• Struggling Mavs hope to bounce back

  • Bodies were flying all over the ice at the Independence Events Center Monday morning – 19 of them.

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  • Bodies were flying all over the ice at the Independence Events Center Monday morning – 19 of them.
    “That’s more players than we’ve had in weeks,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “We’re finally getting healthy. And it couldn’t come at a better time.”
    At one practice session last week, the coach had just 13 players on the ice.
    By the weekend, the team could be at full strength as Podge Turnbull (upper body), Colt King (hand) and Blake Forsyth (lower body) could all be ready to play.
    The Mavericks entered a 27-games-in-52-days streak this past weekend with disastrous results as Missouri lost 6-4 at Tulsa Friday and 5-2 home against Quad City Saturday.
    The Mavericks travel to Moline, Ill., today to take on the Mallards in what Hillman calls “a must-win situation.”
    The Mavericks (21-16-5), Arizona and Bloomington are all tied for sixth place with 46 points. The Mavericks could have enjoyed a four-point weekend with wins over ninth-place Quad City (43 points) and 10th-place Tulsa, but suffered two losses that prompted Hillman to call a Sunday practice.
    “We haven’t had the boys on the ice on a Sunday in three years,” Hillman said. “We’re going into a stretch where we play a lot of games, and I think the players prefer that.
    “We’re coming off a disappointing January where we played on Friday and Saturday nights and that was it. The players prefer more than two games a week.”
    Team captain Sebastien Thinel backed that comment.
    “We’re hockey players, we would prefer to play than to sit a week between games,” Thinel said. “We know that 27 games in 52 days are a lot of games, but we are ready for it. We see it as a challenge. Really, we can’t wait to play, whether it is at home or on the road.
    “We believe we can start a winning streak with a win at Quad City Tuesday.”
    Following tonight’s game, the Mavericks play at Allen (Friday), are home against Tulsa Saturday, play in Bloomington Sunday and play host to Denver Tuesday.
    The ninth-consecutive sellout at the Events Center witnessed a disappointing 5-2 loss Saturday night as the Mallards scored the final four goals of the game for their first regulation win over the Mavericks in their last six outings.
    Anthony Perdicaro and Michael Monfredo each had a goal and an assist, and Mickey Lang had two assists for the 19-18-5 Mallards. Missouri suffered its second straight loss in regulation and fourth loss in its last five games.
    Quad City took a 1-0 lead at the 11:24 mark of the first period when Obi Aduba tipped a shot past goaltender Mike Clemente.
    Page 2 of 2 - Missouri bounced back and scored the next two goals just 1:27 apart. Ryan Jardine scored in a scrum in front of the net, and then Andrew Courtney’s shot was redirected by Kenton Miller into the back of the net at the 17:54 mark of the first period.
    But the rest of the night belonged to the Mallards.
    Mallards' defenseman Derek Matheson scored the lone goal of the second period and Quad City scored three more unanswered goals in the third period, including Monfredo’s empty-netter in the closing seconds.
    “It was a strange game in that we would play well for four or five minutes – keeping the puck in their end of the ice – then they would get a breakaway and score,” Hillman said. “We made three mistakes and they turned them into three goals. It was not Clemmer’s fault. He did an outstanding job in the net.”
    Hillman said the team is assessing the goaltender situation as Mathieu Corbeil has been called up to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and appears that he will stay there for a while.
    “Nothing official to report,” Hillman said, “but we’re certainly looking into it.”

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