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Examiner
  • OVER & OUT: 'Devastating' loss ends Mavs' season

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  • With 52 seconds left in the second overtime period, Arizona's Kevin Baker slipped the puck past Missouri Mavericks goaltender Shane Owen to end the most successful – and disappointing – season in the five-year history of the Central Hockey League team.
    With that goal, the Sundogs shocked the Mavericks 4-3 and eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs.
    The Mavericks entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and Bud Poile Governors' Cup winner as the CHL points leader, while Arizona was a talented No. 8 seed, that featured the top goalie in the CHL in Andrew Engelage, who made some stops Tuesday night at the Independence Events Center that had to be seen to be believed.
    "Engy was amazing, and so was Shane," Arizona assistant coach Gordon Bennett said as his players met with some of the dispirited Mavericks as they walked past the visiting locker room to meet with their families after the devastating loss.
    "I said it before the series started and I will say it now, the Mavericks are the best team in the league. We found a way to get past them, and I am so proud of our team. The overtime win in Arizona was so dramatic and we come here and win a second game, in the second overtime. I am very proud of this team."
    Long after the game ended, Mavericks coach Scott Hillman entered the interview area outside of the Mavericks' locker room and collected his thoughts.
    "I did not talk to the team," Hillman said after the Mavericks lost the best-of-seven series four games to two. "I went around and shook everyone's hand. We need a little time to think about this one before making any comments.This loss is devasting – crushing – the toughest I have experienced with the team.
    "Their first goal? We drew it up, we knew exactly what they were going to do, and they still went out and scored. The mistakes? We made mistakes that were devastating. We made mistakes in the last four games we had not made since early in the season. Mistakes were a problem tonight and a problem throughout the series."
    The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Mike Ramsay, which got the small but vocal crowd into the game.
    The Sundogs knotted the score at 1-all with just 1:04 left in the period on Baker's first goal, but the Mavericks used goals by Eric Castonguay and Colten Hayes to take a 3-1 lead going into the third period.
    That's when the Sundogs scored two power play goals from Paul McIlveen and Shawn Limpright – about 4 1/2 minutes apart – to send the game into overtime.
    Page 2 of 2 - Owen and Engelage starred in the overtime period.
    "Shane was amazing, and so was Engelage," said Hillman, who did not make his players available after the game. "I'm not putting anyone down in that locker room, but Shane Owen was our best player in the series and our best player all season. He was so strong in the net."
    Bennett agreed with that statement.
    "Two of the best goaltenders in the league were in this series," Bennett said, "and I am happy we are advancing, but you have to feel badly for Owen. He played some great hockey and he did so much to keep them in every game. This series was so even, but we found a way to get the win."
    Baker scored with 52 seconds left in the second overtime on assists from David Rutherford and Michael Couch to end the Mavericks' season and the longest game in team history.

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