WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Frustration reigned Friday at Maverik Center in West Valley, Utah as the Kansas City Mavericks saw three regulation leads disappear in a game the Utah Grizzlies won 4-3 on a goal by Gage Ausmus at 4:29 of the five-minute overtime period.
It was Ausmus’ first goal of the season. The Mavericks had been playing a man down for 2 minutes as Cliff Watson was sent to the penalty box for slashing at 1:24 of the extra frame.
“We had the lead three times in the game,” team captain Rocco Carzo said by phone following the game, “and we let them get back in the game each time. That is not how you play if you want to make the playoffs. One point is not acceptable in a game like this.
“We took control early and allowed them to get back in the game each time we scored. That’s something we have to look at and not let happen again.”
Coach John-Scott Dickson said mistakes cost his team, but they are mistakes that can be corrected.
“We’re playing on the road, we got a point, some other teams in our division did not get points tonight so that is a positive,” Dickson said by phone. “Their first couple of goals came on standard (defensive) plays that should have been made – but we have a young defensive corps and we will address what happened and make corrections.
“It’s situational hockey and little things, little mistakes matter. But, at least we came away with one point.”
The Mavericks scored first as Jared VanWormer scored a power-play goal off an assist by Carzo at 19:56 of the first period.
The Grizzlies knotted the score at 1-all at 7:52 of the second period on a goal by Turner Ottenbreit, but Nate Widman gave the Mavericks their second lead of the night, scoring at 14:02 to make it 2-1.
But once again, Utah found a way to tie it as Grayson Downing scored at 16:22 to send it into the third period tied at 2-2.
Greg Betzold gave the Mavericks a 3-2 lead at 8:54 of the third period, but for the third time in the game, the Grizzlies knotted the score as Ryan Walters scored at 11:58.
Mason McDonald stopped 35 of 39 shots. He came up big late in the game, sending it into overtime and assuring the Mavericks of one point in their first of three games in Utah.