He didn’t quite get a shutout, and Kansas City goalie Nick Schneider didn’t mind.
Schneider stopped 28 of 29 shots on goal to lead the Mavericks to a 2-1 victory over Wichita Tuesday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Peter Crinella fired a rocket past Schneider with just 54 seconds left in the game, but the Wings could not come up with the equalizer as the Mavericks won their third straight – all at home.
That’s a first, and the streak began with interim coach Kohl Schultz.
“Yeah, I guess we’re helping everyone in the ticket office with the streak,” joked Schultz, as the Mavericks continue to make a push out of the Mountain Division cellar. “We’re learning how to win in a different fashion with each of these victories. Tonight was a gritty victory and Nick was huge in the net.
“We all wanted to see him get that shutout, but in the end, two points are what we needed and helped us get them.”
The Mavericks held on to a 1-0 lead for more than two periods as captain Rocco Carzo redirected a shot by Kevin McKernan to break an early scoreless tie at the 14:38 mark of the first.
“That’s what Rocco does so well – he gets those greasy goals,” Schultz said. “He’ll stand in there and do his best to get a goal, and that one was huge.”
The 1-0 lead stood until Marcus Crawford scored his first Mavericks goal at 10:27 of the third period off assists from Justin Woods and Carzo.
“That second goal was big, too,” Schultz said. “The way Nick was playing, you felt comfortable with a two-goal lead, but in this game anything can happen.”
And it did, as Crimella cut the deficit in half at 19:06.
“I’d have liked to have had a shutout,” Schneider said, “but a win is a win. Those guys are ahead of us in the standings and it was important to win in regulation and not allow them to get a point in the standings.”
When asked about the team’s first three-win streak at home this season, Schneider credited Schultz and his teammates.
“Kohl has brought a structure to the team that I think we needed, and everyone is buying in,” Schneider said. “I’m not saying JS (Dickson) didn’t do a good job at coach, because he did, but I guess a change was needed and we’re really responding to Kohl and his style of coaching.”