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Mavericks cannot crack the Mudbugs, lose 3-1

With the trade deadline passing this past Monday, the Mavericks came into tonight's game with a few new faces.  Defensemen Todd Paul (via waivers) and Mike Harr (via trade with Rio Grande Valley), as well as goalie Charlie Effinger (via trade with Allen) were all added to the Mavericks for their stretch run to the playoffs.  The Mavericks currently sit two points behind Tulsa for the final playoff spot in the Northern Conference, thanks to the Oilers sweep of the Mavs last weekend at the IEC.  The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs were in town to take on the Mavs.  This game has a lot of importance itself.  Not only is Bossier a mere 8 points ahead of the Mavs in the standings, but Tulsa was set to faceoff against a tough Allen Americans team at the same time.  The Mavericks are going to have to play solid hockey for the rest of the season, but they will need some help.  The Mavs will need to take advantage of any loss by Tulsa, Mississippi, and Bossier-Shreveport.  This game was their first chance.

The Mavericks experienced a set-back before they even took the ice.  Mavs captain Carlyle Lewis was a late scratch due to illness.  Lewis was the only Mavericks player to play in every game so far this season.  However, the Mavs would also get a boost, with forward Karl Sellan being activated from the Injured Reserve list prior to the game, and would be in the starting linuep.  Gerry Festa would get the start between the pipes for the Mavs.

The Mavericks would tally the only goal of the first period, when Jordan Foreman banged home a rebound at the 10:06 mark for his fourth goal of the season.  Festa appeared to be on his way to another great performance, stopping all 11 Mudbug shots.  The only real threat that he faced was when a Maverick defender covered the puck in Festa's crease with his glove, which is a no-no in hockey.  The Mudbugs were thus awarded a penalty shot for the infraction, but Festa would poke the puck away from Mudbug forward Simon Mangos before he could even attempt a shot. 

Mangos, however, would get his revenge in the second period.  Mangos was able to get his stick on a loose puck in front of Festa, and stuffed it through a pile of bodies for his 10th goal of the season.  The Mudbugs would take the lead, only 34 seconds later, when forward David Rutherford scored a goal nearly identical to the goal of Mangos.  Bossier-Shreveport would take a 2-1 lead into the 2nd intermission.

The Mavericks would throw everything they had at Bossier in the 3rd period, outshooting the Mudbugs 23-5 in the session.  However, Mudbug goalie John Decaro made every save, even when he didn't realize he was making them.  The most humorous of the saves came when Mavs defenseman Mike Burgoyne fired an unexpected shot from center-ice while Decaro apparently wasn't paying attention.  The puck struck Decaro directly in the chest without him moving a muscle.  That apparently was a sign for the Mavericks.  It didn't matter what they did on this night, Decaro could not be beaten.  The Mudbugs would add another goal by Rutherford, leading to the final score of 3-1.

Game Notes:

- The Mavericks have now amassed at least 40 shots on goal in their last three games, all at home, but have lost all three games

- Mudbug forward David Rutherford was awarded the 1st Star of the Game, Mudbug goalie John Decaro the 2nd Star, and Mudbug forward Simon Mangos the 3rd Star

- The powerplay goal by Mangos broke the streak of 23 consecutive successful penalty kills by the Mavericks

- The Mavericks now trail Tulsa (2-1 overtime loss to Allen) by 3 points for the final playoff spot in the Northern Conference

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