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Examiner
  • Mavericks nab first win at Allen

  • Coach Scott Hillman chuckled when asked about the eight-hour bus ride back to Independence following the Missouri Mavericks’ first-ever win at the Allen Events Center.

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  • Coach Scott Hillman chuckled when asked about the eight-hour bus ride back to Independence following the Missouri Mavericks’ first-ever win at the Allen Events Center.
    “That eight-hour bus trip is going to seem a lot shorter,” Hillman said by phone after the Mavericks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Allen Americans behind Brian Bicek’s four-point night. “This is the first time we've won in this building and it's their first loss at home this season – and it took our best effort of the season to get it done.
    “This is the game we've all been waiting for, and the line of Bicek, (Jeff) Pierce and (Sebastian) Thinel was just incredible tonight. Bicek had the four points, but I know he'd be the first to credit his linemates.”
    Thinel gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead just six minutes into the first period. But that was it for the offense for a while as the Americans came back to take a 2-1 lead on a second-period goal by Scotty Howes and a quick third-period goal by Tyler Ludwig.
    “Mike Clemente was huge in the net tonight, especially the second period (when the Mavericks were outshot 17-5),” Hillman said of the rookie goaltender, who lost 7-0 in his last start at the Independence Events Center. “We never lost confidence in him, and tonight he was stopping everything.
    “We had some mistakes and some penalties really hurt, but overall, we came to play and found a way to beat Allen for the first time in their place.”
    Jeff Pierce tied the game at 2-all midway through the third period on assists from Bicek and Thinel.
    Bicek then gave the Mavericks a 3-2 lead at 11:01.
    “In the first 10 games, if something went wrong, it was kind of like, ‘Oh no, here we go again,’” said Bicek, who finished with two goals and two assists. “But not tonight. We got fired up when they got the lead and we weren't going to go down without a fight.
    “Jeff and Sebbie (Thinel) were great tonight. Everyone played so well. That's how you have to play to beat a team like Allen, especially on their home ice.”
    In an ironic twist, Allen pulled goaltender Aaron Dell with 1:37 left in the game and Bicek collected a loose puck, skated the length of the ice and put it into the back of the empty net with one minute left.
    It proved to be the game winner, as Missouri's Matt Krug was called for boarding and Jamie Schaafsma scored a power-play goal with an extra attacker 26 seconds later to make it 4-3.
    “The boys held on at the end, and like I said before, it's going to be a much nicer bus ride back to Independence,” Hillman said. “Bicek's line, Clemente, the special teams – they all combined for a great team win.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Pierce and Thinel each finished with a goal and an assist.
    Allen fell to 9-2 overall and 4-1 at home and the Mavericks improved to 4-5-2 overall and 3-3-2 on the road. The Mavs host Rapid City at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the Independence Events Center.
     
     
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