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Examiner
  • Mavs lament loss to last-place Oilers

  • This past week, Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman has been preaching the importance of a fast start in Friday night's home contest against last-place Tulsa.

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  • This past week, Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman has been preaching the importance of a fast start in Friday night's home contest against last-place Tulsa.
    He talked about intensity, a must-win situation, getting on the scoreboard early. None of that happened as the Oilers handed the Mavericks a 4-1 loss before the fifth-straight sellout crowd of 5,800 at the Independence Events Center.
    The win was the first on the road for the Oilers in their last 13 tries.
    After a lengthy postgame session with his team, Hillman emerged from the locker room and displayed more disappointment than anger.
    “We come out and have a slow start, which we addressed all week,” Hillman said, as Tulsa took a 2-0 lead into the third period. “I don't think it had anything to do with slow legs, it had more to do with slow brains.
    “This is our first game this week and the only reason it was as close as it was was because of Clemmer (rookie goaltender Mike Clemente). Tulsa came to our place to win, and they found a way to do that. I sensed more desperation from our guys than urgency, and I don't know why.
    “That is something that will be addressed.”
    The third-place Mavericks saw a four-game winning streak and six-game point streak come to an end in disappointing fashion as nothing went right offensively, with the exception of Colt King's goal at 12:16 of the third period.
    “When we got the goal and cut it to 2-1 we all felt like we were going to win,” Clemente said. “We can't let this loss affect us tomorrow night against Quad City. They always play us tough and we have to forget about this loss and come out ready tomorrow night.”
    The Mavericks defeated second-place Wichita and third-place (tie) Denver last weekend, and losing to Tulsa to open a two-game home series was Hillman's worst-cast scenario.
    “Some of the younger guys on this team have to watch a veteran player like (Sebastien) Thinel (the Mavericks team captain),” Hillman said. “He performs every day, and we had too many guys turn in disappointing performances tonight.
    “Some guys had the chance to do something special for the team and they failed the test.”
    Newly acquired forward Patrick Schafer, a former Maverick, scored the opening goal at the 7:44 mark of the first period when a shot trickled under Clemente's arm and Schafer was on the backdoor to put the puck in the net.
    Tulsa took a 2-0 lead in the second period on Ryan Menei's goal at the 13:17 mark. Menei lifted his shot over Clemente's shoulder and the visitors had a two-goal lead through two periods.
    Page 2 of 2 - King jammed home a loose puck at the 12:15 mark. It was King's fourth goal in his last five games and his third straight game with a goal. The Mavericks had a great opportunity to tie the game when they were awarded a power play with 3:06 remaining in regulation, but the Oilers killed the penalty and scored two empty-net goals in the final minute.
    “It was much closer than 4-1 because of the empty-net goals,” Hillman said, “but this is a game we needed to win.”
    The Mavericks close out their five-game home stand at 7:05 p.m. Saturday against Quad City. Less than 650 tickets remain for the game.
    The first 1,500 fans will receive a MacAttack bobblehead.
     
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