ALLEN, Texas – A furious rally was too little, too late for the Kansas City Mavericks Friday night at the Allen Event Center as the host Americans used a 3-0 start to claim a 3-2 victory.
“We came out slow and made two mistakes – which is hockey – but they were mistakes we shouldn’t have made, and they capitalized on them,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said by phone.
“We needed a win tonight. With the outcome tonight, it’s imperative we win tomorrow and that was the message I just delivered in the locker room.”
The Mavericks (32-29-2-2) are now two points behind Kalamazoo (which beat Wichita 5-3 Thursday) for fourth place in the Central Division (70-68) and tied with the Indy Fuel for fifth place.
The Americans jumped on top in the first period, scoring twice in the final six minutes to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room following goals by Spencer Asuchak and Alex Guptill.
J.C. Campagna padded the home team’s cushion to 3-0 at the 6:32 mark of the second period before Shawn Pauly scored in his third straight game to pull the Mavericks back within two. It was Pauly’s team-high 22nd goal of the season. He was assisted by Tyler Elbrecht and Matt Robertson.
“Once we got going offensively, we had a lot of opportunities,” Pauly said by phone. “We got off to a slow start and played pretty well the second and third periods. We need to play like that all three periods tomorrow night.”
After going scoreless most of the third period, C.J. Eick cut the deficit to 3-2 with his second score of the year – and his first as a Maverick – at the 17:21 mark.
Moments later, Dickson pulled goalie Tyler Parsons, and Kansas City spent most of the final seconds in front of the Allen net, but goaltender Jeremy Brodeur withstood the challenge to help his team claim the one-goal victory.
“If we come out tomorrow night with the intensity we showed in the second and third periods tonight we’ll be fine,” Dickson added. “This one is history. We can’t dwell on it. We need to come out tomorrow and get a win.”
The Mavericks and Americans meet again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Allen.
DOETZEL CALLED UP: Defenseman Kayle Doetzel was recalled by the Stockton Heat Friday.
This is the second American Hockey League call-up for Doetzel, 22, who spent a month with the Heat through most of December and the start of January.
In 48 games with the Mavericks this season, the Rosetown, Saskatchewan, native has three goals and nine assists 12 points on the year.