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Examiner
  • Mavericks lose close battle late

  • Scott Hillman maintained his composure and tried to avoid talking about two calls – one that was made, and one that wasn’t – that had everyone buzzing Tuesday night at the Independence Events Center.

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  • Scott Hillman maintained his composure and tried to avoid talking about two calls – one that was made, and one that wasn’t – that had everyone buzzing Tuesday night at the Independence Events Center.
    Missouri’s Colt King was thrown to the ice in a no-call play that took on dramatic implications when King was later called for slashing at 16:53 of the third period.
    That gave Denver a late power-play opportunity, and the Cutthroats made the most of it as Luke Fulghum scored the game-winner at the 18:37 mark to give the visitors a dramatic 2-1 victory before a crowd of 5,627.
    With Hillman, assistant director of hockey operations Simon Watson and team president and general manager Brent Thiessen watching a replay in the coach's office, Hillman tried to temper his comments about the controversial play and keep them focused on the action on the ice.
    “You could see King hauled down, and later, he was called for slashing – it was questionable,” Hillman said after the Cutthroats moved ahead of the Mavericks into fourth place in the league with 54 points. “But it was also a great hockey game between two teams that are battling to move up in the standings.”
    Missouri finished the night in fifth place with 52 points, followed by Arizona (51) and Bloomington (50).
    The loss dampened a strong night in goal for the Mavericks’ Mathieu Corbeil, who stopped 26 of 28 shots.
    “Mathieu Corbeil was just outstanding in the net tonight. When he made that glove save (on a shorthanded breakaway by Fulghum at 8:41 of the third period), I thought that would get us a win.
    “A lot of times, when a goalie makes a play like that, the team rallies and goes on to victory. That didn't happen tonight. This is one of those frustrating losses where two teams battle and you want so badly to win and you can't find a way to do it.”
    The Mavericks were shorthanded again as forwards Ryan Jardine (upper body), Andrew Courtney (lower body) and Kenton Miller (illness) did not dress out.
    “We're used to being shorthanded,” Hillman said. “The boys see it as a challenge. This is one of those games that if you win, you can point back at it and say, ‘That’s one we really needed and we found a way to get it done.’ It just didn’t happen for us tonight.”
    Denver's Kieran Millan stopped 29 of 30 shots to outduel Corbeil.
    “The glove save was just pure reaction,” Corbeil said. “Both their goals were flukes. The first hit off the boards, and I have had the puck hit off my back and go in the goal, so tonight I let it go and (Jean-Philipp Chabot) was there and hit it basically into an open net.
    Page 2 of 2 - “There was nothing I could do. The second hit off two players, hit the post and went in. It happens, but that doesn’t make it any easier because we played a very strong defensive game tonight.”
    The Mavericks missed on golden opportunity to score when Sebastien Thinel broke away for a shorthanded one-on-one against Millan, but the Denver goalie blocked the captain's third-period shot.
    “We had our opportunities and did not capitalize, and they had their opportunities and they did capitalize,” Thinel said. “Mathieu was so strong in the net; we really wanted to get him a win tonight.
    “Now, we rest up tomorrow and get ready for Friday and Saturday (at home against the Bloomington Blaze and Allen Americans).”
    The teams traded goals in the first period. After Chabot scored, Trevor Kell wristed a shot past Millan for the Mavericks’ lone score. Kellan Tochkin and Jesse Perrin earned assists.
    “We were shorthanded tonight,” Mavericks defenseman David Simoes said, “but we made it a competitive game. We’ll be all right. We hate to lose, but we’ll come back strong Friday and Saturday.”
     
     
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