Mavericks grab early lead, stave off Oilers for win

By The Examiner staff

A big first period was enough for the Kansas City Mavericks to hold on Friday night. 

The Mavericks grabbed a 3-0 lead as the first-period buzzer sounded and then held on behind Matt Greenfield’s 50 saves and Lane Scheidl’s two goals for a 4-3 win over the Tulsa Oilers in the penultimate game of the ECHL regular season. 

The Mavericks moved out of last place and into sixth ahead of the Rapid City Rush in the Western Conference with a 30-31-8-2 record. The Mavericks can finish with a .500 record with a win in Saturday’s 7:05 p.m. regular season finale against the second-place Wichita Thunder (41-21-6-2). 

Tulsa, which was eliminated from playoff contention prior to Friday’s game like the Mavericks, finished the regular season in fifth at 30-28-11-3. 

The Mavericks struck twice early. Scheidl scored an unassisted goal at the 3:56 mark of the first period to put them ahead. Just 54 seconds later, Giorgio Estephan made it 2-0 off assists from Brodie Reid and Marcus Crawford. 

Crawford, who finished the night with three assists, and Estephan helped on a goal by Nick Pastujov at the 8:02 mark to rev up the crowd. 

The Mavericks and Greenfield, though, had to survive a barrage of Tulsa shots in the second and third periods to claim the win. The Oilers outshot Kansas City 18-6 in the second period and 19-7 in the third and had a 53-27 advantage for the game. 

Tulsa’s Charlie Sampair scored at the 9:52 mark of the second period and Justin Taylor beat Greenfield at 18:16 to cut the deficit to 3-2. 

Scheidl, though, scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on assists from Crawford and Willie Corrin at 6:35 of the third period for a 4-2 advantage. 

Ian McNulty cut that lead to 4-3 with an unassisted goal with 3:36 left, but Greenfield and the Mavericks held on. Greenfield improved to 10-9-3-1 and boosted his save percentage to .915 for the season.