The Milwaukee Power opened the 2021-22 NA3HL season this weekend at home against the St. Louis Jr. Blues. Both bench’s had new coaching staffs at the helm as well as new faces on the rosters leaving a bit of uncertainty as to how the weekend would shake out.
Milwaukee would go with experience in the crease on Friday as they started Austin Bartell while St. Louis started rookie netminder Brendan Cobb. The Power would open the scoring with a power-play-goal from rookie forward Riley Planey, assisted by Trent Van Gels and Noah Hope as all three logged their first NA3HL points. The remainder of the first period was quiet and Milwaukee would carry their one goal lead into the locker room.
The Power veterans would put their names on the scoresheet in the second period as Nate Stone would score just shy of five minutes into the frame with assists from Teddy Marion and Connor O’Neal. The Blues would bounce back with two goals of their own coming from Gus Immken on the power-play and Duke Boccardi. Milwaukee would regain the lead with less than three minutes in the period as Trent Van Gels would find twine on a rebound from a Max Erstad shot, Mason Ausmus had the secondary assist. The second verse would end the same as the first with the Power having a one goal lead at the intermission.
The top line for Milwaukee would add another goal early in the third as O’Neal scored from close to the crease with Ausmus and Stone logging the assists. After swapping a handful of penalties the Power would put the game away with a power-play-goal from Marion, Ausmus and Stone were credited with the assists. After the next four and a half minutes the Power would officially claim their first season opening victory since the 2018 inaugural season with a final score of 5-2. Bartell stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in his first outing for Milwaukee.
The 3 Stars of the game were:
3rd Star – #21 Nate Stone
2nd Star – #1 Austin Bartell
1st Star – #7 Trent Van Gels
The Coach’s Pub ‘N’ Grill Hard Hat Player of the Game went to #11 Connor O’Neal.
On Saturday the Power would start rookie goaltender Anthony Maiorca in net and the Blues would go with Cobb for the second night in a row. Milwaukee would get off to an even faster start as they netted three goals in the first. The first one came on the power-play from second year man Michael Dalaly, assisted by O’Neal and Ausmus. The second goal was tallied by O’Neal and assisted by Marion and David Nappier. The third goal of the frame came from rookie forward Cam Dahl with less than five minutes to go and was assisted by Ausmus and Dominic Martinetti.
St. Louis would start working their way back into the game in second period with a power-play-goal from Michael Gakhutishvili. Marion would respond tally of his own five minutes later, assisted by O’Neal and Stone. The Blues would score two goals to cut the Power lead to one, the first from Boccardi and the second from Jack Dapron on the power-play. Stone would take five-minute major late in the period putting Milwaukee on a long penalty-kill. Just eight seconds into the penalty Ben Cremers would score a short-handed goal to stretch the lead back to two. Milwaukee would keep St. Louis at bay to keep their two goal advantage at the second intermission.
The Blues would get one back early in the third from Jacob Horrall. Less than a minute and a half later Cremers would strike again to give the Power their two goal cushion, assisted by Easton Nick and Dalaly. At the halfway point of the third Dalaly would add his second tally of the evening to stretch the lead to three. Milwaukee would keep the St. Louis shooters at bay for the final 10 minutes to complete the sweep with a final score of 7-4. Maiorca would get his first win stopping 30 of 34 shots faced.
The 3 Stars of the game were:
3rd Star – #12 Mason Ausmus
2nd Star – #17 Michael Dalaly
1st Star – #10 Ben Cremers
The Coach’s Pub ‘N’ Grill Hard Hat Player of the Game went to #13 Noah Hope.
This was only the second time in team history that Milwaukee has swept St. Louis and both came on the last two trips the Blues took to Ozaukee. “Our compete level and learning to play for the guy next to you mentality really helped us earn these four points this weekend,” said Stephen Esau, Power Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. “It’s an exciting start to the season but we will get right back to work on Monday preparing for the next challenge.”
The Power are off next weekend so they will have two weeks to prepare for the Fraser Cup Runner-Up Rochester Grizzlies to come to town on September 27th for a 7:00PM puck drop. Click here to get your tickets now!