Kansas City's Shawn Pauly continues to be a hometown favorite, and Wednesday night only helped that perception.
Pauly scored the game-winning goal just over two minutes into overtime to lift the Kansas City Mavericks to their sixth straight win, a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Wichita Thunder at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Last week, his hat trick played a big role in the Mavericks first home win of the season, a 5-2 rout of Tulsa.
"Yeah, Shawn Pauly is the man in Kansas City," quipped coach John-Scott Dickson, who was within earshot of Pauly, after the Mavericks improved to 10-6-0-0. "He's worked so hard. He was here last year and you can tell how much work he put in in the offseason. We asked him to work on some things,and he did, and it's really paying big dividends for him and the team."
Mavericks goalie Tyler Parsons, the reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Week, stopped 28 of 30 shots against the 11-2-2-0 Thunder for his fifth straight victory.
"A good win, a nice, exciting win for the fans and we continue to play good hockey," Parsons said. "We went out and played our game, and our game has been good enough for us to win six in a row. We're really playing well now, playing with a lot of confidence. And how about Pauly slipping that puck in for the game-winner in overtime? You like to see that."
After a scoreless first period, Dan Correale broke the ice with a tap-in goal on a two-on-none rush with a feed from Kayle Doetzel at 1:08 of the second period.
Wichita answered five minutes later to draw even when Travis Ewanyk beat Parsons.
The tie lasted until the 14:03 mark when Mike McMurtry netted his seventh goal of the season with a slick deke to get around Wichita goalie Shane Starrett for a 2-1 edge.
Once again the Thunder punched back when Dyson Stevenson scored a shorthanded goal with less than two minutes left in the period to tie it 2-2.
"You hate the shorties, but they happen," Parsons explained. "The boys played great tonight and you can't let a goal like that affect the way you play the rest of the game – especially in overtime, where you know that if you give up a goal, the game's over."
The game went to overtime after a scoreless third period, and a back-and-forth extra set was decided on the stick of Pauly who beat Starrett between the legs to keep the Mavericks’ winning streak alive.
"It feels so good," said Pauly, who signed several autographs coming off the ice after he was introduced as the first star of the game. "It's been here at home with the hat trick and the goal tonight. But what's important is winning, and we're on a nice streak. We always knew we had talent, we just had to put 60 good minutes of hockey together and look at the results. We have six wins in a row and we're in second place (in the ECHL’s Central Division).
"It's a great group of guys in that locker room and we can't wait to take our show on the road."
The Mavericks hit the road once again as they take on Kalamazoo Friday night and will follow up with a game with the Indy Fuel Saturday in Indianapolis before hosting the Quad City Mallards at 4:05 p.m. Sunday.