Late goals help Mavericks stun Americans
Speedy C.J. Eick assured himself of a good night’s sleep the next time the Kansas City Mavericks hit the road.
His timely assist to Darik Angeli paved the way to a dramatic 4-2 victory over the Allen Americans Monday afternoon at Cable Dahmer Arena.
With the score tied 2-2 late in the third period, Eick picked off a pass and went streaking down the ice before getting off a perfect pass to Angeli, who buried the puck with just 56 seconds left.
ECHL scoring leader Brodie Reid followed with an empty net goal 23 seconds later to secure a second straight win that decided the three-games series with Western Conference-leading Allen.
“I’m C.J.’s roommate,” joked Angeli, “and if he hadn’t passed me the puck he might have gotten a couple of knocks on the head the next time we were on the road. It was a great pass from my roomie, and I’m so glad it led to another big win.”
Following a 3-0 shutout loss Saturday, in which they got off just 16 shots on goal, an angry coach Tad O’Had promised there would be changes.
Angeli has been one of the promising changes, as he has scored goals in the past two games.
“Darik Angeli is a rock star,” O’Had said after the team picked up its fourth point in the last two days and improved to 9-10-2-1. “First and foremost, we’re getting (offensive) contributions from so many guys on the team, but you couldn’t ask for anymore from Angeli than we’ve got the last two games.
“Our D-men are getting off shots and our forwards are rushing the net and the end result is back-back-to-back wins over the team that came here Saturday night leading the conference.”
With the two losses, the Americans have slipped into second place with 31 points and a 15-7-1-0 record. Wichita moved in first place with a winning percentage of .711 and record of 13-5-1-0 but just 27 points.
Lane Scheidl put the Mavericks on the board just 3 minutes, 47 seconds into the game as he scored off assists from Giorgio Estephan and Rob Bordson.
Allen’s Les Lancaster then tied it with a goal at 17:24 of the first period.
Allen’s Ben Carroll scored at 10:47 of the second period, giving the Americans a 2-1 lead going into the final 20 minutes.
“We knew we had to get something going, and we got the tie early and were able to put it away late,” Angeli said.
Kansas City’s Boston Leier knotted the score at 2-all with his first goal of the season, just 20 seconds into the third period on assists from Corbin Baldwin and Eick.
That set the stage for Angeli’s heroics and some outstanding goaltending by Angus Redmond, who is now 2-0 in the net for Kansas City and even earned an assist on Reid’s empty-netter.
Over the last 7:56, Redmond made seven point-blank saves that drew rave reviews from his coach.
“Redmond played well in the first and second periods, but he was unbelievable in the third period, especially late in the third period,” O’Had said. “The guy gets here at midnight (after a flight from Bakersfield, California), and does a great job last night, and follows up with his performance today. Just outstanding.
“And I believe this is the biggest win of the season because we followed up a great team win Sunday with another great team win this afternoon.”
Redmond turned the attention away to his teammates, thanking them for their effort Monday afternoon.
“Offensively, they got the points and they made some big plays defensively,” Redmond said. “That was a team win, a great team win. I don’t know what it was like before I got here Saturday, but that is a confident locker room. We’re all ready to go back out on the ice and play tonight.”
Redmond, a 6-foot-2, 196-pounder from Langley, British Columbia, joins the Mavericks after going 16-2 with the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers last season, posting a .907 save percentage and a 2.55 goals against average.