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Mavericks falter on offense again in loss to Utah

By Bill Althaus
bill.althaus@examiner.net

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The Kansas City Mavericks have been struggling to muster much offense lately.

That happened again Friday as the Mavericks managed just 16 shots on goal as the Utah Grizzlies used a strong third period to claim a 4-1 ECHL Mountain Division victory at the Maverik Center.

“Generating offense – that’s a conversation we were just having in the locker room,” Mavericks coach Tad O’Had said by phone after the game. “As much offensive talent as we think we have on this team, we have to find a way to generate more shots and more offense.”

After a scoreless first period, the Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Miles Gendron at 9:52 of the second period.

However, it took Kansas City’s Brodie Reid just a minute and seven seconds to knot the game at 1-all, scoring off assists from Marcus Crawford and Giorgia Estephan.

But that was the only offense the Mavericks produced as the Grizzlies’ Pat Cannone made it a 2-1 game late in the second period. Cedric Pare and Matthew Boucher scored in the third period to put it out of reach.

Rookie goaltender Matt Greenfield played his first pro game against the Grizzlies as starter Andrew Shortridge is out with an injury and Sean Bonar was called up to the American Hockey League.

“Matt did a great job early in the game with that scoreless first period,” O’Had added. “For his first game, he was all right. We just need to score some goals.”

The Mavericks dropped to 2-5-1-1 while the Grizzlies improved to 4-2-1-1. The two teams meet at 8:05 p.m. Saturday at the Maverik Center and again on Monday.

Mavericks add forward

The Mavericks have signed forward Boston Leier.

Leier, a 5-foot-10, 187-pounder from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, joins the Mavericks after appearing in 29 games for the Kalamazoo Wings last season. Last season, he totaled 19 points on 10 goals and nine assists for the Wings.

“Leier is considered to be one of the finest 200-foot forwards in the ECHL,” O’Had said. “He finished the season in Charlotte in the AHL. Leier possesses the ability to be an excellent addition to the forward lineup defensively and offensively. He adds grit, skill and an incredible compete level.”

The Mavericks also played Friday without defenseman Zach Osburn. The Mavericks’ ECHL All-Star representative last season was loaned to the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League, joining Bonar there.

The Mavericks also announced they have signed Jay Stevens as an emergency backup goaltender.