Things started slowly for the Missouri Mavericks in their second home game in as many weeks with their fellow Central Hockey League expansion team, the Allen Americans.But three goals in a 4 1/2-minute span by the Mavericks sent a jolt of electricity through a sold-out Independence Events Center.
Things started slowly for the Missouri Mavericks in their second home game in as many weeks with their fellow Central Hockey League expansion team, the Allen Americans
But three goals in a 4 1/2-minute span by the Mavericks, including two first-period power-play goals, sent a jolt of electricity through a sold-out Independence Events Center and spurred the home team to a 3-0 shutout win Saturday night over a team with 28 wins and sitting in second place in the CHL’s Southern Conference.
“We knew what we were up against,” Mavericks head coach Scott Hillman said. “Three of the big four (Friday’s opponent Rapid City, Allen and Colorado on Tuesday) were coming in here, and we had to prove to ourselves and our fans we could compete. This is our first win against one of the big four (which includes Odessa).”
The teams felt each other out almost the entire opening period until the Mavericks struck at the 18:11 mark of the first period. Defenseman Mike Burgoyne took a pass from Nick Sirota on a power play and scored to give the Mavericks an early 1-0 lead. Right wing Jeff Christian was also credited with an assist on Burgoyne’s goal.
“It’s huge,” Burgoyne said of jumping out in front of Allen. “Last night we did the same thing (in a 5-2 loss to Rapid City) and we gave it right up. Tonight we were able to keep it.”
Before the capacity crowd could even give Burgoyne his proper cheers, forward Jeff MacDermid, on a feed from Sirota, streamed up the right side of Allen goaltender Charlie Effinger and buzzed a shot past the stunned American goalie to put the Mavericks up 2-0 with a little over 16 seconds left in the first period. Burgoyne was also credited with an assist on MacDermid’s power-play goal.
“The power play was key tonight,” Hillman said. “We got two big power-play goals in the first, so that was huge.”
Not to be outdone, Mavericks forward Braden Walls one-timed a goal pass Effinger on an assist from forward Brett Hammond and defenseman Bret Tyler two minutes into the second period to give the Mavs a 3-0 lead that kept their onslaught at full force.
“Any time you can get a 2-0 lead, it’s good,” Burgoyne said, “but that three-goal lead is better. It’s a lot easier to keep the lead that way.”
Defensively, the Mavericks held Allen to 16 shots on goal through the first and second periods. All total, the Mavs outshot the Americans 30-25.
The Mavs also shined on their penalty kill, stopping the Americans on four power plays in the first 40 minutes, including a 5-on-3 advantage late in the second period that brought Mavericks fans to their feet as the host headed to the locker room for the second intermission.
The Mavericks improved to 19-20-3 overall with the win, including a healthy 10-7-1 record at the Events Center.
“This team does play with a lot of energy in this building,” Hillman said. “The greatest crowd in the Central Hockey League.”
With a total of 41 points, Missouri is in sixth place in the seven-team Northern Conference and still trails Tulsa by one point in the standings for the conference’s fifth and final playoff spot. The Mavs have 23 games remaining on the season, including six with the Oilers.
Burgoyne was awarded the game’s No. 2 star for his one-goal, one-assist effort, Sirota, with two assists, garnered the No. 3 star and newly acquired goaltender Gerry Festa claimed the No. 1 star after stopping all 25 Allen shots to improve to 2-1 with the Mavericks.
“It feels good,” Festa said of the shutout. “You always want the win first, but to get the shutout is a bonus. It’s exciting.”
MISSOURI MAVERICKS 3, ALLEN AMERICANS 0
At Independence Events Center
ALLEN AMERICANS 1 2 2 — 5
MISSOURI MAVERICKS 1 0 1 — 2
First Period—1, Mavericks, Mike Burgoyne (power play) (Nick Sirota, Jeff Christian), 18:11; 2, Mavericks, Jeff MacDermid (power play) (Nick Sirota, Mike Burgoyne), 19:44. Penalties—Brandon Straub, Allen (hooking), 10:02; Jordan Foreman, Mavericks (major, fighting), 13:10; Mike Salekin, Allen (major, fighting), 13:10; Christian Gaudet, Allen (roughing), 13:10; Carlyle Lewis, Mavericks (cross checking), 15:16; Bruce Graham, Allen (cross checking), 16:40; Jarret Lukin, Allen (abuse of officials), 18:11.
Second Period—3, Mavericks, Braden Walls (Brett Hammond, Bret Tyler), 2:18. Penalties—Colton Yellow Horn, Allen (slashing), 3:40; Braden Walls, Mavericks (tripping), 9:35; Kyle Bochek, Mavericks (tripping), 18:11; Tyler Kindle, Mavericks (delay of game), 19:31.
Third Period—No scoring. Penalties—None.
Shots on goal—Allen 9-7-9–25; Mavericks 11-11-8–30.
Power-play opportunities—Allen 0 for 4; Mavericks 2 for 5.
Goalies—Allen, Charlie Effinger 8-3-1 (30 shots, 27 saves); Mavericks, Gerry Festa 2-1-0 (25 shots, 25 saves)
Stars of the game—First: Gerry Festa, Mavericks; Second: Mike Burgoyne, Mavericks; Third: Nick Sirota, Mavericks.