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Examiner
  • Mavs eager to finally meet Komets

  • The Missouri Mavericks breathed a collective sigh of relief late Tuesday night when they found out that Fort Wayne had edged Rapid City 4-3 in overtime to claim their Turner Conference best-of-seven semifinal playoff series in six games, setting up a big weekend series between the Mavericks and Komets at Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks breathed a collective sigh of relief late Tuesday night when they found out that Fort Wayne had edged Rapid City 4-3 in overtime to claim their Turner Conference best-of-seven semifinal playoff series in six games, setting up a big weekend series between the Mavericks and Komets at Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
    “It’s awesome to finally know who we’re playing,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said Wednesday morning, following a spirited practice session on the community ice. “We didn’t care who we played – Fort Wayne or Rapid City – because they are both quality teams. We didn’t see much of Fort Wayne this season, but we’re doing a lot to make sure we know what to expect Friday night.”
    The Mavericks left the Events Center at 11 p.m. on what Hillman called a standard schedule for such a long trip.
    “We want to do our best to keep our routine the same,” Hillman said as the trip to Fort Wayne takes about 11 hours. “We’re not going to change anything now. We’ll let the boys sleep on the bus, get into Fort Wayne, get settled and get ready for Friday night.”
    Following 7 p.m. games Friday and Saturday in Fort Wayne, the Turner Conference championship series moves back to the Independence Events Center for 7 p.m. games next Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.
    “We have to find a way to steal a win this weekend, then that takes away their home-ice advantage,” Hillman said. “We won our first two games at Evansville and then came back home and won two games. If you win a game on the road, when that team has the home-ice advantage, it’s just huge.”
    While the Komets and Rush were battling through six games, the Mavericks were taking some time away from the ice as they swept the IceMen in their semifinal series.
    “It doesn’t matter who we play, we’re just excited to get back into a routine and know when we’re going to play,” Mavericks forward Brandon Coccimiglio said Wednesday morning. “Because we swept Evansville and there was no ice at the Events Center (because of a youth wrestling tournament), we haven’t had a lot of structure the past week or so.
    “Now, we’re back on the ice, Hilly is getting us going and we’re ready to play. We need to come out strong in the first shift Friday night to show them we’re not rusty because of our long layoff. Then we have to find a way to get a win there. If we get a win on their ice, that gives us the same type of momentum we had when we opened the first round of the playoffs and won the first game at Evansville.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Veteran forward Ryan Jardine agreed with the second-year pro.
    "I’m just so happy to know who we’re playing and when we’re playing,” Jardine said. “We’ve all been chomping at the bit to get back on the ice, to get back to practice and to prepare for the next round of the playoffs. We only played them two times this season, but we know Hilly will have us ready to go Friday night. We’ll know everything we need to know about Fort Wayne when the first shift hits the ice.”
    The Mavericks were 1-1 against Fort Wayne this season, losing 3-2 at Fort Wayne and claiming a shootout win at the Events Center.

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