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Examiner
  • Mavs fall at home again

  • The Missouri Mavericks' home woes continued Tuesday night at the Independence Events Center as the Wichita Thunder broke a 2-all tie midway through the third period to claim a 3-2 victory.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks' home woes continued Tuesday night at the Independence Events Center as the Wichita Thunder broke a 2-all tie midway through the third period to claim a 3-2 victory.
    It was Wichita's sixth consecutive win at the Events Center and the loss kept the Mavericks in the CHL cellar with a 4-7-1 overall record and disappointing 1-4 mark at home.
    In front of a boisterous crowd of 5,172, the Mavericks fell behind early in the first period when Gregor Hanson scored a power-play goal.
    But Jeff Pierce gave the near sellout crowd plenty to cheer about when he knotted the score at 1-all at 16:28 of the second period.
    Just 26 seconds later, the Thunder took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Chad Painchaud, and that score stood going into the third period.
    The Mavericks came out crashing the net in period No. 3 and Kellan Tochkin drilled the puck past goaltender Torrie Jung to knot the score at 2-all just 21 seconds into the final period.
    But at 9:24, Ian Lowe scored the game-winner as he took a slick pass from Painchaud and backhanded the puck past Mike Clemente.
    “That's our (sixth) one-goal game this season,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said, “and we haven't been on the winning end of many of them. The close losses will help in the long term, because you know you're right there – you are so close to breaking out of this slump.
    “But right now, they just add to the frustration.”
    The Mavericks were 2-7-1 at home early last season and rebounded to come within a win of advancing to the CHL championship series, but Hillman said that has no bearing on the team's disappointing 2012 start.
    “What this team needs to do is feel the absolute passion to win a game, whether it be on the road or at home,” Hillman said. “We need to feel the urgency to win. We did some good things tonight, but not enough good things to win.”
    When asked if his team might be trying too hard to end the recent road skid, Hillman paused for a moment before answering.
    “I don't think the boys are trying too hard,” Hillman said. “I know they are trying hard, but I don't think they are putting that extra pressure on themselves to try too hard. The first goal was the result of a power-play goal. We're at a point in the season where every mistake we make results in the puck winding up in the back of the net.”
    Frustration was etched on Pierce's face as he talked about the loss.
    “We lose another one-goal game, at home, in front of a great crowd,” Pierce said. “This is brutal, absolutely brutal. Whether you lose 7-0 or 3-2 – and we lost by both scores this season – it's a loss and it's tough.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I know we're going to turn this thing around. You look at the talent in that locker room and you know we're better, much better, than a 4-7-1 team. Are we trying too hard? I don't think so, but when a team scores, it seems to take the wind out of our sails for a little while.
    “We have to keep fighting every minute of every period to score and to keep the other team from scoring. And I don't want anyone putting the blame on our coaches.
    “We have the notes on the board, we have the great practices. We are as well prepared as any team in the league. We just need to go out on the ice and find a way to win.”
     
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