Mavericks rally past Americans for much-needed win
A gritty, come-from-behind win at home could help the Kansas City Mavericks get on a winning streak as the season heads to crunch time.
The Mavericks trailed 3-1 after one period at Cable Dahmer Arena Wednesday night, but Lane Scheidl scored two goals as they staged a dramatic comeback to claim a much-needed 5-4 victory over the longtime rival Allen.
The 24-26-8-2 Mavericks now have 58 points and are in seventh place in the ECHL’s Western Division, seven points behind the Utah Grizzlies, who hold the fourth and final playoff spot with 65 points.
"We're on the outside looking in, and we really needed this win tonight," said team captain Rob Bordson, who scored a power-play goal at 4:18 of the second period to cut the deficit to 3-2 and added an assist. "We had that disappointing (5-2) loss last night at Wichita, and the boys showed a lot of character coming back and winning tonight.
"We didn't get off to the best start, but we played 40 minutes of solid hockey after that first period and found a way to win."
Darik Angeli scored at 8:43 of the second to knot the score at 3-all going into the final period.
"We face Allen again at home Saturday and it was big to get this win tonight," said Angeli, who also added an assist. "All the wins are big the rest of the season. We need to put a streak together and this is a good way to start."
Scheidl, who opened the game with a goal just 1:29 into the first period, scored his second goal at 4:42 of the third period to put the Mavericks ahead.
Loren Ulett followed with just his second goal of an injury-plagued season to extend the Mavericks’ lead to 5-3.
Ulett's goal proved to be the game-winner as Allen's Les Lancaster scored from long distance to make it 5-4 with 12:12 left in regulation.
But goalie Matt Ginn shut the Americans down for the rest of the game despite Allen outshooting the Mavericks 10-8 in the final period.
"This was a good win; our guys really came together," O'Had said. "Bordson's goal was so big after we came out of that first period trailing 3-1.
"This was just a hard-nosed game against one of the better teams in the league. We were able to shut down Allen's transition game and put pucks on the net. When we do those things, we're successful."
After Scheidl’s first goal, Scott Conway scored at 7:59 to tie it. Brett Neumann put the Americans (37-20-2-1, 77 points) ahead at 17:24 and scored again with just nine seconds left in the first period for the 3-1 lead.
When asked about Scheidl's second consecutive two-goal night, O’Had praised the veteran forward.
"Lane is a leader, on and off the ice – a quiet leader who gets it done on the ice and in our locker room," O'Had said. "He's a warrior who leads by example and it's such a pleasure to coach a player like that."
When those comments were relayed to Scheidl he simply said, "That means a lot coming from a coach I respect as much as Tad. But right now, I just want to win – we all want to win – and if we keep playing like we did tonight, we can make a run late in the season. This is a very good team – with a bounce here or there, who knows?
"We just have to keep playing hard, playing like the way we played tonight."