Mavericks squander big lead, fall in overtime

By Bill Althaus

Coming off a 6-1 home loss to Wichita, which Coach Tad O'Had said was "embarrassing," the Kansas City Mavericks scored 45 seconds into their home matchup Friday against same Thunder team at Cable Dahmer Arena. 

The Mavericks scored four first-period goals Friday and took a 6-3 lead into the third period Friday only to see Wichita stage a late comeback and claim a 7-6 win on Matteo Gennaro's goal at 4:18 of the overtime period.

The loss leaves the seventh-place Mavericks with a 21-22-7-2 overall record and 7-11-6-0 record at Cable Dahmer Arena.

The Mavericks enjoyed an efficient first period as Brodie Reid, Willie Corrin, Boston Leier and Lane Scheidl scored while the team took just eight shots on goal.

"I was very happy with the first period," O'Had said from outside the team locker room. "We scored the quick goal and had that lead and were really playing well.

"Then, they score their first two goals early in the second (at 1:45 and 2:24), but Reid scores again and gives us that 5-2 lead. And then, we just didn't play that well the rest of the night."

Wichita scored a third goal in the second period, but Scheidl's second goal at 18:16 gave the Mavericks a 6-3 lead and seemingly some momentum going into the third period.

But that was not the case as Brayden Watts scored at 10:31 and Alex Peters followed with a goal just 1:03 later later to cut the Thunder's deficit to 6-5.

At 15:05, Jay Dickman scored the game-tying goal, and the contest would have been over in regulation had Mavs goalie Matt Greenfield not made a solid block on Wichita's Spencer Dorowicz’s shot with just 10 seconds left in regulation.

The Mavericks could not convert an overtime power play opportunity and Gennaro stunned the socially distanced sellout crowd of 2,169 by scoring from a scrum in front of Greenfield.

"We had the (6-3) lead going into the third and all we had to do was play solid defense and we couldn't do that - embarrassing!" O'Had said. "They do so many things after the whistle and we can't let that affect the way we play.

"This is a tough division and need to play tough hockey and we didn't do that tonight. We made changes in the lineup tonight after last night (6-1 loss), and we will make more changes tonight. We have to find a group of players who are willing to go out there and play 60 minutes of hockey.

"One or two periods won't get it done, as we have found out this season."

The two teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. It is Harvesters Food Drive Night and fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and donate them in collection boxes at the game.