DULUTH, Ga. – Keeping a lead on the road has become a problem for the Kansas City Mavericks.
The Atlanta Gladiators scored two late goals to edge the Mavericks 4-3 Saturday, handing them their fifth straight loss. It was also the fourth straight game that Kansas City has been unable to hold on to a lead in a road game.
The Gladiators scored twice within 14 seconds late in the third period to take down coach John-Scott Dickson’s Mavericks, who are winless on this current road trip that continues at 6:35 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Despite their recent road woes, the 32-28-3-2 Mavericks have 69 points, seven points ahead of fifth-place Rapid City (27-32-5-3, 62). With seven games left in the regular season, the Mavericks need just three points to clinch their first postseason berth in three seasons.
Mavericks forward Greg Betzold continued his hot month with a goal and an assist, bringing his point total in March to 17 (7 goals, 10 assists) in 12 games.
Captain Rocco Carzo gave the Mavericks an early lead with a power play goal on assists from Riley Sweeney and Willie Raskob at the 5:56 mark of the first period. The goal extended Carzo’s point streak to four games, in which he has three goals and two assists.
After Atlanta’s Tyson Fawcett tied it at the 8:36 mark of the first, the Mavericks regained a 2-1 lead when Darian Dziurzynski scored with just five seconds left in the first period on assists by Betzold and Raskob.
Derek Nesbitt tied it at the 10:56 mark of the second period, but Betzold scored his 24th goal of the season at 15:31 to give the Mavericks the 3-2 lead entering the final period.
The Mavericks were able to stave off the Gladiators for the first 16:36 of the third period, until Matt Lane tied it. Just 14 seconds later, Nesbitt picked up his second goal of the game and it turned out to be the game-winner.
Mavericks goaltender Mason McDonald faced the most shots on goal all season, stopping 42 of 46 Atlanta shots. This is the third time in the last four games the Mavericks have given up 40-plus shots.