Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman could sense a letdown from his team at an early-morning practice session Wednesday before boarding a bus for St. Charles.
Mavericks Colt King and Dave Pszenyczny were beginning three-game suspensions following their involvement in a fight-plagued 4-1 win at Arizona last Saturday, and their absence was already being felt – but not for long.
After the Chill took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a Kyle Kraemer goal, the Mavericks lit up the scoreboard with five second-period goals en route to a 6-1 victory. Missouri, off to a 4-0 start this season, travels to Tulsa Friday then returns to the IEC for the home opener at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
"The mood was a little down at practice this morning, and we addressed that after the first period," Hillman said by phone from St. Charles. "We knew we were going to be all right, but we had to get something going the second period."
John-Scott Dickson broke the ice with a goal at 1:47 to knot the score at 1-all. Five minutes later Evan Vossen scored his first goal of the season to give Missouri a lead it never relinquished.
Eric Castonguay then scored his first goal as a Maverick, Andrew Courtney found the back of the net and Kyle Hood added a goal at 19:03 to give goalie Shane Owen a 5-1 lead and some breathing room.
Owen is 3-0 on the season and 2-0 against the Chill.
"Tonight's game was a reflection of our season," Hillman said. "Everyone is contributing. We had six players score six goals and (rookie forward) Rob Kleebaum had a huge night with three assists. That's how you get off to a 4-0 start with every game on the road. Everyone needs to contribute, and everyone certainly contributed tonight after the first period."
Obi Aduba, the former Maverick killer whom the team received in a deal last week, wrapped up the scoring with the sixth goal of the night and his first with the Mavericks.
"It's nice to see Aduba score a goal in the third period for us, rather than against us," Hillman said. "We got solid overall play tonight, did well on the penalty kill and (Courtney) scored a power play goal. It should be a nice bus ride back to Independence."
When asked about the play of Owen, the coach added, "He's done a great job this season. He's won two against the Chill, including that 3-2 game last week in their season opener and the 3-2 win (Friday night) in Arizona.
"It's nice that the boys scored a few goals tonight to take some of the pressure off him."
Owen stopped 29 of 30 shots, and the Mavericks killed all seven Chill power plays.