Third period surge, outstanding goaltending vault Mavs into second place
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - In nine total games against the Rapid City Rush, the Missouri Mavericks had won zero times. That all changed Saturday night at Independence Events Center as the Mavericks beat the Rush, 3-1. The sellout crowd of 5,800 witnessed outstanding performances by goaltender Robby Nolan and Nick Sirota as the Mavs skated to their first victory over Rapid City in franchise history.
Both goaltenders got more than their shares of work in the first period as each team put at least a dozen shots on net in the period. The Rush outshot the Mavericks 13-12 in the first period. The only shot to go in was a drive from Ryan Menei at the 14:01 mark of the period for his 20th goal of the season. Andrew Smale and Josh Beaulieu were given the assists on the goal.
The defensive battle continued into the second period as the Mavericks tried to knot up the score. The Mavericks would finally break their scoreless streak at the 13:39 mark of the middle frame when Nathan O'Nabigon found Bill Vandermeer in the slot with a pass and Vandermeer rocketed the shot past Battochio to even the score at one a piece. The goal by Vandermeer broke a scoreless streak of 112:07 by the Mavericks, the longest of the season. Both teams went into the second intermission all tied up at one goal each.
The third period ended up being a fast and furious 20 minutes as the Mavs and Rush traded chance after chance. Nick Sirota finally broke through for the Mavericks on a breakaway and put one over Bottachio's shoulder to give the Mavs' their first lead of the game. Ryan Jardine got the assist on the goal with a well timed pass at center ice. The Mavs would add some insurance later in the period when Simon Watson blistered a wrist shot into the twine, doubling the Mavs lead to 3-1. Carlyle Lewis and Ray DiLauro were given the assists on Watson's goal. Robby Nolan held things down on the other end of the ice, turning in one of his best performances in a year that is already drawing the attention of everyone in the CHL. Nolan finished the night with an astounding 35-save performance that had the sellout crowd of 5,800 on their feet, as the Mavs skated to the 3-1 victory.
The game was the fifth consecutive sellout for the Mavericks, ninth overall this season and 25th in franchise history.
The Mavs finished the night zero-for-four on the power play. The Rush didn't have much luck with man power advantages either, going zero-for-two. Danny Battochio finished the night with 30 saves on 33 shots for Rapid City.
The Mavericks hit the road this week for two games, a matchup against the Dayton Gems on Monday afternoon in Dayton and then head to Indiana for a Wednesday tilt against the Fort Wayne Komets. The Mavs will return home next Friday night for a border showdown with rival Wichita Thunder before wrapping up the week with another game . Tickets are available at the Independence Events Center Box Office, by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting www.TicketMaster.com. Visit www.MissouriMavericks.com for more information.
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Central Hockey League Stories from January 15, 2011
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