Freddy's three thoughts of the game:
1. First, the good news: Under the old, Final Five format, the semifinals were a one-game, single-elimination affair. But now it's a best-of-three series, so the Mavericks aren't done yet. They have a chance to get back in this thing. They'll have to win two in a row in hostile territory, though. "Our start will be important, the way we come out" defenseman Carter Foguth said. "If we can get ahead or get some momentum going, that may give us an advantage. We have to take care of our chances tomorrow."
2. Tough third period: Things snowballed on the Mavericks in the third period. It was a tight, 1-1 game up until then. Reid Sturos partial breakaway broke the stalemate, and, as coach Mike Hastings said, the Mavericks didn't really punch back. Jake Jackson made it 3-1 just 3:24 later and, "all of a sudden the hill starts to look a little steeper," Hastings said. A Gavin Gould breakaway and a length-of-the-ice penalty-kill clear into an empty net with 4:40 to play finished things off.
3. Best players, step forward: Hastings mentioned that his team's "horses" need "to run a little bit more than they did tonight. Our best players probably have to be a little bit better." Indeed, the top line of C.J. Franklin, Marc Michaelis and Zeb Knutson was -3 as a group and had just five shots on goal, four by Knutson. Brad McClure got off just two shots and was -1. Defenseman Daniel Brickley was also -3.
Read my game story here.
Meanwhile in Bemidji, Bowling Green won the first game of the series in overtime with the Falcons' Kevin Dufour completing his hat trick in OT. The Beavers now are in the same boat as the Mavericks, needing to win Saturday night to keep their season alive.