A cool, calm and collected coach John-Scott Dickson walked out of the Kansas City Mavericks locker room Friday night, following a 4-3 loss to Tulsa in the fourth game of the 2019 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
The top-seeded Oilers scored three third-period goals to even the series at 2-2 going into tonight’s 7:05 p.m. matchup at SEC Arena, and Dickson was the model of decorum, even though a few questionable calls on the ice went against his team.
“We have another game at home tomorrow, so we don’t have to dwell on this one for a long period of time, and we have to come out and find a way to take a 3-2 record back to Tulsa,” Dickson said.
“It’s a quick turnaround, we addressed some things in the locker room and the guys are ready to go tomorrow. This is playoff hockey, and I said from the start this was going to be a deep series – it would have been great to clinch it here at home – but that’s not going to happen, so we have to come out strong tomorrow and get that third win.’
For 40 minutes, it looked like the Mavericks would take a 3-1 record into tonight’s game as Mark Cooper scored his third goal of the series at 18:08 of the first period to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers tied it at 1-all when Stephen Perfecto, who has four goals in the series, went coast-to-coast at 12:20 and fired a slap shot past Mason McDonald.
But once again, the Mavericks scored a late goal as captain Rocco Carzo slipped Corey Durocher’s ricochet off Oilers goaltender Devin Williams for the go-ahead goal at 18:20.
The Oilers came out on fire in the third period as Joe Thomas tied the game at 2-all at 2:59 and captain Adam Pleskach put Tulsa ahead for the first time in the game with a goal at 16:48.
Dickson then pulled McDonald from the net and Tulsa’s Alex Dostie stole the puck at mid ice and fired a long goal into an empty net to make the score 4-2.
Cooper scored his second goal of the night at 18:57 as the Mavericks used a sixth attacker, but they could not solve Williams for a game-tying goal.
“We’re fine,” Carzo said, “I certainly didn’t come into the series thinking we were going to sweep them. That would have been nice, but they are a good team. We knew they’d come out battling tonight and they did and their goalie played a great game.
“But we’re not down 3-1. We’re tied 2-2 and have another game at home, and I think we’re going to come out and play a great game tomorrow night.”
Cooper agreed and added, “We missed some scoring opportunities, especially early in the second period, and their guy really played well in the net. But we come right back and play them again tomorrow night and we’re all hoping for a different outcome.”
McDonald stopped 30 of 33 shots on goal and Williams stopped 24 of 27.