Mavericks explode late to top Utah in opening game of road trip

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Kansas City Mavericks

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The one thing coach Tad O'Had demands from his Kansas City Mavericks is consistency. 

"If we stay the course, if we don't get frustrated and stay true to the plan, we're a very good hockey team," O'Had said by phone late Friday night, after the Mavericks scored four third-period goals – two by Darik Angeli – to hand the host Utah Grizzlies a 5-2 defeat, just their second home loss of the season at the aptly named Maverik Center. 

"We got the early lead, they tied it in the second period and we stayed the course and scored four goals in the third period and won the game. This and an earlier win against Allen are our two most complete games of the season. I was really happy with the 60 minutes we played tonight." 

Jesse Mychan scored at 9:56 of the first period before the Grizzlies tied it in the second on Charlie-Edouard D’Astous goal at the 2:54 mark and took a 2-1 lead on Quinn Ryan’s goal just 3:58 into the third period. 

That's when the Mavericks offense came to life. Defensemen Marcus Crawford scored just a minute after Ryan’s goal and Willie Corrin scored at 13:04 to put the Mavericks ahead. 

Angeli, who also had an assist, added two goals to give the Mavericks a successful start to their three games in three days series in Utah. 

"We're going to play 180 minutes of hockey up here this weekend and the first 60 were great," O’Had said. "We got great goaltending and played Mavericks hockey for three periods and finally broke through offensively in the third period." 

Rookie Daniil Chechelev was in goal for the Mavericks after being loaned to the ECHL team from their parent American Hockey League team, the Stockton Heat. He stopped 29 of 31 shots to pick up his first pro win. 

"You're gonna love this kid," O'Had said. "He's got a great personality, he fit right in with the rest of the guys right away and he's good – he's a very good goalie." 

Mychan, Corrin and Crawford each added an assist to finish with two points, and Ryan Harrison chipped in with two assists as the Mavericks improved to 6-5-0-0 to stay in fourth place in the Mountain Division.