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Examiner
  • Mavericks desperate to end slump

  • Something has to give Friday night as the Missouri Mavericks play host to the Fort Worth Brahmas at 7:05 p.m. in the Independence Events Center.

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  • Something has to give Friday night as the Missouri Mavericks play host to the Fort Worth Brahmas at 7:05 p.m. in the Independence Events Center.
    The Mavericks are in last place in the CHL with a 4-7-1 overall record and are just 1-4 at home.
    The slow start is nothing new for the Mavericks, who were 2-7-1 over their first 10 home games last season, and that squad came within a period of advancing to the CHL championship series.
    But that was then, and this is now.
    And no one associated with the Mavericks is very happy about the disappointing way the team has started the 2012 campaign.
    “Every mistake we make results in our opponent scoring a goal,” Hillman said earlier this week following a 4-3 home loss to rival Wichita in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5,172 fans.
    “We’re not making excuses. That’s just the way it’s going for the team right now. I’m still waiting for 60 solid minutes from the boys. We play well at certain times of a period, but then we revert back to the style of play that leads to mistakes.”
    And those mistakes lead to losses, which the Mavericks can’t afford – especially at home.
    “We had a great crowd tonight, and we lose,” Mavericks forward Jeff Pierce said Tuesday, shaking his head. “We have to give our fans something to cheer about. We have too much talent to be where we are.”
    When asked if the players, especially the younger players on the team like rookie goaltenders Mathieu Corbeil and Mike Clemente might be trying too hard, Pierce said, “We’re all trying hard, but I don’t think we’re trying too hard.
    “Something just isn’t clicking. And I don’t think any of us know what it is. Coach has us prepared and we’re ready to go every night, but we just aren’t getting the results we had hoped for, especially at home.”
    Despite the loss to the Thunder, who have defeated the Mavericks six consecutive times in the Events Center, most fans stayed until the game ended and applauded the team during the traditional postgame fan salute on the ice.
    “Our fans are great,” Hillman said. “To have a crowd like we had tonight, during the holidays and on a Tuesday night, well, we have to find a way to give them something cheer about.
    “We have to play with passion – like every game is a playoff game.”
     
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