Nolan Martens and Michael Sofillas both scored for Altona in a losing cause as the Maroons dropped a 4-3 decision to the Morden Redskins in their first game of the 2019-20 SEMHL season.
Meeting the defending league champions to open this season, the Maroons ran into some penalty trouble late in the third period which was their undoing in the game.
Prior to the game the 2019 Manitoba Sunflower Festival royalty assisted the Maroons in opening their 69th consecutive season of hockey in South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League.
The Maroons and Redskins traded chances in the first period and it was the Maroons who got on the board first when Nolan Martens finished a passing play between Steve Doell and Justin Voth to beat Redskins netminder Morgan Wall for a 1-0 lead.
Morden tied the game early in the second when Juha Keinanen scored just 35 seconds into the period.
The Redskins would take the lead later in the 2nd period when Tyler Peers shot beat Maroons goalie Jayme Janzen, but the Maroons would tie the game 2-2 midway through the period when Michael Sofillas put home a rebound from a Mitch Doell shot attempt and the score would remain tied heading to the third period.
The Redskins would score several minutes into the final period courtesy of Cole Penner to lead 3-2 but the Maroons would battle back and were able to tie the game on a nice shorthanded goal that saw Nolan McGuire finish a two on one play with Mitch Doell picking up his second assist of the game.
Unfortunately for the Maroons, the Redskins took advantage of a late third period 5 on 3 power-play with just under four minutes left in the game and although Janzen and the Maroons fought off numerous shot attempts the Redskins would score a minute into their two man advantage and go up 4-3.
The Maroons would eventually pull their goalie to look for the equalizer but would fall short in their attempt to tie the game.
Jayme Janzen took the loss for Altona in goal stopping 36 of the 40 shots he faced. Altona went 0-for-4 on the power-play and 5-for-6 on the penalty-kill.
Maroons coach Greg Carman was pleased to see the guys in game action and noted that while it’s still very early in the season there were a few things he was able to take away from the game.
“I thought we did alright considering we were missing a few big players. Our line up will be very fast and I am happy with the depth of players we should have in the lineup throughout the season,” Carman said.
“There were a few times we got things crossed up but they (Morden) did too. It’s the first game for both teams so that was somewhat expected. Overall, I look forward to what we should be able to bring to each game. I think we’ll be a fast and skilled team.”
The Maroons will head out on the road on Saturday, Nov. 2 to take on the Warren Mercs before coming home to host the Carman Beavers on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Season ticket booklets are available by contacting Eric Hildebrand at 204-319-0243 or firstname.lastname@example.org