Mavericks' loss clinches ECHL playoff berth for Utah

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

The Kansas City Mavericks could have used some help from the Avenger superheroes they honored on Marvel Super Hero Night as they could manage just one goal Saturday. 

The result was a 2-1 loss to the Utah Grizzlies, who clinched the fourth and final playoff berth in the ECHL’s Western Conference, at Cable Dahmer Arena. 

The Mavericks scored first as red-hot Adam Brady, who had two goals in Friday night's 5-2 win over the Grizzlies, scored a unassisted short-handed goal at 2:44 of the first period. 

But that was it for the Mavericks’ offense as Utah's Hayden Hodgson and Charlie Gerard slipped the puck past Matt Greenfield in the second period to seal the win. 

"You know what, the first period was OK," Mavericks coach Tad O'Had said after his team fell back under .500 to 29-30-8-2. "But in the second period we got away from the things we've been doing to put the puck in the back of the net. 

"There was never a lack of effort. I thought our guys played hard, and Greenfield did a nice job in the net. 

"We just lost to a very good team and we wish them luck in the playoffs." 

A vocal crowd of 2,370 fans made the Mavericks feel at home, despite missing the playoffs in O'Had's first season as head coach. 

"Our fans were excellent tonight and have been excellent all season," O’Had said. "As our guys told you last night, they really fed off the crowd. They got a lot of energy from the crowd, and we got a lot of energy tonight, but we just couldn't put the puck in the net like we wanted to."