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Three Observations: Orange 3, Black 1

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks unofficially kicked off their season with the Black-Orange game, presented by Yummy Favorites, Wednesday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

The Orange team emerged victorious by a 3-1 count in regulation and then 4-3 in the exhibition shootout that followed. Let’s take a look at three observations from tonight’s game.

1. Cooper Shines in the Offensive End

Mark Cooper was a big acquisition in the offseason as the Mavericks poached Rapid City’s second-leading scorer from the 2016-17 campaign. It didn’t take long for him to impress the fans in Kansas City, scoring roughly 10 minutes into a running-clock first period by beating goalie Ty Rimmer glove side to kick off the scoring on the night. He outdid himself in the second, showcasing great patience and vision with the puck in the offensive zone as he toe-dragged around a defenseman and then sent a pass across the crease to Carson Dubchak, who redirected the puck into a wide-open net. Cooper spent last week in Stockton with the Heat’s preseason camp and skated in the Heat’s second exhibition game.

2. Physicality and Effort Stood Out

The intrasquad game wasn’t taken lightly by either side, both going all-out throughout the contest trying to get locker room bragging rights. The game was impressively physical with strong body checks and contentious battles for net-front real estate. Both teams played hard, but the play that stood out on an effort standpoint was early in the second period when Orange Team defenseman Troy Donnay dove onto the ice, full extension of his 6-foot-7 frame, to keep the puck inside the blue line and lead to a scoring chance.

3. Hockey is Back

Finally the summer is behind us and hockey season approaches. The Mavericks will head to Allen for a pair of exhibition games, Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and open their season in just nine days at Tulsa. Kansas City’s home opener is roughly three weeks away as the Mavericks will play host to Wichita on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7:05 p.m.

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