There is no truth to the rumor that Silverstein Eye Centers Arena had to replace a worn out set of goal lights and horn following a wildly entertaining Kansas City Mavericks 10-1 victory the visiting Rapid City Rush Saturday night.
“It seemed like those lights were flashing and that horn was blowing all night,” said a jubilant coach John-Scott Dickson after his team improved to 6-7-1-0 against the Rush, who entered as the Mountain Division leader.
“This was just a great team win. Everyone contributed in one way or the other. We got off to the strong start (a three-goal first period), added to that in the second (two more goals) and finished with the five goals in the third period. We gave our fans plenty to cheer about tonight.”
And there was plenty of cheering in the locker room, too, as defenseman Neil Goff scored his first goal in 69 games as a Maverick.
“Well, I guess you better score one after 69 games,” Goff said, beaming from ear to ear. “You could tell tonight was going to be special before the game, we went out on the ice with a lot of confidence tonight.”
Eight Mavericks registered multipoint performances en route to their biggest offensive outburst of the season. Forward Tad Kozun and defenseman Kevin McKernan led the way with a goal and three assists each. Rookie forward Bryan Lemos, who also had an assist, and rookie defenseman Zach Osburn each scored two goals.
Osburn kicked off the scoring 2:57 into regulation, slapping home a shot from the high slot after a pass from Michael Parks.
McKernan made it 2-0 at the 9:23 mark on assists from David Dziurzynski and Loren Ulett. Lemos then stuffed home a rebound for a 3-0 lead at the 15:02 mark.
Peter Quenneville scored just 58 seconds into the second period to cut Rapid City’s deficit to 3-1, but the Mavericks responded with a pair of goals. Ryan Van Stralen scored on assists from McKernan and Kozun at 9:02 and Lemos scored a shorthanded goal just 1:37 later for a 5-1 advantage after two periods.
The Mavericks, who outshot the Rush 45-26, poured it on with five goals in the third period, as Osburn, Goff, Ulett, Kozun and Darian Dziurzynski each added a goal.
Nearly lost in the offensive outburst was goalie Nick Schneider, who stopped 25 of 26 shots to improve to 6-4-1-0 for the season.
“Nick did what he’s been doing for us all season, doing a great job in the net,” Dickson said. “It was great to give him some offensive support tonight.”
Schneider was all smiles following the win.
“It was just a great all-around game,” Schneider said. “You can play a little bit looser, with a little bit more confidence when your team scores like we did tonight.”
Four Mavericks had a plus-5 rating or better in the game. Cliff Watson and Mitch Hults both finished plus-5, while Kozun and McKernan were plus-6 ratings.
The Mavericks killed all four power plays Saturday and have killed 36 of their last 37 penalties and have only allowed two power play goals in eight games this month.
ROAD TRIP: The Mavericks will hit the road for two weeks after this morning’s Kids Day Game against the Allen Americans, heading west to Boise to face the Idaho Steelheads for two games next Friday and Saturday. They then travel to Kansas to face the Wichita Thunder on Thanksgiving weekend before returning home to face the Thunder on Dec. 6.