FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The race for the final playoff spot in the Central Division remains tight as the Kansas City Mavericks led Fort Wayne 1-0 for 19 minutes and 28 seconds Wednesday night.
However, Cody Sol knotted the score at 1 with just 32 seconds left in the game and Justin Hodgman scored the game-winner in overtime in the Mavericks’ 2-1 loss.
The loss leaves the 33-29-3-2 Mavericks with 71 points. Kalamazoo, a 4-3 winner against Atlanta Wednesday, is in fourth place with 72 points. Indy was idle and has 69 points and a game in hand on Kansas City. The Mavericks travel to Indianapolis to take on the Fuel Friday night in a game that has huge playoff implications.
“It’s like we’ve said for the past month or so, every game is like a playoff game,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said. “We can’t worry about Kalamazoo or Indy, we just need to take care of things ourselves.
“The message after the game was simple: We’re in a playoff fight and we’re playing teams that are also fighting for a spot in the playoffs. I was pleased with the way we played tonight. We came out from the start and played well, had the early shot lead and led 1-0 after the first period.”
But Kansas City missed some opportunities to extend the lead.
“We had our chances – a couple early on and (Eric) Freschi had a break away in the third period that would have made it a 2-0 game – but we didn’t get them against a very hot goalie. That happens. That’s hockey. We’re going to be fine and we’re going to be ready to go Friday in Indianapolis.”
Alex Brooks scored the lone Mavericks goal two minutes into the first period.
The Mavericks had a 6-1 shots on goal advantage early in the game, and finished the first period outshooting the Komets 11-5.
But Komets goaltender Michael Houser nearly singled-handedly kept his team in the game, stopping 38 of 39 shots. The Mavericks were 0-for-6 on power play opportunities.
Tyler Parsons, who was gunning for his second shutout of the season, stopped 32 of 34 shots.