Mavericks hope greasy comeback can be turning point

By Bill Althaus
The Mavericks' Rob Bordson (19) and Nick Pastujov (20) celebrate Pastujov's game-tying goal in the second period Friday at Cable Dahmer Arena. The Mavericks beat the Tulsa Oilers 4-3.

Following a lackluster opening period Friday, in which the Kansas City Mavericks had just three shots on goal against the Tulsa Oilers, coach Tad O'Had's team took to the net, camped in the crease and got some greasy goals.

The team came away with an impactful 4-3 victory at Cable Dahmer Arena it hopes will be the start of something special for the remainder of the season.

After a scoreless first period, in which starter Matt Ginn stopped all 17 Oilers shots, Tulsa scored three power-play goals, including one 5-on-3 mismatch, and took a 3-0 lead.

That's when O'Had pulled Ginn, the leading goalie in the ECHL with a 2.16 goals-against average, and put Matt Greenfield in the net.

The Mavericks responded with four goals over the next 11 minutes, and Greenfield did not allow a goal as Kansas City improved to 17-16-6-2.

Mavericks goals Matt Greenfield makes one of his 13 saves Friday against the Tulsa Oilers. Greenfield did not allow a goal after he relieved Matt Ginn in the second period of Kansas City's 4-3 win. Closing in behind is the Mavericks' Luke Bafia (7).

"Pulling the goalie was no indication of how Ginn was playing – in fact, he was outstanding as he has been all season – but it was time for a change," O'Had said. "And in all the years I've coached, I've never seen a goalie respond like Ginner did. He was cheering for Greenie the entire game. He's a class kid and a great teammate."

Ginn got benched 9:02 into the second period.

Lane Scheidl then scored the first of his two goals at 12:09.

"You probably noticed that all the goals we scored in the second period were in the crease,” Scheidl said. “We need to get those greasy goals, and that really is the reason we were able to score four goals in the second.”

O'Had agreed.

"I don't want to sound like a broken record, because you and I have had this conversation so many times this season,” he said, “but when we get players to the net, get in the crease, score those greasy goals, we are an outstanding team.

"Scheidl got that first goal, and that started things for us tonight. And Greenie took care of business in the net."

Jared Van Wormer then scored at 15:46, and Nick Pastujov knotted the game at 3-all just 48 seconds later on another rebound.

Scheidl then scored the eventual game winner with 15 seconds left in the second period.

"I haven't played in many buildings in the league, but our fans are the best," said Greenfield, who stopped all 13 shots he faced. "When Lane scored the first goal, the place went crazy, and I thought they were going to blow the roof off the barn when we took the lead. 

"We haven't been that successful at home (7-10-5-0), and we needed to give them something to cheer about. When we play like we did in the second period, we're a very good team. That's how we need to play the rest of the season. This could be the win we all look back on and say, 'That's when our season turned around.'"

Captain Rob Bordson agreed with his coach and teammates as he assessed the big win.

"I don't know why we came out so sluggish in the first period," Bordson said. "We did that early in the season, then kind of got away from it. Tonight we made a complete turnaround in the second period. Matt Greenfield came into the game, after we didn't do much to support Matt (Ginn), and things just changed.

"We went to the net, we got the goals in the crease, we did everything we do when we win. Now, we just need to keep doing it."