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Examiner
  • Mavs score improbable win

  • The Missouri Mavericks scored an improbable 3-2 overtime victory over Fort Wayne Friday night on the Komets’ home ice. Ed McGrane scored on a penalty shot with 19 seconds left in regulation to knot the score and John-Scott Dickson won with a shot that ricocheted off the skate of goaltender Nick Boucher 5:20 into the overtime period.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks scored an improbable 3-2 overtime victory over Fort Wayne Friday night on the Komets’ home ice. Ed McGrane scored on a penalty shot with 19 seconds left in regulation to knot the score and John-Scott Dickson won with a shot that ricocheted off the skate of goaltender Nick Boucher 5:20 into the overtime period.
    “Graner scores and it’s like, ‘Did that just happen?’ Then Dickson scores I thought, ‘We won?,’” Mavericks goaltender Charlie Effinger said. “We’ll take it. Oh, we’ll take this one – crazy, what a crazy way to win. There were a lot of high fives after that win.”
    McGrane said he never thought about the consequences if he missed his shot, just wanted to make sure Boucher had to make a save.
    “I had a plan,” McGrane said, “I kind of knew what I wanted to do, but I just went out and took the shot without overthinking it. You can’t think about what might happen if you don’t make it, you have to be positive.”
    The Mavericks take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Turner Conference championship series that continues at 7 p.m. CDT tonight in Fort Wayne.
    “Charlie Effinger and Ed McGrane were two big reasons we won that game,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said by phone moments after the game ended.
    “Charlie came up big in the net, and when it was time to send someone out to take the penalty shot, we sent out a proven veteran who got the job done.”
    Hillman said he had never witnessed a game in which a team ties the score with its lone shot in the final period. McGrane’s penalty shot was the Mavericks’ only shot on goal in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
    “We didn’t deserve this one, but we’ll take it,” said Hillman, who told The Examiner earlier in the week that winning Game 1 was imperative as the Komets held home ice advantage.
    That is no longer true, as the next game is in Fort Wayne, then the series moves to the Independence Events Center for 7 p.m. games next Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. If needed, Games 6 and 7 would be played back in Fort Wayne.
    “We know they’re going to come out fired up and they will do anything they can to keep from going down 0-2 Saturday night,” Hillman said. “They played an excellent defensive game - especially in that third period. They stole so many passes.”
     And the Mavericks stole one of the biggest wins in team history.
    Ironically, Missouri scored its first goal just 1:02 into the first period as Andrew Courtney took a pass from Sebastien Thinel and fired it past Boucher. It was Courtney’s first goal of the postseason and Thinel’s team-high sixth assist.
    Page 2 of 2 - Fort Wayne’s Tom Mele tied the game at 1-all at 6:59 of the first period and the Komets took a 2-1 lead on Mike Vaskivuo’s goal at 1:28 of the second period.
    The Komets’ defense locked down the Mavericks until the closing seconds when Boucher was whistled for knocking his net off the moorings, giving the Mavericks the penalty shot.
    It was McGrane’s first successful overtime penalty shot for the Mavericks.
    Effinger stopped 38 of 40 shots, include a barrage in the third period.
    “Charlie has done it all season,” the coach said. “He makes the big saves and keeps us in every game.”
    Effinger said his game plan was simple.
    “I just kept telling myself, keep it close, give the boys a chance to come back in the third period,” Effinger said. “I couldn’t live with myself if they scored a goal on a play where I didn’t give it my all.
    “My dad likes to say some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you. Today, we got the bear. And now, we have to stay focused and do everything we can to come back home with a 2-0 advantage and the next three games on our home ice.”
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