The second four-games-in-five-nights stretch for the Missouri Mavericks ends tonight when coach Scott Hillman’s team travels to the BOK Center to take on the Tulsa Oilers.

The second four-games-in-five-nights stretch for the Missouri Mavericks ends tonight when coach Scott Hillman’s team travels to the BOK Center to take on the Tulsa Oilers.

The Mavericks are in need of a victory after suffering back-to-back losses to Wichita over the weekend. The Mavericks lost 3-2 at the Independence Events Center on Saturday and then fell to the Thunder 4-2 Sunday at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita.

All-star forward Matt Robinson had two goals in each game to pace the Thunder.

The two losses tighten the already close playoff race in the Turner Conference as Evansville stands in first place with 76 points, followed by Fort Wayne (69), Missouri  (63), Rapid City (62) and Quad City (59).

The top four teams reach the playoffs, and Hillman knows his 29-19-5 team is perpetually fighting for its playoff life.

“We had the four-in-five last week,” said Hillman, referring to a stretch where the Mavericks were 1-2-1, “and we have another this week. The past two weeks have been the toughest stretch of the season.

“We really need to get two points in Tulsa.”

The Mavericks started this four-in-five part of the schedule with a 4-0 victory at Bloomington last Thursday, but followed with the weekend losses to the 35-15-2 Thunder, who stand atop the Berry Conference.

“Every game from here on out has playoff implications,” Hillman said. “Some very good teams aren’t going to make the playoffs because of the parity in the league this year.”

Kris Hogg and Brandon Smith scored for the Mavericks in the 4-2 Sunday loss. Goaltender Charlie Effinger stopped 39 shots.

 Missouri’s Andrew Courtney set at team rookie record for goals in a season with his 20th Saturday night at Independence Events Center in the 3-2 loss.

“The record is nice,” Courtney said, “but I’d trade it for a win.”

 Wichita took a 3-1 lead with seven minutes to go in regulation on Robinson’s second goal of the game. The Mavericks drew close on a goal from David Simoes, but Wichita goaltender Adam Russo finished the evening stopping 35 of 37 shots.