By Nick Hartman:
(INDEPENDENCE, MO) The Mavericks had another great performance, Saturday, topping off their home stand and winning 5-2. The team played well together and it paid off. The Mavericks were beat in the first two periods but quickly rebounded in the third scoring four goals to turn the game around. The Mavs were able to provide the tough defense, killing two four minute penalties, and the composed offense, scoring four goals in the last 12 minutes of play. The Mavericks played very well all around and hope to continue this pivotal playing into Rapid City.
“We had a sense of urgency going into the third period, that we need to carry into Rapid City,” said Mavericks head coach, Scott Hillman. “I am very pleased with the performance by the guys. Colt King was in the box for the first 14 minutes and the guys played well without him. Being down twice in the game, battling back and playing a superb third period against a good hockey club.”
The first and second periods were bad for the Mavericks as they allowed two goals on 12 shots and had a tough time keeping the Rush out of their zone. The first goal was scored just 3:45 into the first period, when Rusty Master tapped in the puck after a strong set-up from Scott Brannon. After a slow 16 more minutes, Colt King received one minor tripping penalty and a misconduct for “Abuse of the Official”. The call was controversial and according to King,
“It’s a tough time for soft penalties to be called like that. The first call got me fired up a bit and we were taking all the same abuse as they were. And it seemed like we were the only ones getting called for everything. Despite that, it’s the way it is going to be. Reffing is always inconsistent. They are always going to be the enemy and you are never going to be happy but you got to battle through it. It was dumb on my part to keep chirping but the team battled through it and killed the minutes and I got back on the ice.”
The Mavericks were losing 1-0 at the start of the second period but tied the game at the 10 minute mark in the second. Kellen Tochkin deked and backhanded the puck past, Rapid City goalie, Danny Bottachio. The goal was assisted by Sebastien Thinel and J.P. Testwuide. Rapid City scored with just 2:07 left in the second, when Rusty Masters shot the puck in mid-air, like a baseball, into the net. At the end of the second period, the Rush were leading 2-1.
In the third period, something clicked for the Mavericks and they began to play tough. The work paid off in the seventh minute when Ryan Jardine broke away, deked Danny Bottachio out of his skates and scored, tying the game at two. The goal was assisted by Blake Forsyth and Kellen Tochkin. The next goal came at the 14:30 minute when Colt King backhanded the puck into the goal after rebounding a John Scott-Dickson shot. The fourth goal of the game came at the 18:18 mark in the third period. Colt King and Andrew Courtney managed to get an odd man rush and Courtney set-up King for a goal. By this time, the Orange Army was getting very loud and the building began to shake. The final goal of the game came just a minute later. Rapid City had pulled their goalie and Kenton Miller sent a shot from just beyond center-ice into the goal. The Orange Army was so loud with this goal that the building shook. By the time the game came to an end 40 seconds later, the Mavericks had won 5-2 and had taken a 3-2 lead in the series.