Mavericks defense fails to support rookie goalie Chechelev in 51-shot barrage

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

CORALVILLE, Iowa — Kansas City Mavericks rookie goaltender Daniil Chechelev didn’t get a lot of help Wednesday night. 

The host Iowa Heartlanders peppered Chechelev with 51 shots and came away with a 4-1 victory over the struggling Mavericks, who have dropped three straight – all on the road – to fall to 6-8-0-0. 

"Fifty one shots on goal is not acceptable," Mavericks coach Tad O'Had said following the loss at Xtream Arena near Iowa City. "Our D-zone coverage just wasn't there tonight, and that's just not acceptable. We're making remedial mistakes and our players who are supposed to be getting the job done aren't. 

"We've got rookies and young guys who are playing better than our veterans. The guys we brought in as difference makers aren't playing well now, and they have to step it up." 

Chechelev managed to stop 47 of the 51 shots on goal. 

The Mavericks had 32 shots on goal, but managed just one goal, by Nick Pastujov, at 11:35 in the second period after Iowa had taken a 3-0 lead. 

"As far as our offense, the guys are gripping their sticks too tight, we just have to go out and trust the process and turn things around," O’Had said. 

Iowa took a 1-0 lead on the first of two Kris Bennett goals at 1:50 of the first period. The Heartlanders then made it 2-0 on Ben Sokay's goal at 6:15 of the second period. 

Iowa's Bryce Gervais scored just four minutes after Sokay's goal to make it 3-0. 

Pastujov's goal on assists from Lane Scheidl and Darik Angeli cut the deficit to 3-1, but Bennett's second goal of the game at the 4:58 mark of the third period accounted for the final 4-1 score. 

Iowa outshot the Mavericks 17-4 in the third period. 

The Mavericks killed off all seven power plays by the Heartlanders but went 0-for-3 themselves.