Willie Corrin's overtime goal lifts Mavericks to win over Tulsa
The Kansas City Mavericks, who are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs, kept their postseason dream alive Thursday.
That was thanks to a game-winning slap shot by Willie Corrin, a defensive gem by goalie Andrew Shortridge and an overtime penalty kill that set the stage for a dramatic 2-1 victory.
The Mavericks kept Tulsa off the scoreboard for 1 minute, 30 seconds of an overtime four-on-three power play after Nick Pastujov was whistled for a delay of game with 30 seconds left in regulation of a 1-1 contest at Cable Dahmer Arena.
"That was the start of gaining momentum in the overtime period – that helped us win this game tonight," Mavericks coach Tad O'Had said after his team improved to 10-4 on the season against Tulsa and 26-27-8-2 overall.
The Mavericks are in seventh place in the ECHL’s Western Conference with eight games left in the season. They now have 62 points while fourth place Utah has 71. The top four teams in each conference advance to postseason play.
"It's so difficult to have success with that four-on-three situation in overtime and we really rose to the occasion," O'Had said. "Shortie (Shortridge) was outstanding tonight. I really believe he is one of the best, if not the best goalie in the ECHL and the guys found a way to win a big game with him in the net.
"And it's great that a real pro – a character guy who has meant so much to our team this season like Willie Corrin – gets the game-winner."
Corrin said he knew the clock was winding down when he fired in the winning goal past Tulsa goalie Roman Durny with just 11 seconds left in overtime.
"We had to find a way to win the game for Shortie and our fans," Corrin said after scoring with the help of assists from Marcus Crawford and Giorgio Estephan. "Look, we're not clueless when it comes to the season and the playoffs. We look at the standings, and all we can do is try to put together a streak at the end of the season and see what happens. Let's hope it begins tonight."
The Mavericks have won three of their last four games and play Tulsa again at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Cable Dahmer Arena before heading to Tulsa for games on Saturday and Monday.
"We have to build on this one," said Shortridge, who improved to 5-3-1 with the Mavericks this season after stopping 37 of 38 shots on goal, including several point-blank shots that he somehow managed to keep from hitting the back of the net. "This was a complete team win. The guys cut down shooting lanes all night, blocked shots, did everything they could to help us win this game, and now, we have to keep winning, especially these next (few) games."
Captain Rob Bordson put the Mavericks on the scoreboard at 5:47 of the first period on assists from Estephan and Darik Angeli.
Tulsa's Michael McNicholas scored at 4:37 of the second period to tie it on a night in which defense ruled.
"I was really happy with our first period, not so happy with the second, and we played well enough to get the game into overtime," O’Had said. "We got two points, and we needed two points. Now we need to find a way to get two points Friday."