Kansas City Mavericks interim head coach Kohl Schultz noticed something midway through the second period of Friday night’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Allen Americans.
“We’re down 4-1, but the guys on the bench are like, ‘Yeah! We’ve got this,’ and we nearly did,” Schultz said after the Mavericks scored three late goals within 2 minutes, 49 seconds to tie it at 4-all in regulation.
However, a goal by Allen’s Mitch McClain 3:30 into the overtime period gave the first-place Americans the victory at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“They got the win, but we started a three-in-three weekend – with all the games at home – with a point, and now we have the chance to get five points this weekend,” Schultz said, “and that’s better than four points.
“We can take so many positives from this game. You can tell the guys are all excited about playing Wichita at home Saturday and Sunday.”
Allen scored the first three goals of the night, with two coming in the first period and one in the second.
Kansas City’s Mitch Vanderlaan finally put the puck in the net for the Mavericks at the 16:44 mark of the second period.
“We played so well in the third period,” Schultz said, “but it all started in the second period. When Mitch scored our first goal, it fired everyone up, and you could tell that was the start of something special.”
Allen’s Jordan Topping scored his second goal early in the third period to make it 4-1, but new Mavericks defenseman Marcus Crawford cut the deficit to two when he scored at 14:42 on assists from Loren Ulett and Vanderlaan.
Bryan Lemos then cut it to 4-3 game when he scored at 15:03 on another assist by Vanderlaan and one by Kevin McKernan.
Mason Morelli completed the comeback, tying it at the 17:21 mark on assists from McKernand and Mitch Hults.
“It was all pretty amazing,” Schultz said. “Everyone bought into our game play, and you could tell they were excited about the end of the third period.
“I wish we could have scored that game-winner, but we can take a lot of positives into our next two games against Wichita.”
Tyler Parsons was in the net for the Mavericks and stopped 19 of 24 shots. Allen’s Jake Patterson stopped 40 of 44 shots on goal by the Mavericks. Kansas City had 20 shots on goal in the third period.
The Mavericks (24-30-4-1, 53 points) host Wichita (22-29-8-0, 52 points) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 4:05 p.m. Sunday.