held strong until Colorado finally converted with just over four minutes remaining in the period. Aaron Schneekloth scored the first of two straight goals at the 15:52 mark when he lifted a shot over the stick of Nolan. Schneekloth connected again at 17:37 on a power play goal. The Eagles dominated on the shot chart in the second period outshooting Missouri 21-5 in the period and 36-13 overall.
The Mavericks were unable to get a puck past Penner in the third period, and Adam Hogg iced the game with an empty net goal with five seconds remaining in regulation. Colorado finished the game more than doubling Missouri’s shots on goal at 45-20.
Mavericks’ goaltender Nolan stopped 40 of 44 shots in the loss, and his counterpart Andrew Penner stopped 18 of 20 shots in the win.