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Mavericks stumble late, fall in OT

By Bill Althaus
Kansas City Mavericks forward Giorgio Estephan (29) takes a slap shot on goal in Tuesday's game against the Rapid City Rush at Cable Dahmer Arena. Estephan had a goal and an assist as the Mavericks built a 3-2 lead but the Rush rallied late and won 4-3 in overtime.

For 59 minutes, 44 seconds Tuesday night at Cable Dahmer Arena, it appeared the Kansas City Mavericks were going to continue their winning ways and get a rare win at home.

But the Rapid City Rush pulled goalie Gordon DeFiel with 1:11 left in the third period, resulting in a game-tying goal by Peter Quenneville with just 16 seconds left in regulation.

That set up a 7-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period in which the Mavericks had three scoring opportunities in the opening 2 minutes before an Avery Peterson slap shot gave the visiting Rush a 4-3 win.

“We just talked about the game,” Mavericks coach Tad O’Had said, “and the first period we underperformed.”

The Mavericks trailed 1-0 after the first 20 minutes as Rapid City’s Tyler Coulter scored the first of two goals at the 9:26 mark. It was the first of four goals allowed by rookie Matt Greenfield, who was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week last week.

“I was very happy with the way we played the second period and most of the third period,” O’Had said. “After a tough loss like this, you have to have a short memory, work hard the next two days and get ready for Utah (which visits Cable Dahmer Arena Friday and Saturday).”

Mavericks captain Rob Bordson continued his scoring streak as he scored two goals for the second straight game, tying it 1-1 on a spectacular breakaway at 2:13 of the second period.

He deked Defiel to his right and slipped the puck backhanded into the net.

Giorgio Estephan, Bordson’s linemate, then gave Kansas City a 2-1 lead on slick goal in front of the net as he beat two Rush players to the puck and scored at 11:35.

But the Rush answered at 17:09 to tie it when Andrew Sturtz’s shot hit Coulter and bounced into the net past Greenfield.

“The puck hit (Coulter) in the collarbone area and went into the net,” O’Had said. “There wasn’t much Matt could do about that goal.”

It appeared Bordson’s second goal would be the game-winner as he redirected an Estephan shot in front of the net with 41 seconds left in the second period, capping a 16-8 advantage on shots on goal in the frame.

Greenfield and the Mavericks were able to maintain the lead until the final minute of regulation despite the Rush outshooting them 13-4 in the period.

But the Rush scored the late regulation goal and Peterson notched the game-winner with just 2:59 left in overtime.

“This season is a journey,” O’Had said. “Look, we’re 6-1-1 in our last eight games. We’re still a work in progress, but we’re getting closer and closer to the team we want to become.”

Brodie Reid finished with three assists to push his team-leading total to 13 and his point total to 21, which currently leads the ECHL. His assists are tied for the second most in the ECHL. Estephan also had an assist and is fourth in the league with 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists). Bordson’s seven goals are tied for seventh best in the league.

The Mavericks (7-7-2-1) picked up a point with the overtime loss and sit in fourth place in the ECHL’s Western Division with 17 points.