The Idaho Falls Spud Kings surrendered an early goal, en route to a 3-0 road loss to the Provo Predators on Saturday night.
The Spud Kings entered Saturday’s game with a 1-1 record, after dropping their last game 3-2 against the Ogden Mustangs.
The Predators entered with a 1-0 record, after defeating the Ogden Mustangs in their previous game.
Lukas Malant made his second start in the net for Idaho Falls, looking to rebound after his last start against Ogden.
Michael Polston started in net for Provo, he was looking to build off his prior start against Ogden.
The Predators opened the scoring with 15:10 remaining in the first period when Lucca Ori stole the puck in the Spud Kings’ end and shot a puck off the far post and into the back of the net to put them up 1-0.
“We had a bad start,” said Spud Kings head coach Marty Quarters. “This season has been notorious for that so far, and that sometimes happens early in the season. We gave them a goal early on a giveaway in our own zone.”
The Spud Kings got a chance to respond when Predator Tyler Johnson took a cross-checking penalty at 12:26 of the period. Idaho Falls was unable to generate of goal on the man advantage though, and the game remained 1-0 Provo.
After one period, the Predators led 1-0.
The Predators returned to the powerplay when Martin Crepinsek took a hooking penalty with 8:38 remaining in the period. Malant made some saves on the powerplay and kept the score at 1-0 Provo.
The Spud Kings mounted late pressure in the second period, but they were unable to get a puck past Polston.
After two periods, Provo led 1-0.
The Predators extended their lead with 8:26 remaining in the game when Ben Picard scored on a shot from the left faceoff circle. Einar Naslund and Jackson Lucia picked up assists on the powerplay goal, helping their team take a 2-0 lead.
Provo added an empty net goal with 2:02 remaining in the game thanks to Campbell Epp, assisted by Lucia, giving them a 3-0 lead.
In the end, the Predators defeated the Spud Kings 3-0.
“We were trying to get a greasy goal and we thought we had one but there was a quick whistle, and then we hit a couple of posts here at the end,” Quarters said. “But, you know, you got to score more than the other team to win, and you got to score to have a chance to win. We didn’t do that, and we got a lot of work to do.”
For the Spud Kings, Malant was handed the loss, stopping 36/38 shots.
For the Predators, Polston collected the win, stopping all 35 shots he faced.
“We knew that their goalie was gonna play really good,” Quarters said. “He was someone that we tendered, and he had a lot to prove against us. He played really good tonight.”
With the loss, the Spud Kings dropped their record to 1-2 on the season.
The Spud Kings will return to action on Friday night when they travel to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to face the Grizzlies. The puck drop of that game will be at 7 p.m. and can be streamed on FlowSports.