Missouri Mavericks players spent the American Thanksgiving knowing they have much to be thankful for but a bit uneasy about being the last place team in the Central Hockey League.
The following evening they began a climb they hope will bring them to the peak.
The Fort Worth Brahmas were in town riding a four-game winning streak……just where the Mavericks wanted them. Every Missouri victory this season has come against a team that had won its previous game.
The power play, which was one-for-23 at home exploded for a two-for-four night, last season’s leading goal scorer Andrew Courtney lit the lamp for the first time in 2012-2013, Brian Bicek assisted three times and Riley Emmerson collected his first two points of the season with first and third period goals as the Mavericks defeated Fort Worth 4-1. His third period marker, which was into an empty net, was also the Mavs first short handed goal of the season.
The next morning as the team prepared for a trip to Bloomington they had another pleasant surprise as the regular bus driver, Matt, had returned behind the wheel. Matt had just completed a 37 state tour with a Mexico City ballet troop. All was well in Mavericks land.
Following a one-stop drive to Bloomington the Mavericks had the Blaze just where they wanted them…..coming off a win in Tulsa the previous night.
Six different Mavericks scored goals and goaltender Mathieu Corbeil stopped 30 of 31 Blaze shots in a 6-1 win over Bloomington. Missouri did not allow the top power play in the CHL to go into motion until five seconds remained in the game.
Brian Bicek celebrated his 27th birthday with two assists. On November 10 Jeff Pierce had a goal and two assists on his 29th birthday. Expect big games from David Simoes in Quad City on March 9, Dave Pszenyczny in Denver February 18, Kellan Tochkin against Bloomington February 15, Ryan Jardine against Denver March 15, Kenton Miller in Bloomington February 10, Sebastien Thinel in Wichita March 24 and John-Scott Dickson sometime in the playoffs.
This weekend the Mavericks will attempt to get closer to the peak as they take on what will be their most frequent opponent in 2012-2013, the Quad City Mallards for the first two times this season, Friday at home and Saturday in Moline.