Kansas City Mavericks 20-year-old goaltender Tyler Parsons just grinned when asked a question he had heard several times over the past weekend.
In less than 24 hours, he managed to forget about an 8-2 Friday night loss to the Fort Wayne Komets, while bouncing back to lead the Mavericks to a much-needed 3-2 win over the same team on Saturday in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Komets held a 45-23 shot advantage, but Parsons was up to the task, turning in a 43-save performance en route to being named the game's first star.
“Friday night was definitely a tough game,” said Parsons, a second-round draft pick for the Mavericks’ NHL affiliate Calgary Flames. “Fort Wayne is a good team, and we didn’t play well that night. It was good to play again the next night – and it was especially good to play the same team again and come away with a win.
“It’s a long season, and you’re going to have games like that – you just don’t want to have too many of them.”
The Komets scored less than three minutes into the game to take the early lead, but the Mavericks were quick to answer with a pair of goals in the next four minutes. Bryce Aneloski got his first of the season and Mike McMurtry followed with his first to give Kansas City a 2-1 lead.
“I was proud of the team,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said. “I was embarrassed – we all were embarrassed – at what happened Friday night, and they really responded to my challenge. Tyler was huge in the goal and we played so much better as a team.”
Kansas City’s Patch Alber finished off a three-on-one scoring chance by beating Komets goalie Garrett Bartus on a rebound to make it 3-1 in the second period.
The Komets struck quickly in the third to draw within one, with Marco Roy capitalizing on a loose puck in front of the goal with 18 minutes remaining, but Parsons stood tall to lead the 2-1 Mavericks to the victory.
“It’s early in the season, but you don’t want to be 1-2,” Dickson said. “It was a big win, one we might look back on later in the season as a turning point.”
The Mavericks left for Kalamazoo, Mich., at 11:30 p.m., Monday for a 9:30 a.m., Wednesday kids’ matinee game. They return for their home opener at 7:05 p.m. Saturday against the Wichita Thunder.