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Examiner
  • Mavs fall into playoff hole

  • A few missed scoring chances, some untimely penalties and a lights-out performance by the opposing goaltender left the Missouri Mavericks in an 0-1 hole in the club’s first-round best-of-seven Central Hockey League playoff series.

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  • A few missed scoring chances, some untimely penalties and a lights-out performance by the opposing goaltender left the Missouri Mavericks in an 0-1 hole in the club’s first-round best-of-seven Central Hockey League playoff series.
    The fifth-seeded Mavericks fell 3-0 to the Rapid City Rush on Friday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D. as Rush goalie Tim Boron stopped all 31 of the Mavs’ shots to notch the shutout.
    “Definitely their goaltending was the difference in the game,” Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said by phone Friday night. “We made two big mistakes and they capitalized on those to get two on us. We generated some very good quality scoring chances and didn’t bury them.”
    The Mavs take on the No. 4-seed Rush again at 8:05 p.m. Saturday in Rapid City before coming home for Game 3 Wednesday at the Independence Events Center. Hillman said there’s always an added sense of urgency with any playoff game, but with the Mavs cornered, Saturday’s game becomes even more crucial.
    “We have to come with a real passion to make sure we come home with a split,” Hillman said. “Every guy in the room knows exactly what we’re up against. It’s a long series and you don’t want to panic, but you have to up the sense of urgency.”
    Three different players notched scores for the rush. The first came at the 12:41 mark of the opening period when Winston Day Chief gathered a centering pass from Jared Brown and fired a shot past Mavericks goalie Mike Clemente. Kyle Peto registered the second assist on the play.
    The Mavs wasted two power-play chances in the first period and trailed despite outshooting Rapid City 12-8.
    The Rush tacked on its second goal late in the second as Brown weaved a pass to Dan Gendur, who beat Clemente at the 18:28 mark.
    Clemente recorded 29 saves on 31 shots in the loss and drew praise from Hillman, but a couple miscues left him in tough spots.
    “The first goal we had a missed coverage on a faceoff play that left them wide open in front of the net,” Hillman said. “The second one was a poorly played two-on-two and they ended up wide open again in front of the net for an open-side goal.”
    The Mavs had a chance to get back in it early in the third when Rapid City’s Jordan Behler was sent to the penalty box for slashing, but they failed to convert and committed three penalties of their own in the final 12 minutes to sabotage a comeback try. Missouri finished 0-for-5 in power-play chances.
    With 17 seconds left, Scott Wray connected on an empty-net goal to seal the Rush victory.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think some of their players dove into the wall a few times embellishing a couple penalty decisions or two and that might have cost us,” Hillman said. “It’s just the emotions of the first playoff game and you’ve got to get control of your emotions.”
    Jesse Schultz and Brown each finished with a pair of assists to boost Rapid City.
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC
     

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