Missouri started off the series strong with two away wins before traveling back home. However, Fort Wayne stepped up and took the two games from them to even the series. The visiting team has won in each outing this series, and tonight we will see if that changes as the Komets play their final home game in Missouri.
Game 1 – April 13 – The first game of this series was intense as both teams battled until the final buzzer, not to mention set the precedent for the remaining games to follow. The game went back-and-forth with both teams having the lead at one point. As the game was about to close out, the Komets looked like they would get the first win until a penalty shot was called with only 30 seconds left in the period. Ed McGrane was the chosen player to take the penalty shot, and he went on to score and tie the game 2-2, sending it into an extra overtime period. Missouri’s John-Scott Dickson received a nice pass from David Simoes and buried it, only 5 minutes into the period, and won Game 1 for the Mavs.
Game 2 – April 14 – Game 2 was the very next night, and held in Fort Wayne once again. The Mavs got the early start and went up 2-0 after the first, with goals by Dickson and rookie Andrew Courtney. Although Fort Wayne made a couple attempts at coming back, the Mavs held onto the lead into the third, and closed out the game with 3 third period goals. The final score was 6-3 with Missouri coming out on top once again; the Mavs received scoring from Schafer, Smith, and McGrane as well. Fort Wayne also saw scoring production from captain Auger, Lovell, and Chaumont.
Game 3 – April 18 – Game 3 was a battle that started off early; Missouri’s Ed McGrane opened the game up with only minutes into the first with a nice goal assisted by Thinel and Courtney. Only 1:07 later, Fort Wayne tied it up with a goal by Jean-Michel Rizk, assisted by Henley and B.Molle. There was no scoring for the entire second, but Rizk stepped up huge in the third with his second goal of the night. Missouri pulled their goalie in attempts to comeback, however, it backfired and Brett Smith buried an empty netter and the Komets got their first win in the series.
Game 4 – April 19 – This was the most exciting game of this series and went into double overtime as the Komets came out on top 5-4. Each team had a huge period contributing to extra time with Fort Wayne scoring 3 goals in the second, and then Missouri coming back and scoring 3 goals in the third. However, it was Frankie DeAngelis who found the back of the net on a powerplay with only 3 minutes into the second overtime. The goaltenders were outstanding as Boucher had 40 saves on the night and Effinger had 46 saves.
Need to Know: Getting the first goal tonight will be very important for both teams because they know their opponent can and will close out the game. Missouri is 5-2 when they score first and Fort Wayne is 4-1.
Also, the Komets need to stay out of the penalty box for the remainder of the series. The Komets lead the league with penalty minors (164), as well as lead the league with the most amount of powerplay goals against (11). Fort Wayne has the worst powerplay percentage, letting in 11 goals on 44 attempts (75.0%).
Missouri will need to keep utilizing every one of their players. The Mavericks have recorded six wins in the post season, and every game-winner has been someone different. Brandon Smith, Kris Hogg, Ed McGrane, Tristin Llewellyn, John-Scott Dickson, and Andrew Courtney have all recorded a GWG for Missouri.
Low Down: It will be a head-to-head matchup between the two goaltenders tonight. The starting goalies on these squads are among the best net minders in the league, and are a large reason their team has so much success.
Missouri’s Charlie Effinger is 6-2-0 and has a league-best 2.08 G.A.A. His save percentage is at .943, another league best, and has only lost against Fort Wayne in these playoffs. Effinger also leads the league with 298 saves.
Fort Wayne’s Nick Boucher is just as good going 6-3-0 and has a 2.69 G.A.A. with a .909 SV%. Boucher leads the league in minutes played (579:22) and sits second behind Effinger with 260 saves. Both ‘tendies will have an impact on tonight’s’ matchup.
Players to Watch: Fort Wayne’s defensemen Jamie Lovell and Jamie Milam are both playing great hockey defensively and offensively. Lovell is in a tie for the lead of all defensemen in the league with 6 points (2g, 4a) in 10 games played. Milam also has 6 points (1g, 5a) in 10 games played and leads all blue liners with his 5 assists.
Missouri’s Rookie of the Year candidate, Andrew Courtney, is really playing like a veteran this post season and has notched 9 points (4g, 5a) in 8 games played. Not to mention in the four games played in this series so far, has recorded a team high 7 points (4g, 3a) with three powerplay points.
#1 Fort Wayne Komets @ #3 Missouri Mavericks
@ Independence Events Center, Face-off is 7:05 PM CT
(Best-of-7 series is tied 2-2)
Watch LIVE on CHL-TV! CLICK HERE
Series Schedule (all times local):
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 13 – Missouri 3 at Fort Wayne 2 OT
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 14 – Missouri 6 at Fort Wayne 3
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 18 – Fort Wayne 3 at Missouri 1
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Fort Wayne 5 at Missouri 4 2OT
Game 5 – TONIGHT – Fort Wayne at Missouri, 7:05 PM
Game 6 – Tue., Apr. 24 – Missouri at Fort Wayne, 7:30 PM
*Game 7 – Thu., Apr. 26 – Missouri at Fort Wayne, 7:30 PM