DULUTH, Ga. – After watching teammates Dan Correale and Darren Nowick’s shootout attempts ring off the net posts, Shawn Pauly knew it was time to step up and get his biggest goal of the season.
Pauly scored in the seventh round of a Friday shootout against the Atlanta Gladiators – on a shot that rimmed off the pipes and into the back of the net – to give the Kansas City Mavericks a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.
“It was a big win,” Pauly said. “Any time you can get two points on the road it’s big. We came so close to scoring on our previous two shootout attempts that I just said to myself, ‘I’m going to take whatever (opening) he gives me.’
“Darren came so close on a forehand attempt that I thought I might try that, then I saw a backhand opening and took it and it went in. It’s just a great road win. And we get to try to win back-to-back games tomorrow.”
The Gladiators raced out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Mavericks got on the board before the first-period horn on Rocco Carzo’s first goal of the season.
Kansas City drew even midway through the second as Nowick extended his goal-scoring streak to three games at the 8:25 mark. Atlanta jumped back on top before the end of the period, though, as a puck hit off a skate and slid past Mason McDonald to give the home team a 3-2 edge.
Patch Alber came through with the tying goal with 3:03 remaining in regulation, beating Matt Ginn glove side with a slap shot, assisted by Carzo and Matt Robertson, to send the game to overtime.
After a scoreless overtime period, the game went into a shootout.
“A big, big win,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said after his team improved to 4-3 and wiped away the bitter disappointment of a 7-5 loss in Greenville, S.C., Wednesday in a game that saw his team relinquish two three-goal leads.
“After that loss in Greenville, we were all disappointed, but I expected the guys to come out strong tonight. We got down early, but no one was ready to push the panic button.
“It was huge when Patch tied the game up and then Shawn got that game winner. We had a couple hit off the post before Shawn scored his goal, and it rattled around a little bit before it went in.
“It’s kind of funny, but we’re just seven games into the season and this team has already had a couple of statement wins. We need to come back tomorrow and get another big win and come home with four points.”
McDonald earned his first start of the season and picked up his second win. Ironically, his first win came in a shootout when he came in, in relief of starter Tyler Parsons. He stopped 38 of 41 attempts Friday night.