Mirko Fernandez-Pisanu scored twice, helping the Idaho Falls Spud Kings collect a 5-1 road win over the Rock Springs Grizzlies.
Friday night was opening night for the NCDC Mountain Division, and the Spud Kings and Grizzlies squared off to start the year.
Prestyn Carter was given the start in net for the Spud Kings, after posting a 2.70 goals-against-average with Idaho Falls last season.
Merik Erickson made his NCDC debut in the net for the Grizzlies.
Both teams started slow — both were scoreless after the first period.
Idaho Falls began the second period with a bang, as defenseman Matteo Mitrovic buried a rebound to put his team ahead 1-0, 40 seconds into the period. Jack O’Rourke and George Goodwin picked up assists on the goal.
Shortly after, they doubled their lead when Fernandez-Pisanu scored a goal off an assist from Tyler Rose, making it 2-0 Spud Kings.
Rock Springs got within one goal when an Idaho Falls turnover led to a three-on-none rush for the Grizzlies. Kaleb Pitman found the back of the net, with an assist from Jack Fortuna to make it 2-1.
The Spud Kings regained their two-goal lead with 3 minutes remaining in the second period. Jackson Howell scored off assists from Goodwin and Rose, putting the team up 3-1.
Right before the buzzer sounded, Idaho Falls added an insurance goal when Fernandez-Pisanu netted his second of the game, from O’Rourke and Goodwin.
It was 4-1 Spud Kings after two periods.
Rock Springs got an early chance to get back in the game when Goodwin took a roughing penalty 35 seconds into the third period.
Carter stood tall for the Spud Kings, as they were able to kill off the man advantage.
The Spud Kings would put the game away with 12:07 remaining in the third period when puck movement from Milan Tadeas Jobek and Fernandez-Pisanu led to Goodwin snapping home a powerplay goal and giving them a 5-1 lead.
In the end, the Spud Kings skated to a 5-1 victory.
Carter stood strong between the net for the Spud Kings, stopping 34/35 shots and collecting his first win of the season.
Erickson stopped 34/39 shots for the Grizzlies while picking up his first loss of the season.
Both Fernandez-Pisanu and Goodwin stood out for the Spud Kings with three points each.
Pitman provided light for the Grizzlies, with their loan goal.
The Spud Kings will make their home debut on Oct. 7, when they welcome the Rock Springs Grizzlies to the Mountain America Center for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop.