The Missouri Mavericks 2013 first round playoff series against the Rapid City Rush featured exciting hockey, a fantastic comeback and drama away from the ice, the ice on the rink that is.
By finishing ahead of the Mavericks at the conclusion of the Central Hockey League regular season the Rush earned home ice at advantage in this series and capitalized by taking games one 3-0 and two 3-1. Rapid City goaltender Tim Boron repelled 67 of 68 Mavericks shots in the two games combined.
The Rush put themselves into a pretty good situation where two wins in three games at the IEC would advance them to the second round and one win in Independence would send them home with two opportunities to win one game.
Heading into game three the Mavericks had a big task as Boron was as difficult to solve as Hammurabi’s code.
Mavericks forward Andrew Courtney must have learned how to find answers to difficult questions during his time at the University of Lethbridge as he was not mystified by Boron equaling goals from Scott Brannon in the second period and Damian Surma in the third as regulation time ended with the Mavericks and Rush tied 2-2.
A pivotal point in the game, and series, occurred with 4:12 remaining in the second period when Missouri defenseman Dave Pszenyczny was given a five minute penalty for boarding. With Evan Vossen already in the penalty box Rapid City had a two-man advantage for 1:30. The Rush were not allowed to score on this opportunity.
Each team scored in the third period and regulation ended 2-2.
In overtime the Mavericks held the Rush to just one shot and Kellan Tochkin fired home the game-winner, on the power play, 3:50 into the extra session.
Tochkin’s marker was Missouri’s first power play goal of the playoffs and gave them their first lead of the post season.
Two nights later the Mavericks tied the series at two wins each as Kenton Miller had two goals and an assist, Andrew Courtney scored once and assisted on another goal, Eric Meland had two helpers and Michael Clemente turned aside 24 of 26 shots in a 4-2 Mavericks win.
In game five the Mavericks overcame 1-0 and 2-1 Rush leads with four third-period goals and pushed the Rush to the edge of the cliff.
That cliff would be in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
For events that took place in the Mount Rushmore State log on for my next Independence Examiner blog.