March 7, 2022
Mavs Sweep the Bighorns, Advance to Round 2
The Columbus Mavericks opened the first round of the USPHL Playoffs with a bang this past weekend. Looking to make a statement on their road to Nationals, the Mavs swept the Bighorns in two games, allowing only one goal against in the series.
The best-of-three series started on Friday night at OhioHealth Chiller North, with the Mavericks enjoying home-ice advantage. Despite their struggles during the regular season, the visiting Bighorns came into Columbus looking to upset the 3-seeded Mavericks. In a close and physical contest, the first period saw no scoring until the 17:41 mark, when the Mavericks’ recent acquisition, Piercen Garcia, drew first blood thanks to an assist by Jadon Beard.
The second period would look much like the first, with no shortage of physical play, but also no scoring. As the two teams took the ice for the final period of game 1, it would be the Mavericks’ Anton Petrovskiy, who would break the game open. Petrovskiy scored his first goal of the period at the 2:19 mark, assisted by Dominic Conte and Ryan Mackey. Just over two minutes later, Petrovskiy added his second goal of the game at the 4:35 mark with an assist from Thiago Jeronimo. Dominic Conte, who was acquired from the Bighorns last month, would score the insurance goal for the Mavericks at the 9:14 mark with an assist from Eric Podgorny.
Thanks to strong defense and a stellar performance by netminder, Frank Murphy, the Mavs would hold off the Bighorns late-period scoring attempts to take game 1 by a final score of 4-0. Murphy would pick up his fourth shutout of the year, stopping all 22 shots he faced on the night.
The two teams were back in action on Saturday night as the Mavericks looked to close out the series, while the Bighorns would try to force a game 3. Just like game 1, Saturday’s contest had no shortage of physical play as the Bighorns fought for survival. Picking up where he left off the night before, Dominic Conte would open the scoring for the Mavs at the 10:19 mark of the first period with a goal assisted by Colin Crowley and Anton Petrovskiy. The Mavs would extend their lead to two in the closing seconds of the first period with a goal by Thiago Jeronimo, assisted by Tyler Isherwood and Chance Settles.
As the two teams emerged from the locker room for the second period, the Bighorns again looked to put up a fight and claw their way back into the game. The Mavericks would make the challenge a bit tougher at the 17:28 mark, as Tyler Isherwood buried an unassisted, between the legs highlight reel goal.
The third period saw little scoring action as the Mavericks looked to slow the game and take control of the final period. With the final minutes ticking away, the Bighorns would score their lone goal of the series, dashing the Mavs’ back-to-back shutout bid at the 17:57 mark. Frank Murphy got the nod in net once again for the Mavs and turned in another strong performance, stopping 12 of 13 shots to pick up the win.
The Mavs will now move on to round 2 of the USPHL Playoffs where they will face off against a tough Toledo Cherokee opponent. The 2-seed Cherokee, who had a round 1 bye, will have home-ice advantage for game 1 (Friday) and game 3 (Sunday - if necessary), with game 2 returning to OhioHealth Chiller North on Saturday. Tickets are on sale now!