Fans attending the Kansas City Mavericks’ thrilling 6-4 victory over the rival Allen Americans Saturday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena got a two-fer – an ECHL contest and a theme park ride, all in one.
“A great game – and a bit of a roller coaster ride,” Mavericks interim coach Kohl Schultz quipped after the Americans saw their furious third-quarter rally shut down by Mavericks goaltender Tyler Parsons.
“We had that comfortable (5-1) lead going into the third period and they score a couple of quick goals but we were able to rebound,” Schultz added. “And Parsons was so strong the entire game, but he really played well in the third during that barrage of shots.”
The win was the second in a row over a Mountain Division rival for the Mavericks, who are in seventh place in the division with a 21-24-3-1 record and 46 points.
Rapid City is in fourth place with 54 points and Wichita and Tulsa are tied for fourth place with 50 points. The four top teams from each division advance to the playoffs.
The Mavericks have 23 games remaining on the schedule, two games in hand over Tulsa and four games in hand over Wichita. The Mavericks have six games remaining against Wichita, five games remaining against Rapid City and four games remaining against Tulsa.
“People say you shouldn’t be a scoreboard watcher, but I am,” quipped a grinning Matt Schmalz, who had two goals and two assists Saturday. “We play Rapid City five more times, so that’s plenty of games to make up some ground in the standings. But like everyone has been saying, we have to take it one game at a time.
“We’ve struggled, been kind of up and down, but we’ve been playing some good hockey lately. And if we keep doing that, we will have a shot at the playoffs.”
Charlie O’Connor put the Mavericks on the scoreboard early in the first period as he scored at 2:15 of the first period.
Terrance Amorosa made it a 2-0 at 16:57 on a power play goal.
O’Connor scored his second goal just 34 seconds into the second period, and Schmalz kept the big offensive night alive with a goal at the 9:10 mark.
David Dziurzynski made it 5-0 at 14:27 before Allen’s Tyler Sheehy scored at 16:55 to make it 5-1 going into the final period.
That’s when things got interesting as Allen’s Josh Lammon scored just 42 seconds into the third period and Stepan Falkovsky scored 48 seconds later.
“Yeah, it got a little interesting,” Parsons said. “They’re a great team, and you know they’re going to to get some goals – but we got more tonight, and that’s all that matters.
“It was a big win, and we need to string some wins together.”
Schmalz scored his second goal at 17:42 on an empty net to pad the Mavericks’ lead before former Maverick Corey Durocher scored the final goal of the night at 18:21.
Schmalz now has six points in his last two games with three goals and three assists.