The Missouri Mavericks, who have struggled offensively during much of the early part of their first season in the ECHL, scored three goals in a 40-second span Tuesday night to claim a 5-2 come-from-behind victory over Brampton at the Independence Events Center.
Goalie Maxime Lagace allowed a goal just 21 seconds into the game, then a second Beast score at the 5:46 mark of the first period before settling down and blanking the visitors from Canada the remainder of the game.
While Lagace starred in the net, Sebastian Thinel cut the Mavericks’ deficit to one when he fired a shot past Beast goalie Trevor Cann 20 seconds after Brampton's second goal.
That set the stage for the second-period eruption that is a Mavericks record for the most goals scored in the shortest amount of time in team history.
It all started when Chris Crane redirected an Andrew Courtney shot past Cann to knot the score at 2-all at 8:59.
Just 18 second later, David Rutherford broke a scoring slump with a goal, and Crane followed with his second goal, again taking the puck in the crease and massaging it past Cann.
“We played Matti's system and we scored three quick goals,” said Crane, referring to head coach Richard Matvichuk. “When we play the way we should play – the way he wants us to play, teaches us to play – we're a darned good hockey team.
“We've struggled, but we've won four of our last five, we're back at .500 (10-10) and we're going to keep getting better and better. Tonight was just one of those games where you think, ‘We got off to bad start, but we're not going to give up.’ This team will never give up. I can promise you that. We're down 2-0 six minutes into the game, and we regroup and come back and totally dominate them the rest of the game.”
Crane grinned when asked about the Mavs' final goal, as Lindsay Sparks found an empty net in the final minutes. He was skating next to Crane, who would have recorded the elusive hat trick had he been given a pass to fire the puck into the empty net.
“Yeah, I'll have to talk to Sparksie about that goal,” quipped Crane, grinning from ear to ear. “I wasn't even thinking about the hat trick. We wanted one thing tonight and we got it – a win, in front of the best fans in the ECHL.”
While most of the crowd of 3,616 had not found their seats in the IEC, before Brampton scored on a goal that took Lagace by surprise.
“The last thing you want to do is give up a goal 20 seconds into a game,” Lagace said, shaking his head. “I didn't see it. The second goal rebounded off a player, and I didn't have much of a chance at it. But I didn't see the first goal.
“And that shows you what type of teammates I have. They didn't get down on me. They encouraged me and came back to score those three goals in what, 40 seconds? That was amazing. I saw it, and I still don't believe it.”
One Maverick who did believe it was Rutherford, who hopes his goal is a sign of better things to come.
“I've been taking my shots – shots that usually find the back of the net – and they haven't been going in,” Rutherford said. “Tonight, we got the greasy goals in front of the net – the kind of goals Matti really likes.
“Now, we have to build on this, and start another winning streak.”
Missouri outshot the Beast 30-18, and Lagace earned the win with 16 stops to improve to 2-1. He starred over a five-minute penalty kill in the first period when Sebastian Geoffrion was called for a charging major penalty.
TARASUK SWAPS SIDES: The Mavericks traded defenseman Steven Tarasuk to Brampton hours before Tuesday's game for future considerations. The team also acquired defenseman Jonathan Narbonne in a trade with Bakersfield, also for future considerations.
Tarasuk played for Brampton, and Narbonne, after arriving at the IEC an hour before the game, played for Missouri.
“The Narbonne kid is going to help us out,” Matvichuk said. “We did our homework, heard a lot of good things about him and made the deal.
“It was tough trading Steven. We won a championship (last year at Allen) and he didn't do anything wrong. We're just playing a numbers game, and he can go to Brampton and get a lot more playing time than he would have gotten here. I really like the kid and respect the kid and wish him all the luck in the world.”