• Deficit not fazing Mavs

  • The mood was upbeat and positive inside the Missouri Mavericks locker room Tuesday morning.

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  • The mood was upbeat and positive inside the Missouri Mavericks locker room Tuesday morning.
    Players were getting updates on the medical status of Colt King and Riley Emmerson’s dogs – after both had leg surgery over the weekend.
    Others were looking over their income tax forms before putting them in the mail and the rest were talking about the things 24-year-old guys talk about after practice.
    There was no panic-button pushing, hysteria or doom and gloom.
    That might catch many fans off guard as the Mavericks head into Game 3 of the CHL playoffs at 7:05 p.m. today at the Independence Events Center needing a win over Rapid City. The Rush hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series after 3-0 and 3-1 wins at Rapid City on Friday and Saturday.
    “If it was a three-game series, it would be over,” said rookie goaltender Mike Clemente, who has been outdueled by Rapid City’s Tim Boron in the first two games. “It would be tough if it was a five-game series, but it’s a seven-game series and we’re fine. We played well, we just didn’t get the puck in the back of the net in Rapid City.
    “We’re home Wednesday, our building is going to be rocking and we’re going to be all right.”
    Boron has a microscopic 0.50 goals-against average and .985 save percentage in the playoffs so far. Clemente is 0-2 in the series despite a solid 2.58 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.
    “Boron has stopped 66 of 67 shots,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “If we were just getting 20 shots a game, I’d be concerned. But we’re getting our shots – we just have to make them count Wednesday.”
    King has the Mavericks’ lone goal in the playoffs as he redirected a Dave Pszenyczny slap shot past Boron last Saturday.
    “We just need to bear down around the net,” Pszenyczny said. “We had our opportunities. We played two games up there and we’re not as accustomed to the ice at their place as we are at the Events Center.
    “We’re better than we showed in Rapid City. I know someone’s going to say, ‘Yeah, but you’re still 0-2.’ We’re going to be fine on Wednesday. We need to be aggressive, do our best to get the first goal in the game and keep the same mentality we had in Rapid City.
    “We’re not panicking. We’re excited about Game 3.”
    Hillman said the Rush have done nothing special to shut down the Mavericks’ offense, including the line of CHL MVP Sebastien Thinel, Rookie of the Year finalist Kenton Miller and former CHL Rookie of the Month Kellan Tochkin.
    “We’re getting good shots – we really are,” Hillman said. “The next three games are at home, and that’s huge. The boys believe they can get it done Wednesday and I believe in them.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It would be huge to get the first goal. If we find the back of the net, we’re going to be fine.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC

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