September 26, 2021
Mavericks Tested in Week Two
Following a two-win opening weekend, the Mavs faced a tough weekend against two of the Great Lakes division’s perennial powerhouses. The weekend featured a Friday home game against defending division champions, the Metro Jets, followed by a Saturday road trip 120 north to face off against the Toledo Cherokee. Despite hard-fought battles in both contests, the Mavs fell short to two strong opponents.
Friday’s game against the Metro Jets saw the visiting team jump out to an early 2-0 lead that would carry into the first intermission. Not deterred by the early deficit, the Mavs came out firing on all cylinders to start the second period. Mavericks leading scorer, Ethan Bishara, put the first point on the board at the 4:36 mark with assists by recent east coast acquisitions, Ryan Mackey and Chance Settles. Fellow veteran Maverick, Nik Jozefiak, tied the game up just 6 minutes later with his third goal of the season, assisted by Jackson Balemian and Ryan Mackey. The Jets would score once more before the end of the period to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. Looking to once again even the score, the Mavs battled tough starting the third period; however, the Jets were able to put their fourth goal of the night on the scoreboard at the 6:13 mark. The Mavs mounted several scoring attempts and pulled their goalie for an extra attacker in the waning minutes of the third period, but the Jets managed to seal their 5-2 victory with an empty net goal with just 12 seconds left in the game.
Zach Waizmann got his third start of the year between the pipes for the Mavericks. In what turned out to be a busy outing for the veteran netminder, Waizmann stopped 53 of 57 shots.
As the weekend continued, the Mavs loaded up the bus and headed north to Team Toledo Ice House for their second contest of the weekend against a historically physical Team Cherokee team. Following the 8PM opening face-off, the Cherokee wasted little time putting points on the board, scoring their first goal 20 seconds in, followed by a second 8 minutes later. Looking to halt the Cherokee’s momentum, Mavs rookie, Tyler Isherwood, got the Mavs on the board with just under 5 minutes remaining in the period, scoring his first USPHL goal, assisted by Graham Wood. The Cherokee would net one more goal before the end of the opening stanza to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. Toledo scored their fourth and final goal of the game half way through the second period. While final half of the game was not short on excitement, it was a defensive battle that would see no more scoring for the night, handing the Cherokee a 4-1 victory.
Alex Toth got his first start of the young USPHL season in net for the Mavericks and turned away 39 of 43 Cherokee shots on the night. The Mavs are back in action next weekend with a home-and-home series against the Pittsburgh Vengeance, starting with a home game at OhioHealth Chiller north on Friday, October 1st at 7:30 PM.