New goalies help Mavericks sweep Oilers
Sean Romeo had been waiting nearly a year to return to the ice in the ECHL.
And the newest member of the Kansas City Mavericks made the most of it before a socially distanced sold-out crowd at Cable Dahmer Arena Saturday night.”
The new goaltender turned away 30 of 31 shots and led the Mavericks to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Tulsa Oilers.
That followed a strong performance by another new goalie, Matt Greenfield, in a 1-0 win Friday and completed a road and home three-game sweep of the Oilers. That allowed the 7-7-1-1 Mavericks to overtake 6-10-2-1 Tulsa for fourth place in the Western Division with 16 points.
“I haven’t played a competitive game for 10 months so you know I was ready to play tonight,” said Romeo, who signed with the Mavericks Wednesday. “The last few minutes of the game felt like overtime because if they score, it could be over in regulation.
“But our guys really rallied around the new guy tonight. It feels so awesome to be back in the ECHL and playing for a great team with a great coach.”
Coach Tad O’Had was familiar with Romeo, so he gave him a call when two goalies, Sean Bonar and Joel Rumpel, were called up to the American Hockey League and Andrew Shortridge was sidelined with an injury.
“I knew Sean when I was with Florida, and (assistant coach) Kohl (Schultz) was familiar with him, too,” O’Had said. “We were excited to bring him to town and he was excited to get this opportunity.
“Tonight, we really played well. Our PK (penalty kill) unit shut them down (Tulsa was 0-for-3) and we scored on a power play. I love it when we get in front of the net and get those gritty, dirty goals and Rob (Bordson) was able to score both goals in front of the net. We knew he was going to be a special player and person, and we were right.”
The Mavericks captain scored his first goal after redirecting a shot by Brodie Reid at 4:25 of the first period.
Tulsa captain Adam Pleskach then stole a puck and drove toward Romeo before shoveling it off to Charlie Sampair, who knotted the score at 1-all at 16:36 of the first period.
That was the score at the end of regulation.
The Mavericks had 1:04 left on a power play in the overtime and Bordson scored the game-winner at 1:02, again getting a goal in front of the crease.
“That’s what Coach wants and I don’t mind standing in the front of the net and getting those kind of goals,” Bordson said. “We want to get the reputation as a tough, gritty team, and you do that by scoring goals like that and playing the type of defense we played tonight.
“And Sean was outstanding in the net. It was a close game, but I believe we felt like we were going to win it – and it’s about time we win another game at home.
“That’s two wins at home and we hope there are many more to come.”
The line of Bordson, Reid and Giorgio Estephan accounted for all of Kansas City’s points as Reid and Estephan both assisted on both of Bordson’s goals.
FRIDAY'S WIN: When the Mavericks signed rookie goalie Matt Greenfield, coach Tad O’Had was hoping for the best.
And that’s exactly what he has received so far from Greenfield, who was in the net Friday night at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., where the Mavericks blanked the Tulsa Oilers 1-0 behind Greenfield’s 36 saves.
“We knew Matt was going to be a great addition to the team, and he has been outstanding for us this season,” O’Had said. “He was outstanding the first period, and played great in the second period, but he was a difference-maker in the third period. We did a great job on the PK (keeping the Oilers 0-for-5 with the man advantage).”
Greenfield is now second in the ECHL with a 2.00 goals against average.
“Matt came to the team and fit right in. He’s one of the guys and we’re playing the type of hockey we’ve been working so hard to get to,” O’Had said. “Our (3-2) win last night, now this 1-0 win tonight – we’re battling and playing that type of gritty hockey that produces a lot of wins.”
Friday's lone goal came off the stick of C.J. Eick with just 26 seconds left in the second period. Darik Angeli and Austin Farley earned assists.
“Who would have thought that that would be the game-winner,” O’Had said. “You can just see our team’s confidence grow period by period and game by game.”