The mood was businesslike and determined.

The mood was businesslike and determined.

Members of the Missouri Mavericks exited their locker room at the Independence Events Center on Thursday, in preparation for the 7-hour trip to Evansville, Ind., where the IceMen will play host to coach Scott Hillman’s team at 7:15 p.m. tonight in Game 2 of the best-of-seven playoff series.

The Mavericks got goals from Ed McGrane, Dave Pszenyczny and Brandon Smith, and goaltender Charlie Effinger stopped 35 of 37 attempts Wednesday night at the Independence Events Center as Missouri claimed a 3-2 victory.

“It’s so big to get that first win,” said Pszenyczny, who won a CHL championship last season with Bossier-Shreveport. “With the 1-2-1-1-1-1 format (with Game 4 being played at 7:05 p.m. Monday at the Events Center), we needed to win Game 1. Now, if we can go into Evansville and steal a game or two, it’s going to give us a lot of momentum.”

The Mavericks ended the regular season with a four-game winning streak and were one of the hottest teams in the CHL.

“We were hoping that momentum would carry over into the playoffs, and it did in Game 1,” McGrane said. “We had to win that first game at home, especially since we go to their place for the next two games.

“We’ve had some success there this season and we’re playing with a lot of confidence. A lot of different guys have been scoring for this team and Charlie has been amazing.”

Effinger turned in a performance for the ages in the final 20 minutes Wednesday night, stopping all 16 IceMen shots as the Mavericks had their penalty-kill unit out on the ice for six minutes.

“The boys did a great job in front of me,” said Effinger, who was named the CHL Sher-Wood Goaltender of the Month for March. “Throughout the entire season, we’ve taken each game one at a time.

“And that’s what we have to do this weekend. We can’t even begin to think about Saturday night and taking both games, until we see what happens Friday.

“They’re such a crafty, veteran team. They’re not going to get down after losing Wednesday. They’re going to come out firing on all cylinders Friday night and we’re going to have to be ready.”

The IceMen had the third-best power-play unit in the CHL during the regular season, but they have scored just one goal in 22 power-play attempts against the Mavericks this season, including Wednesday’s playoff game.

“Our PK unit has been outstanding,” Hillman said. “They are such an explosive team, and we can’t afford to give them that many (scoring) opportunities Friday night.”

PLAYOFF TICKETS: Tickets in all price ranges are available for Monday’s home game against Evansville. Ticket prices begin at $16.

“We want our fans to know how much we appreciate them, and we know how tough it is to prepare for games on such short notice,” team president and general manager Brent Thiessen said Thursday morning. “Having games on Wednesday and Monday nights is not ideal, but the fans who were there for Game 1 made a real impact on the team.”

A crowd of 4,311 watched Wednesday night’s game. The Mavericks averaged 5,531 fans per game during the regular season.

CHL ATTENDANCE SOARS: The CHL announced Thursday that the league’s average attendance during the 2011-12 season was the highest since the 2006-07 campaign.

The league drew 1,867,801 fans in the regular season, averaging 4,042 per game. That’s a 6.5 percent increase from 2010-11.

The Mavericks played a big role in that increase as the third-year franchise posted the third-best attendance figures in the league. The Mavs averaged 5,531 fans per game, which trailed only Fort Wayne (7,770) and Wichita (6,249). The Mavs also led the CHL with 19 sellouts in their 33 home games.