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Mavericks struggle to find net in loss

By Bill Althaus
Kansas City Mavericks forward Giorgio Estephan (29) gets past Allen Americans defensemen Kayle Doetzel (7) and Will Lochead (47) for a shot on goal in Saturday's game at Cable Dahmer Arena. The Mavericks, despite outshooting the Americans 37-24, lost 2-1.

The Kansas City Mavericks did everything but put the puck in the back of the net.

Despite outshooting the Allen Americans 37-24, the Mavericks suffered a 2-1 loss Saturday night at Cable Dahmer Arena.

Conner Bleackley scored both Allen goals, with the first coming at 9:53 of the first period and the second at 10:13 of the second period.

Connor Doherty scored the Mavericks’ lone goal at 11:22 of the second period.

The 11-3-0-0 Americans, who blanked Tulsa 5-0 Sunday night, lead the ECHL’s Western Division with 22 points while the 4-7-1-1 Mavericks are in fifth place with 10 points.

“Overall I was happy with the way we played,” coach Tad O’Had said after the Mavericks played in front of a socially distanced sold out crowd of 2,169. “We did a lot of good things tonight, but we had four or so grade-A scoring opportunities, and we didn’t get the job done.”

Kansas City Mavericks defenseman Connor Doherty, center, celebrates with teammates Darik Angeli (18) and Kamerin Nault (4) after scoring a second-period goal in Saturday's game against the Allen Americans at Cable Dahmer Arena. Angeli and Nault assisted on the goal that made it 2-1, but that's as close as the Mavericks could get in a 2-1 loss.

Matt Greenfield was in the net for the Mavericks, and the coach said the rookie deserved a win.

“Matt played well enough to win,” O’Had said. “He made some big plays, and we just couldn’t score tonight. We’ll look at the video of the game and see what to do to finish off those scoring opportunities.”

Justin Kapelmaster, who was on the Mavericks’ preseason roster, played his first game for the Americans and picked up the win in goal.

The Mavericks returned home following a lengthy road trip in which they won their last two games at Utah. O’Had said that time away from home helped his team come together.

Kansas City Mavericks forward Lane Scheidl, right, takes a shot as Allen's Kameron Kielly dives trying to block the shot in Saturday's game at Cable Dahmer Arena. The Mavericks lost 2-1.

“We have so many new players,” O’Had said, “and that road trip really helped them get to know each other and bond as a team.

“Tonight, we’re all disappointed in the outcome, but we hit a couple of posts just missed on some other opportunities. We’re going to be fine. We’ll hit the ice this week and be ready for three big games against Tulsa this week.”

The Mavericks play at Tulsa Thursday and Friday and return to Cable Dahmer Arena to play host to the Oilers at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

Kansas City Mavericks forward Phil Marinaccio, front, tries to keep control of the puck as he fends off Allen Americans defenseman Nolan Kneen in Saturday's game at Cable Dahmer Arena. The Mavericks went on to lose 2-1.