Kansas City Mavericks squander 2-0 lead in road loss at Allen

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

ALLEN, Texas – The Kansas City Mavericks got the first of a four-game road series against the Allen Americans off to a great start.

The finish was not so pleasing.

The Mavericks grabbed a 2-0 lead and then watched it disappear as Chad Butcher scored with just 1:49 remaining to lift the Americans to a 3-2 victory Wednesday night at the Allen Event Center.

"That's the first of four games against Allen – which was just the way the schedule worked this season – and we have to do a better job the next three games," Mavericks head coach Tad O'Had said by phone. "We play Allen seven more times this season and we have to approach every game like it was a playoff game – which for us, it basically is."

The third-place Americans (25-1-2-1, 53 points) were five points ahead of the Mavericks (19-17-6-2, 46) heading into Wednesday and widened that margin to seven. The Mavericks remained two points behind the Utah Grizzlies for the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s Western Conference.

Darik Angeli, who has been red-hot for the Mavericks with his second hat trick of the season over the weekend, scored at 10:38 of the second period off assists from Zach Osburn and Adam Brady to give Kansas City the advantage after a scoreless first period.

Bryan Lemos then scored just 46 seconds later off an assist by Phil Marinaccio, who was activated off the injured list earlier in the day.

The Mavericks held the 2-0 lead until Butcher scored his first goal at 14:33 of the second..

Allen’s Zane Franklin tied it at 3:38 of the third period but Americans goalie Francis Marotte shut down the Mavericks the rest of the way despite Kansas City holding a 13-11 advantage in shots in the third.

Butcher then scored the game-winner at 18:11.

"We came slow, and that's disappointing, then we picked things up and played really well in the second period," O'Had said. "Then, the rest of the game we didn't do the little things you need to do to win games like this. It's frustrating, because our guys know how to play the game the right way.

"We have a very competitive roster now, and if we can't find guys to play the way we want them to play, we can find players to replace them out on the ice."

The Mavericks and Americans meet again at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday to complete the four-game set.