Mavericks vault back into playoff contention with sweep of Tulsa

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

TULSA, Okla. – A six-point weekend has the Kansas City Mavericks back in the thick of the ECHL Western Conference playoff race.

The Mavericks followed a 4-3 comeback win at home Friday night with a 5-0 win Saturday and 7-1 victory Sunday over the Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center to climb out of last place in the division and move within two points of Utah (48 points) for the fourth and final playoff berth.

The Mavericks now have 46 points, a three-game winning streak and 19-16-6-2 record.

Matt Greenfield was in the net for each win. He replaced starter Matt Ginn to gain the come-from-behind win Friday, stopped all 41 shots in the win Saturday and 30 of 31 shots on goal Sunday.

"You can't say enough good things about Greenie and the way he played this weekend – and that's not taking a thing away from Ginner. He was scheduled to start Sunday but wasn't feeling well," coach Tad O'Had said by phone from Tulsa Sunday evening.

"When we talked Friday, we talked about how I was sounding like a broken record, listing all the areas of concern. Well, we addressed those concerns and the boys are playing some great hockey.”

Forwards Darik Angeli and Lane Scheidl have joined Greenfield with some of that great hockey. Angeli scored a hat trick – his second of the season – and totaled five points and Scheidl added a goal and two assists in the 7-1 rout in Tulsa Sunday.

Scheidl scored two goals, including the game-winner with just 15 seconds left in Friday’s 4-3 win.

"Scheidl has really taken his game to a new level,” O’Had said. “Angeli has been playing great – all the guys have been playing great. Each of these wins have been complete team wins."

The Mavericks were especially good on the power play Sunday, scoring on five of their eight chances. Angeli, Scheidl, Zach Osburn, Nick Pastujov and Bryan Lemos all scored with the man advantage.

"Our penalty kill and power play special teams were great this weekend," O'Had added. "This is the type of hockey this team is capable of playing and they simply dominated Tulsa this weekend on the Oilers’ ice."

Angeli scored two even-strength goals to go along with Scheidl’s power play goal to give the Mavericks a 3-0 lead after the first 6 1/2 minutes of Sunday’s game.

The Mavericks took advantage of a double minor penalty on Tulsa’s Mike McKee and a slashing call on Vincent Marleau to score three power play goals in the first 2:46 of the third period for a 7-0 lead. Angeli scored at the 1:03 mark, Osburn (who also had two assists) scored 56 seconds later, and Lemos scored 47 seconds after that.

Captain Rob Bordson led the way in Saturday’s 5-0 win, scoring two goals in the first period.

Jared VanWormer added a second-period goal to make it 3-0. Marcus Crawford scored at 12:32 of the third period and Adam Brady capped it with a shorthanded goal at 14:28. Brodie Reid, who is still second in the ECHL with 45 points, finished with three assists.

"It's great to see the goal distribution spread around, so we're not just counting on one or two guys to score for us," O'Had said.