Mavericks limp home after winless road trip

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

RAPID CITY, S.D. — It was late Friday night and Kansas City Mavericks coach Tad O’Had was watching video of his team’s 3-1 loss to the Rapid City Rush at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

“You can look at a game with a different perspective when you watch the video,” O’Had said by phone, “and that’s what I’m doing right now.

“At the end of the day, I can say we were well prepared and had fresh legs, but we didn’t do the little things we did over our four-game winning streak.

“You need to play smart road hockey, have puck support and cut down on scoring opportunities. We gave up too many odd-man rushes, and in the end we wound up losing.

“Between periods, I addressed the need to battle, to play with grit and I hope to see more of that tomorrow and Sunday.”

He saw the grit he was hoping for, and it two resulted in two close games. Rapid City handed his Mavericks a 3-2 overtime loss Saturday and 4-3 shootout loss Sunday – a frustrating way to get two points on the road.

“So tough, just gut wrenching,” O’Had said after the Rush tied each weekend game up in the closing minutes of regulation.

“But like I just told our guys, this weekend was incredibly tough but we played hard. We let the pedal off the metal in the final minute or so of each game and it cost us. We got two points at a very tough place to play, we come back home and we have to start putting a win streak together.”

Matt Ginn was in goal for the first two games and Matt Greenfield played Sunday. 

In Sunday’s shootout loss, the Mavericks built a 3-2 lead on goals by Adam Brady, Jared VanWormer and Rob Bordson, but Tyler Coulter tied it for the Rush with 1:43 left in the third period and beat the Mavs 3-1 in the shootout after a scoreless overtime period.

On Saturday, the Mavericks led 2-1 on goals by Bordson and Marcus Crawford but Rapid City’s Peter Quenneville scored with just 12 seconds left to tie it. Hunter Garlent scored 3:16 into overtime.

The Mavericks fell to 13-13-4-1 and dropped into sixth place in the ECHL’s Western Conference.