Mavericks Battle to 7-6 OT Loss, Inaugural Season Comes to an End
RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Missouri Mavericks erased a two-goal third-period deficit, but ultimately lost to the Rapid City Rush, 7-6, in overtime Friday night in Game 4 of the Northern Conference Semifinals. Missouri's inaugural season came to an end on Les Reaney's series-winning goal at the 2:29 mark of the first overtime. Rapid City earned the series sweep against the Mavericks and will move on to the Northern Conference Finals to take on the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs.
Mavericks' forward Nick Sirota had a pair of goals and an assist, and Karl Sellan had a pair of assists for Missouri. Rich Hansen led all scorers with a goal and three assists for the Rush and Reaney finished with the game winner and two assists. Missouri had just three goals in three games heading into Game 4, but their six goals Friday night fell one short.
The Mavericks' special teams gave them a 2-1 lead after one period. Mike Burgoyne nearly gave the Mavericks' a 1-0 lead just 1:30 into the game when his shot from the point hit the cross bar. Shortly after, Jeff MacDermid went to the penalty box for elbowing giving the Rush the first power play of the game. It was the Mavericks, however, that scored on Rapid City's man advantage when Derek Pallardy deflected a pass off his skate at center ice that sent Nick Sirota unabated to the goaltender. Sirota went from backhand to forehand and buried the puck to give the Mavericks' a 1-0 lead at the 4:59 mark of the opening frame.
Nearly 10 minutes later, the Rush tied the game on Brendan Cook's second goal of the post-season. The Rush forward came in to the Mavs' zone along the left wing and wristed a shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Mavericks' netminder Gerry Festa five-hole. Reaney assisted on the play and earned his seventh point of the playoffs.
Missouri quickly responded when Jeff Christian lit the lamp for the first time in the playoffs on a power play goal. The Mavericks' veteran leader took a pass from Sellan and snapped a shot from just inside the right circle that beat Rush goaltender Danny Battochio low to the stick side. Christian's power play goal gave the Mavericks the 2-1 lead as the teams headed into the first intermission.
Rapid City scored three straight goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead. Luke Fritshaw's shot from the point tied the game at two at the 4:27 mark of the second period. Derek LeBlanc gave the home team their first lead of the night when he banged home a rebound at the 9:17 mark. Finally, Hansen flipped the puck under the left leg of Festa giving the Rush a two-goal lead.
The Mavericks answered and made it a one-goal game on their second power play goal before the end of the second period. Rush goaltender Battochio tried to clear the puck out of his zone right up the middle of the ice and Burgoyne dove and caught the puck in the slot. Burgoyne then took a shot from his knees and beat Battochio before he could get back to the net. After two periods, the Rush had a 24-20 lead in shots and a 4-3 lead on the scoreboard.
Gio Flamminio's blast from the point gave the Rush a 5-3 lead just 3:28 into the final period, but the Mavericks would not go away. Missouri rebounded with three quick goals to retake the lead.
Brett Hammond scored on a nice backdoor pass from Sirota just 1:21 after Flamminio's goal to cut the Rush lead to 5-4. Toby Lafrance tied the game at five and scored just over two minutes later on a two-on-one rush. Lafrance carried the puck into the Rush zone and snapped a wrist shot past the glove of Battochio. The Mavericks regained the lead only one minute after Lafrance's goal, at the 7:54 mark, when Sirota buried his second of the night.
Rapid City tied it at the 8:54 mark when Leblanc one-timed a pass from behind the net past Festa's glove. The teams stayed tied until the end of regulation play despite a power play opportunity for the Mavericks with just two minutes remaining. Mavericks' head coach Scott Hillman even pulled his goaltender in the final minute when the Mavericks had a faceoff in the Rush zone. Missouri was unable to score with the extra attacker, and the teams headed into overtime.
Reaney scored just 2:29 into the overtime period when he redirected a pass from Brendan Cook sending the Rush to the Northern Conference Finals.
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Central Hockey League Stories from April 2, 2010
- Rush Advance to Northern Conference Finals with 7-6 Overtime Thriller - Rapid City Rush
- Northern Conference Finals Set Rush Take On Mudbugs - CHL
- Mavericks Battle to 7-6 OT Loss, Inaugural Season Comes to an End - Kansas City Mavericks
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- Bucks Host Allen Saturday In Huge Game Five - Laredo Bucks
- Bucks' Road Watch Party Tuesday At Hal's - Laredo Bucks
- Shots From The Point - CHL
- Rush To Host "White Out" And Look To Close Out Northern Conference Semifinals Tonight - Rapid City Rush
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