TULSA, Okla. – Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson can accept a loss when an opponent outplays his ECHL team.
He did not think that was the case in Friday’s season-opening 5-2 loss to Tulsa at the BOK Center.
“I’m not taking a thing away from the Oilers, they won the game,” Dickson said by phone, “but we made so many mistakes – so many stupid mistakes. Things we’ve been working on the past two weeks – I just don’t understand.
“They were addressed after the game. And I don’t care if a player is on an ECHL contract, an AHL contract or an NHL contract, he’s not going to play for this team unless he plays Mavericks hockey.”
Added captain Rocco Carzo: “It got sloppy out there tonight. We were fighting the puck instead of working it. There were mistakes, and I believe they are mistakes we can address and correct.”
Tulsa grabbed an early 1-0 lead 4:09 into the first period on a goal from Devin Sideroff. Adam Pleskach and Ryan Tesink assisted on the goal.
The Oilers’ lead didn’t last long, as Mavericks newcomer Jack Walker took a feed in the slot from David Dziurzynski and buried it to tie the game at 1-1 at the 6:25.
Dziurzynski and defenseman John Furgele picked up the assist on the game-tying goal.
Pleskach gave the Oilers a late first period 2-1 lead, stuffing home a feed from Devin Sideroff with 1:54 left in the opening period. The Mavericks outshot Tulsa 17-8 in the first period.
The Mavericks drew even at 8:35 of the second period when rookie forward Ryan Galt found David Dziurzynski in the slot from behind the net, tying the game at 2-2. Galt and defenseman Kevin McKernan assisted on the goal. The assist was Galt’s first as a professional.
The Oilers snatched the lead back with 5:48 left in the second on a goal by Jake Clifford. Mike McKee and Jared Thomas assisted on the goal. The Oilers poured on the shots in the period, outshooting KC 14-4.
The Oilers doubled their lead to 4-2 at the 8:52 mark of the final period of regulation on a goal from Ryan Tesink. Steven Kaunisto assisted on the goal.
The Oilers held the Mavericks without a shot in the third period until the 15:25 mark. Sideroff extended the Oilers lead to 5-2 at the 16:11 mark of the third. Dylan Moynihan and Pleskach picked up the assists and the Oilers closed out the game with a 5-2 win.
The Mavericks were strong on the penalty kill, going five-for-five when down a man. Rookie goaltender Hayden Hawkey stopped 29 of 34 Tulsa shots in his professional debut.
“After a game like this, with all the mistakes, it’s good to play again the next night – and it’s our home opener so everyone should be excited,” Dickson said. “We have to play better than we did tonight though, if we want to get a win at home for our fans.”
• Carzo will be the team’s captain for the second consecutive season. Forward Darian Dziurzynski and defensemen Justin Woods and Neal Goff were named assistant captains. Woods is the lone newcomer to be given a letter on his jersey.
“It’s an honor to be a captain on the Mavericks,” Carzo said. “I hope the things I do on the ice, in the locker room and in the community will always benefit our team and the organization.”