It took a little extra time, but it was worth it for the Missouri Mavericks.
After watching a 4-2 lead disappear in the third period – including surrendering a shorthanded goal to tie the game – the Mavericks found a way to claim a 5-4 shootout win Wednesday night at the Independence Events Center. Goalie Shane Owen stopped seven consecutive Quad City shots and John-Scott Dickson fired two goals past Thomas Heemskerk in the shootout to lift the Mavericks to 11-3-0 on the season and into a second-place tie with Friday’s opponent, the Tulsa Oilers, a 22 points apiece.
Quad City tied the game at 18:44 on a shorthanded goal by Jeff Lee, but Owen shook off that game-tying effort by turning in the performance of a lifetime in the shootout.
After Mike Hellyer and Vladimir Nikiforov scored on two of the first three Mallard attempts, Owen stopped the eight of the next nine shots – including Thomas Frazee’s second attempt to secure the win.
"I allowed too many goals in the game," Owen said, "so I owed the boys one in the shootout. JSD (Dickson) came through huge tonight in the shootout, and we found a way to get two huge points."
When the score is tied in a shootout after 10 shot attempts the format has the same players, in the same order they shot, start again. Dickson was the Mavericks’ second shooter and he scored on both attempts. Eric Castonguay and Sebastien Thinel also scored in the shootout.
"Shane was huge in the shootout and we didn't give him much help in regulation," Dickson said. "We're letting things slip away, and that can't happen. It happened last year, and we have to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen again. We got off to the great (8-0) start and we found a way to win tonight, but you can't give up a shorthanded goal with less than two minutes left in the game – you just can't do it.
"It's not time to call out your teammates, but it's time for a quiet talk, to make sure we clean up our mistakes."
That approach sounds good to Mavericks coach Scott Hillman.
"I can have a talk with the boys, but it is very different when the talk comes behind closed doors and is between teammates," Hillman said. "This was one of those games you can't lose – you just can't. Shane … stood on his head tonight making some saves in regulation."
Colt King scored two goals in regulation – both off assists from Trevor Kell and Mike Ramsay, and he echoed Dickson's thoughts.
"We started well and now, we're making far too many mistakes and that is very disappointing," King said. "We battled and we found a way to come back and get the win in the shootout. We can clean up the mistakes. I know Coach will address what's going on, and we need to play better – it's plain and simple. And we will."
King’s second goal at 4:10 of the second period and a power-play goal by Castonguay at 15:17 put the Mavericks ahead 3-1. Andrew Courtney scored just 39 seconds into the third period to give the Mavericks the 4-2 lead before Matt Boyd and Lee tied it for the Mallards (5-3-4).