Monday, March 1, 2010

Home win streak ends

Mavericks defeat Brahmas 4-2

Looking back, it was a good effort by the home team, but in their first and only meeting this season, the expansion Missouri Mavericks took the two points, defeating the Texas Brahmas 4-2 at the NYTEX Sports Center.

With the loss, the Brahmas ended their weekend three-in-three with two of six points and their record goes to 29-21-5 (.573). As a result, the Brahmas and the Bucks remain tied at 63 points, but Laredo has the slight advantage with a .583 winning percentage and a game in hand. Both teams play on Thursday (Laredo hosts Allen, Texas is on the road at Corpus Christi).

"We've got to be hungrier around the net," Dan Wildfong told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "That's one detail we've got to clean up."

With the U.S. and Canada playing for Olympic gold, fans were gathered around the many TV's at NYTEX and in Zuroma. During the pre-game warm-ups, glass was shattered on the door to the Zamboni entrance and the game was delayed for almost 40 minutes while it was replaced. I don't think anyone complained as it gave most everyone a chance to watch more of the Olympics.

The Mavericks took control of the first frame, out shooting the Brahmas 19-6. At one point, Brett Jaeger and I laughed while glancing at the scoreboard because it looked like someone had accidentally leaned on the shots on goal button.

The Mavericks had a brief five-on-three opportunity mid-way through the period with calls on Tyrell Mason for Interference and Ross Rouleau for High Sticking. The Brahmas penalty killers prevented a score, but four seconds after Rouleau stepped out of the box, Toby Lafrance gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead when he beat Joe Palmer with a shot from the left slot. Karl Sellan
and former Brahma Todd Paul were credited with the assist at the 11:43 mark.

Later in the period, A.J. Gale maneuvered a 360 degree turn with the puck in front of Mavericks goaltender Charlie Effinger and sent it in low inside the left post, notching the first of two power play goals for the Brahmas at the 18:04 mark. Kevin Seibel and James Hiebert assisted on the play.

After 20 minutes, the game was tied, but it was obvious the Brahmas had their work cut out for them against this tough Missouri squad.

The Brahmas had a good start to the middle frame and would out shoot the Mavericks 10-8 in the period.

An early Hooking call on Brett Hammond led to power play score number two for the Brahmas when Jordan Cameron scored his 19th goal of the season at the 1:51 mark. Tyler Skworchinski and Jason Deitsch were in on the assist. Unfortunately, it proved to be the last puck that would get by Effinger.

After James Hiebert was called for Holding, Hammond tied the game at two after beating Joe Palmer at the 9:14 mark; the first of two consecutive power play goals for the fifth-year forward. Simon Watson and Todd Paul assisted on the first strike.

Just over eight minutes later, Hammond gave the Mavericks the 3-2 lead after he redirected a shot by Mike Burgoyne from the blue line past Palmer at the 17:16 mark. Todd Paul was also credited with the assist.

Missouri took the lead into the second intermission and held the edge in shots at 27-16.

The Mavericks stayed strong in their defensive zone in the final period to hold off a Brahmas charge. They were out shot 18-5 in the last 20 minutes but Effinger was equal to the task on each and every shot.

With Joe Palmer pulled in favor of the extra attacker in the final minute of the game, another former Brahma, Braden Walls scored on the empty net at the 19:59 mark to give the Mavericks the 4-2 final.

The Brahmas ended up winning the shot battle at 34-32, but it was Missouri that skated away with their fourth straight win and eighth victory out of their last nine contests.

Joe Palmer made 28 saves on 31 shots faced and takes the loss. His record goes to 11-9-4-3. Charlie Effinger made 32 saves on 34 shots and earns the win; his fourth in a row. His record with Missouri goes to 7-1-0.

The Brahmas went two for six on the power play. Missouri went two for nine. The Brahmas were assessed 16 minutes on eight infractions. The Mavericks received 14 minutes on seven infractions.

The 3rd Star of the game went to Joe Palmer for his performance in net. The 2nd Star was awarded to Jordan Cameron who had a goal and the 1st Star went to Brett Hammond, who had two power play goals (including the game-winner). I think Todd Paul got robbed of a Star Point after tallying three assists, but no matter.

You can view the box score here and the Game Live broadcast here

You can view photos from the game here and here

The Brahmas have begun preparing for their next three-in-three, starting on Thursday night at Corpus Christi. The boys will then return home to host Laredo on Friday night and Rapid City on Saturday night. No cake walk, eh?

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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