Despite watching his team drop a 3-2 overtime exhibition game loss to the Allen Americans Friday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson walked off the ice feeling good about his team.
“Sure you want to win, whether it’s an exhibition game or a regular-season game, but we saw a lot of good things tonight and can take away a lot of positives,” Dickson said.
One positive was the play of rookie Hayden Hawkey, who started the game in goal when Nick Schneider was suddenly recalled to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate Stockton on Thursday.
“Hayden did a great job tonight,” Dickson said. “He didn’t face a lot of shots, but he made some big saves and showed us that he can play in this league.”
The Mavericks outshot the Americans 30-14.
Rookie forward Bryan Lemos and newcomer defenseman Kevin McKernan scored the goals for the Mavericks, who open regular-season action next Friday in Tulsa. The home opener is next Saturday against Indianapolis.
The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead into the locker room thanks to a late goal from Lemos at 17:53 of the first period. Rookie defenseman Cole Fraser and defenseman John Furgele were credited with the assists on the goal. The Mavericks piled up the shots in the period, outshooting the Americans 14-4 in the opening frame.
Allen tied the game one minute, 30 seconds into the second period on a goal from defenseman Alex Breton. The Americans grabbed the lead on a power play goal from forward Jordan Topping at the 6:50 mark of the second period.
Kansas City tied the game at 2-2 8:12 into the final period of regulation on a power play goal from defenseman Kevin McKernan. Forwards Greg Betzold and Mitch Hults assisted on the game-tying goal. Regulation ended with the game still tied at 2-2 and the game went into an overtime period. All ECHL overtimes are now seven minutes long.
Forward Gabriel Gagne scored the game-winning goal 39 seconds into overtime.
“We’re going to start cutting down the roster this week,” Dickson said. “We’ve released Zach Todd, a defenseman who was on a tryout with the team.”