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Shortridge's shutout is highlight of Mavs' 1-2 weekend

By Bill Althaus
bill.althaus@examiner.net

WICHITA, Kan. – Andrew Shortridge wanted to put his last game behind him.

He was able to do that pretty quickly.

Andrew Shortridge

Shortridge stood tall in the net Friday night at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita as he turned away 39 shots on goal to lead the Kansas City Mavericks to a thrilling 1-0 victory over the longtime rival Thunder.

The Mavericks, though, couldn't sustain the momentum and fell 2-1 to the Thunder on Saturday and 6-2 on Sunday.

Last Tuesday, Shortridge gave up four goals before being replaced in Wichita’s 8-4 win at Cable Dahmer Arena.

“That was a tough situation the other night, and this win shows what we can do collectively as a team, which is something Coach (Tad O’Had) has been talking about all season,” Shortridge said by phone after the Mavericks improved to 2-3-1-1.

“We played a great game for 60 minutes. It got chaotic out there, but it was a controlled chaos. I think the guys fed off me and I know I fed off them. They were great. It’s just a great team win, and I am so honored to be a part of it.”

O’Had has been preaching a full 60 minutes all season, and his team responded Friday night.

“Three games in three days in Wichita gives this series a playoff feel,” O’Had said by phone. “We weren’t thinking about anything but what we had to do tonight to win, and Shortridge was huge in the net and our defense was outstanding!

“Our penalty-kill was five-for-five, and (C.J.) Eick and (Brendan) Robbins were huge on the PK (penalty kill) and I can’t say enough good things about our defense.”

Shortridge earned his first shutout with the Mavericks despite the Thunder owning a 39-26 advantag in shots on goal.

“Shortridge was great, he stopped everything – but you don’t get a shutout in this league unless everyone plays well, and that was the case tonight,” O’Had said. “I’ve been saying we can be a very successful team if we go out and play 60 strong minutes of hockey. We did that tonight, and we needed a win like this.

“It feels good.”

Lane Scheidl scored the lone goal of the night at 13:33 of the first period off assists from Willie Corrin and Giorgio Estephan.

Wichita pulled goalie Mitch Gillam with 1:56 left and went with a sixth attacker but was stonewalled by Shortridge and the Mavericks defense.

“Those last two minutes were pretty exciting,” team captain Rob Bordson said. “We all wanted to see Shorty get the win and the shutout. We didn’t give up any Grade A shots late in the game and Shorty took care of every shot all night.

“This was a big win, a real boost to our confidence. Now we have to come back and do it again Saturday night. You want to build on a win like this one, and I think we can.”

Two losses

Andrew Shortridge, who was in the net for Friday’s game, suffered an injury and was unavailable for the two weekend losses. Backup Sean Bonar faced 40 shots in the 2-1 loss Saturday and 23 shots in the 6-2 loss Sunday.

“We are bringing in (goalie) Matt Greenfield from the University of Calgary,” Mavericks coach Tad O’Had said Sunday night. “I’ve been on the phone and must have made 55 calls to agents and players.

“We have to find guys who want to play hockey! This is frustrating and unacceptable.

“We were on the right track our first period (Sunday, a 1-1 tie), then the frustration starts in the second period. We’re not managing the puck properly or tracking back in the D-zone. We’re going to make changes, and that’s hard, but we have to put a competitive team out on the ice.”

Bryan Lemos and Willie Corrin scored the Mavericks' two goals Sunday. Brodie Reid scored the lone goal on Saturday.

Corrin's goal pulled the Mavericks within 3-2 at the end of the second period Sunday, but Wichita scored twice in the first eight minutes of the third to put it away. The Mavericks, who went 1-for-7 on the power play, lost despite outshooting the Thunder 39-23.

On Saturday, they were tied 1-1 after the first period, but Wichita's Stefan Fournier scored at 4:29 of the second and the Thunder held on while outshooting the Mavericks 40-22.

The two losses leave the 2-5-1-1 Mavericks in fifth place in the ECHL's Mountain Division while Wichita improved to 6-2-1-0, good for second place (behind 8-3-0-0 Allen).

Mavs get forward

The Mavericks announced earlier Friday that forward Adam Brady had been assigned to Kansas City from its American Hockey League affiliate, the Stockton Heat.

Brady, a 6-foot, 202-pound, 25-year-old forward from Delhi, Ontario, joins the Mavericks after finishing his collegiate career at Bemidji State University. He compiled 34 points on 19 goals and 15 assists in his final college season.

“Adam is a slick forward with high level skill and ability to play with pace and an honest 200-foot game,” O’Had said. “He was an all-decade standout at Bemidji State where he was teammates with (current Maverick) Tommy Muck. We are very pleased to have Stockton working with us and sending us such a talented and well-rounded player.”

Brady played four seasons with Bemidji State University, where he was selected as team captain his senior year. Last season, he was selected to the WCHA all-star team and was named the November WCHA Forward of the Month.