ALLEN, Texas – When the host Allen Americans skated to a quick 3-0 lead Friday night, Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson didn’t push the panic button.
His team had blanked the Americans 6-0 Wednesday and he knew that the combination of a much-improved offense and rock-solid Mason McDonald in the net would help his team come back from the three-goal deficit.
And they did.
The Mavericks scored the next nine goals, and McDonald picked up his 20th individual win and did not allow another goal as Kansas City claimed a 9-3 road victory.
Darian Dziurzynski and Corey Durocher each scored two goals, Joey Sides had a goal and two assists and forward Greg Betzold finished the night with two assists, giving him seven points on four goals and three assists in the last two games against the Americans.
Mavericks forward Loren Ulett scored his first career ECHL goal in the third period and the Mavericks ended up sweeping the Americans while improving to 31-23-3-1.
“We haven’t played that well on the road this season, and we only have four more home games, so this sweep down here in Allen is huge,” Dickson said by phone. “We didn’t get off to the best start, but we found a way to win. And that’s what the guys have been doing lately – they find a way to win and they have been playing 60 pretty strong minutes of hockey.”
The Americans jumped all over the Mavericks in the first period as Jacob Doty netted the game’s first goal just 33 seconds into regulation.
It was 2-0 following a goal by Dante Salituro just two and a half minutes later. Zach Pochiro made it 3-0, but the period ended with Dziurzynski’s first goal off a perfect feed from captain Rocco Carzo at the 15:42 mark.
“That goal by DZ was huge,” Dickson said. “They roughed us up a little bit early on, but you could tell the game was far from over. Getting that goal gave the guys some confidence heading into the locker room, and from that point on, the goals just kind of snowballed.
“We’d get a goal, and you just had the feeling we were going to get another one. We didn’t expect nine, but we’ll take them.”
Mike Panowyk cut the deficit to 3-2 at 2:16 of the second period, and Jared VanWormer, who had been on loan to Colorado of the American Hockey League, tied it at 9:25 on an assist from Sides.
“There’s a reason there’s a A on Worm’s sweater,” Dickson said. “He’s such a great player. He’s the type of player who makes everyone else on the ice better and we’re happy to have him back.”
Defenseman Riley Sweeney put the Mavericks ahead for good at 14:38 of the second period.
Ulett netted his first career ECHL goal 3:58 into the third period, making it 5-3.
Durocher scored the Mavericks’ sixth unanswered goal at the 11:31 mark of the final period.
Dziurzynski put home his 25th goal of the season at the 15:24 mark of the third period. His brother, David Dziurzynski, got the lone assist.
Sides notched the eighth goal, setting the Mavericks’ single season high for team goals in a game. VanWormer assisted on the goal.
Durocher tacked on his second goal on an assist from Carzo to set the final margin.
McDonald finished the night with 29 saves on 32 shots.
The Mavericks return home play host to Cincinnati at 4:05 p.m. Sunday on Mavericks Racing Day. Fans can purchase a special ticket to meet NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, who will make an appearance.