Mavericks bounce back after surrendering late goal, edge Utah in OT

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Goalie Matt Greenfield stood tall in the net, refusing to let a late goal shake him as the Kansas City Mavericks went into overtime of a 4-4 game against the Utah Grizzlies.

He was rewarded 3 minutes, 45 seconds into the extra period as Brodie Reid scored the game-winner, giving the Mavericks a much needed 5-4 victory following four consecutive losses to the Allen Americans last week.

Greenfield faced 40 shots against the Grizzlies and drew the praise of head coach Tad O'Had.

"What can you say about Greenie?" O'Had said by phone after his team pulled within three points of fourth-place Utah. "Just a great kid, a quality kid from a quality family. You're never going to meet two better goalies or human beings that we have with Greenie and Ginner (Matt Ginn)."

The Mavericks took a 4-3 lead late in the third period when Bryan Lemos scored an unassisted goal with two minutes left. As the closing seconds ticked away, it looked like Kansas City was going to end a week's worth of frustration.

But Utah's Matthew Boucher shocked the Mavericks, scoring with just eight seconds left in regulation to tie it and send it to overtime.

"With 7.8 seconds left, I told the guys, 'We came here tonight to get two points, and we're going to get two points,'" O'Had said. "I was very confident going into overtime. I have to admit, when they tied the game, I was very frustrated, but that frustration left when Reider scored the game-winner.'

Reid, who is third in the ECHL in points with 48, took a pass from Boston Leier and beat Grizzlies goaltender Peyton Jones to end the skid and make O’Had look prophetic.

Utah broke on top first when Charlie Gerard scored at the 5:15 mark of the first period.

Willie Corrin answered for the Mavericks Willie Corrin on assists by Zach Osburn and Rob Bordson at 11:17 to tie it.

The Grizzlies, though, took a 3-2 lead after the second period as Cole Fraser and Gerard sandwiched a goal around a Mavericks’ power play goal by Adam Brady.

Corrin scored his second goal at 3:42 of the third period on assists from Leier and Osburn to tie it.

Lemos scored what appeared to be the game-winner before the Grizzlies pulled their goalie and Boucher scored the tying goal.

"When they scored in the closing seconds, it was like, 'That's tough,' but we're never in a losing mindset. I knew our guys were going to fight hard to win the game in overtime," Greenfield said. "This team is so close, and we've lost some heartbreakers this season, and I just knew we were going to find a way to win. Heck, we're three points out of the playoffs right now and we have two more games against the team that is right ahead of us."

Utah (20-17-4-6) got one point for the overtime loss and has 51 points. The 20-20-6-2 Mavericks have 48 points.

"We have something like 20 games left, and every game is going to be like a playoff game," Greenfield added. "We're going to be battle ready when the playoffs come around because we're going to be in a playoff mode the rest of the season, and I think that will help us once the playoffs come around. I can't wait for our next game."

The Mavericks play Utah again at the Maverik Center Friday and Saturday. Both games start at 8:10 p.m. Central time.