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Road swagger: Mavericks start Tulsa series with win

By Bill Althaus

TULSA, Okla. – Kansas City Mavericks coach Tad O’Had had a heart-to-heart meeting with his team this week about turning things up a notch and playing with confidence, pride and swagger.

“Over the next seven games, we want to come away with 10 points and start to climb in the standings,” O’Had said by phone Thursday night following a 3-2 victory over the Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center.

The win helped this team climb up the standings as the 6-9-1-1 Oilers have 14 points and the 5-7-1-1 Mavericks are right behind with 12 points.

“Tonight was huge,” said red-hot Brodie Reid, who opened the scoring for the Mavericks at 3:19 of the first period on assists from Marcus Crawford and captain Rob Bordson.

“We need to play the type of hockey we are capable of playing, and that’s what we did tonight. Tulsa is ahead of us in the standings and we played them tonight, tomorrow (Friday, in Tulsa) and home Saturday so we can really make a move.”

Crawford made it 2-0 at 7:50 of the second period as he scored off an assist from Bordson.

The Oilers then scored later in the second as the Mavericks took a 2-1 lead into the final period.

Bordson extended the Mavericks’ lead to 3-1 at 15:29 of the second period as he was assisted by Reid and Willie Corrin.

“We had that lead, then Tulsa scored late (a goal by Garret Cockerill at 15:54) and they had a barrage of shots on goal and (goalie) Matt Greenfield did a great job,” O’Had said “He’s played well in his last three starts and he will be in the net (Friday) night.”

When asked about taking the first game in Tulsa, O’Had chuckled and said, “It’s time for this team to play with some confidence and swagger and you do it by getting gritty wins like this on the road.

Greenfield stopped 28 of 30 shots. 

“Matt was great in goal tonight and we withstood that rush at the end – kind of a bend-but-don’t-break approach – and we got a big road win,” Bordson said. “To climb in the standings, you need to beat the teams right ahead of you, like Tulsa, and really, all the teams ahead of you. Right now, we’re concentrating on the Oilers and we got off to a great start tonight.”