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Examiner
  • Surging Mavs to keep it simple

  • The Missouri Mavericks are all on the same page when it comes to how the Central Hockey League team can continue its recent success this weekend against two of the top teams in the league.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks are all on the same page when it comes to how the Central Hockey League team can continue its recent success this weekend against two of the top teams in the league.
    The Wichita Thunder, who are 3-0-2 against the Mavericks this season, and the expansion Denver Cutthroats will each make an appearance at the Independence Events Center and Mavs and coach Scott Hillman and his players know the key to success is simplicity.
    “We have to keep it simple,” forward Ryan Jardine said. “When we keep it simple, we seem to have more success. We need to stick to the game plan and continue doing what we’ve done the past month.”
    The 16-11-4 Mavericks are coming off a 10-3-2 December and find themselves alone in fourth place.
    “We need to stay out of the penalty box and have success with our special teams,” defenseman Dave Pszenyczny said. “It’s all pretty simple – play hard, don’t make mistakes and keep going after them. If we do that, we’ll come away with some points this weekend.”
    Forward John-Scott Dickson said the most important aspect of the weekend is tenacity.
    “If we get down, like we have in the past against Wichita, we have to keep pounding them, being aggressive, keeping the pressure on and communicating,” Dickson said. “If we get down 2-1 or 3-1, we know we can come back. We showed we could do that in the month of December.
    “We’re playing with a lot of confidence, and when you have a month like we just had, you feel like you can go out and beat anyone, no matter what the score is at anytime during the game.”
    Newcomer Kyle Hood, a defenseman with a nasty streak, is eager to face the Thunder tonight.
    “I know they’ve had a lot of success against the Mavericks this season, but I think there is an intimidation factor when you come into this building,” Hood said. “Wichita and Denver are two of the better teams in the league. We need to find a way to get some points this weekend, and I believe we will.”
    The importance of this weekend was emphasized by Hillman before his team took to the ice for practice Thursday.
    “We addressed the fact that not only are Wichita and Denver two of the better teams in the league,” Hillman said, “but they happen to be right in front of us (in the standings; Wichita is in second place at 20-10-3 and Denver is in third at 18-11-3).
    “It’s a big weekend, a huge weekend. We have not played this week, so we’ve had a lot of time to work on some things to prepare for the two games and the boys are ready.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Team captain and CHL scoring leader Sebastien Thinel is ready to go.
    “We can’t wait for the weekend,” Thinel, who was named CHL Player of the Month for December on Thursday, said as he signed sticks and pucks on a table outside of the locker room. “We have to play our game, keep it simple and stick to Scott’s game plan. We are getting better and better every time we go out and if we play our game for 60 minutes, we should have a lot of success.”
     
     
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