TULSA, Okla, – It was too much Alex Dostie and Devin Williams for the Kansas City Mavericks to handle.
Dostie, who finished with a playoff-high 13 points, had a hat trick and an assist while Williams again starred in the net, stopping 25 of 27 shots on goal to lead the top-seeded Tulsa Oilers to a 6-2 victory over the No. 4-seeded Mavericks in the decisive Game 7 of their ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs series.
With the season coming to an end in Tulsa, the annual Mavericks Going Away Party at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena is tentatively scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today (look on the Mavericks’ webpage for more information).
“Dostie and (Stephen) Perfetto (who finished with three assists in Game 7 and eight points in the series) are two guys who spent most of the season in the AHL (American Hockey League) and they played like that against us in the series,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said by phone after leading the Mavericks back to the playoffs after missing postseason action the past two years.
“They play at the next level, and we knew that going into the playoffs. We did our best to mark them, but they found a way to score, especially Dostie. And Williams had a great series, too. He and Mase (Mavericks goalie Mason McDonald) played well throughout the entire series.”
The Oilers outshot the Mavericks 39-27 and turned a close game into a rout with two goals in the first 1:16 of the second period.
“Those two goals, especially so early in the period, gave them a big advantage,” Dickson said.
Ryan Tesink scored at 13:33 of the first period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead, but Kansas City’s Jared VanWormer scored less than two minutes later on assists from Corey Durocher and Cliff Watson to tie it.
Tulsa captain Adam Pleskach then put the Oilers ahead for good with a goal at the 17:24 mark.
The Oilers came out on fire in the second as Tesink scored his second goal just 35 seconds into the period and Dostie followed with his first goal of the night at 1:16.
The Oilers took that 4-1 lead into the final period when the Mavericks’ Darian Dziurzynski scored a power play goal on assists from Rocco Carzo and Greg Betzold at 3:07 to cut the deficit to make it 4-2.
The Oilers, though, responded with two Dostie goals at 4:38 and 16:53 to advance to the next round of the playoffs against Utah.
“It’s tough to talk right now after such a tough loss, but I want everyone back in Kansas City to know how much they mean to all of us and what this season meant to me,” said Carzo, the team captain who played in every regular season and postseason game after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. “This one hurts because we had our chances and we weren’t able to get the job done. We had a 3-2 lead at home and could have put them away and didn’t. We had to win one game here to advance and we couldn’t.
“I care so much for everyone in our locker room. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye this year, really hard.”
Dickson felt the same way.
“I just told our guys to use this as a learning tool, whether you are playing here or somewhere else next year – and we hope to have a lot of these players back with us next year. Use this as a lesson, use this experience to help your team next year, to help your team take that next step.
“We didn’t get the job done, and it hurts. I’m not ready to say goodbye to anyone, and I know everyone in our locker room feels the same way.”