A confident Kansas City Mavericks team skated off the ice at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena Saturday night heading into the third period, despite trailing Kalamazoo 3-2.
“We were confident, we knew we were going to win that game,” said goalie Mason McDonald, who allowed two early second-period goals while the Mavericks were on a 5-minute penalty kill.
“We gave up those two goals in the second period – and that happens. But the guys rallied around me, and I was not going to give up another goal.”
And he didn’t.
Darian Dziurzynski scored his second goal of the night at 11:31 of the third period to knot the score at 3-all and Cliff Watson slapped home the rebound of a Jared VanWormer shot just 24 seconds into overtime to give the Mavericks a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.
“This was one of those games where you bend here, and you bend there, but you never break,” said coach John-Scott Dickson, after his team improved to 24-18-2-1 overall and 19-5-1-0 at home. “We were down 3-2, and DD (Dziurzynski) gets his second big goal of the night, and we win in overtime.
“The entire game had a playoff feel, a playoff atmosphere. These are the types of games you want to win. You want to win every game, but especially games like this where the guys fight so hard to come from behind.”
Kalamazoo opened the scoring on a goal from Brendan Bradley at the 7:51 mark of the first period.
But the Mavericks were quick to respond, as Greg Betzold scored on a rebound in the slot at the 11:18 mark of the opening frame. Joey Sides was given the lone assist on the goal.
The Wings pounced on the Mavs early in the second period while Darian Dziurzynski was serving a five-minute major for elbowing, with Reid Gardiner scoring two goals.
Darian Dziurzynski got the Mavs a goal closer, scoring a goal from in front of the net. David Dziurzynski and Watson were credited with assists on the goal.
Darian Dziurzynski continued his offensive redemption in the third period, tying the game with 8:29 left in regulation. VanWormer and Rocco Carzo were given assists on the game-tying tally.
“It was a big win and I was happy to contribute,” Dziurzyinski said. “
Watson then struck the winning blow 24 seconds into overtime, cleaning up the rebound off a VanWormer shot. VanWormer was given his second assist of the game on the winner.
“A great win, a team win,” Watson said. “We were fired up all night. Even when we were down 3-1, we knew we were going to find a way to win, and we did.”
The Mavericks are 5-2-1 on their nine-game home stand, which concludes with a 7:05 p.m. game Wednesday against Tulsa. It was scheduled for last Tuesday, but weather and problems with the Oilers’ bus forced the game to be postponed.
DZIURZYNSKI SUSPENDED, FINED: David Dziurzynski has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount as the result of an unpenalized kneeing infraction at 7:58 of the second period during the win over Kalamazoo. He is fined and suspended under Rule No. 28 – supplementary Discipline.
Dziurzynski will miss Kansas City’s games vs. Tulsa on Feb. 13 and at Utah on Feb. 15.
Kalamazoo’s Colin Jacobs has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of his game misconduct under Rule No. 75.5 at 7:58 of the second period. He is fined and suspended under Rule No. 28 – supplementary discipline. He threw his stick at Dziurzynski and then threw his helmet at the Mavericks bench.
“It hit one of our guys,” Dickson said after the game, “or it would have hit me right in the face.”
Jacobs will miss Kalamazoo’s games vs. Fort Wayne on Feb. 14 and Adirondack on Feb. 16.