The Sioux City Musketeers lost their season opener on Friday, 3-2, in overtime at Fargo. The Muskies will play twice this weekend, at Tri-City in Kearney on Friday before the home opener against Omaha on Saturday.
Sioux City did get a point in the standing for Friday's OT loss, not a bad start on the road. Last season, Sioux City lost seven of their first nine games and needed a big second half of the season just to make the playoffs. They want to avoid a similar start this season.
"I know the guys will be excited, they'll be fired up," says head coach Brett Larson. "Obviously Saturday night, hopefully we have a good crowd, the energy's good in here and we can come out and play our best game of the year. First home game, lessons learned on the first two road games, and hopefully put it together for a good performance on Saturday night. I think the guys are excited for the first full weekend. We kind of got into in slowly with one game on the road the first weekend. We'll have a good week of practice here at home in the Tyson all week, which is big for us."
Larson only brought back seven players from last season, with sixteen new faces. Roster turnover is common in the USHL where the maximum age is 21, but the Muskies have two rookie goalies in Kyle Hayton and Joe Ballmer, who look like they are ready for the spotlight.
"Kyle stopped all the pucks he should stop and that's a key for me as a coach," said Larson. "You don't want to give up any easy goals. When Kyle had the opportunity to see the puck, he made the save. The 'D' did a good job in front of him for the most part, limiting second and third opportunities."
"We're a pretty big 'D' and they clear at the net well so it gives me more space to make saves," said Hayton.
Saturday's home game against Omaha starts at 7:05 at the Tyson Events Center. It's the first of six straight Saturday night home games to start the season.
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