February 6, 2022
Mavs Battle, Fall to Cherokee
As the snow piled up in Columbus late last week, it foreshadowed a pair of heated battles between two Ohio teams jockeying for position in the Great Lakes division standings and sitting firmly in the top 10 in the nation for the USPHL. The home-and-home series against the Cherokee did not lack in hard-fought hockey, great goaltending, and a little bit of offensive flair; however, the Mavs would fall just short in the pair of games over the weekend, dropping both to Toledo.
The series started with a much anticipated home game on Friday night at OhioHealth Chiller North. Amidst a bustling home crowd that was in attendance for Peak Human Performance Community Night, the Mavs were firing on all cylinders as they came out of the gate. Wasting no time in starting the fireworks for the home crowd, Colin Crowley would take advantage of a loose puck in front of the Cherokee net, putting the Mavs on the scoreboard first, just 62 seconds into the game. Crowley’s early goal was assisted by newcomer Piercen Garcia and Jadon Beard.
Despite the excitement from the Mavs’ early first period goal, the spirits of the visiting Cherokee were not dampened. Just over a minute later, they would return fire and score their first goal of the game at the 2:21 mark. Taking advantage of a few bad bounces, the Cherokee would score another pair of goals to give them a 3-1 lead inside the first 5 minutes of the game. Looking to settle his team and bring a change of pace, Mavericks’ Head Coach, Nate Handrahan, opted to pull net minder Zach Waizmann in favor of Frank Murphy.
This change of pace would calm the nerves of the home team for a bit, but as they looked to battle back in the second period, the Cherokee would score another two insurance goals to take a 5-1 lead into the second intermission. Despite several opportunities, there would be no scoring in the third period, giving the Cherokee a victory on the road by a final score of 5-1.
The Mavs hit the road on Saturday as they looked for redemption on the road in the second game of the series at Team Toledo Ice House. The first period would see plenty of physical action, but no scoring by either team. As the second 20 minutes got under way, the host Cherokee would strike first, just a minute into the period. Four minutes later, the Cherokee would extend their lead to two goals at the 5:08 mark. That lead would stand headed into the second intermission.
Looking to mount a comeback in third, the Mavericks’ Jadon Beard scored the team’s first goal of the game 1:05 into the period, assisted by Tyler Isherwood. The Mavs would continue to push and hold the Cherokee in their own end as the period ticked away, and despite several scoring chances, the home team would weather the storm to defeat the Mavericks by a final score of 2-1.
Frank Murphy got the start in net for the Mavs and turned in a strong performance, stopping 34 of 36 shots on the night.
The Mavs return to action this upcoming weekend with another home-and-home series, this time against the Pittsburgh Vengeance. The Mavs will play at home on Friday, February 11th at 8:30 PM, followed by a road game in the Steel City on Saturday, February 12th at 6:30 PM.