After playing one of the most lackluster periods of the season, the Missouri Mavericks received a spark from goaltender Charlie Effinger Friday night.

After playing one of the most lackluster periods of the season, the Missouri Mavericks received a spark from goaltender Charlie Effinger Friday night.

And, with a three-goal outburst in the third period, the Mavs rallied for a key 5-4 victory over visiting Tulsa Friday night at the Independence Events Center to reclaim fifth place in the Northern Conference of the Central Hockey League.

The Oilers held a one-point lead over the Mavericks going into play Friday night, but the hometown heroes managed to overcome four consecutive Tulsa goals to improve to 26-23-4 on the season and put themselves – for the moment – in the final playoff spot in the Northern Conference.

The Oilers fell to 25-23-5 and with the loss slipped to sixth place.

“We needed a spark, and we got it from Charlie,” Jeff MacDermid, who tied the game at 4-all with a goal at 11:15 of the third period, said of Effinger. “But we didn’t just get it from Charlie. We got it from Karl Sellan, when he took on one of the biggest guys on the ice (6-foot-2 Thomas Harrison).

“We got it from our captain, Carlyle Lewis, who got us back in the scoring column with a great goal (coming) out of the penalty box.

“We got it from our coach (Scott Hillman) – who kept trying things to get us back in the game. This was a collective team effort and a great win.”

Simon Watson helped the Mavericks lay claim to a quick 2-0 lead as he scored two goals – one shorthanded and one power-play tally – in the opening 10 minutes, 20 seconds.

That lead stood until Tulsa’s Aaron Davis slipped the puck off the back of Gerry Festa’s skate with just 30 seconds left in the first period to make it 2-1.

That’s when the wheels fell off for the Mavericks. Jim Henkemeyer, Jake Riddle and Travis Banga all scored for the Oilers, taking much of the enthusiasm out of the near sell-out crowd of 5,728.

“I don’t know what happened that second period,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “We had to do something to get a spark.”

He elected to pull Festa from the goal with 7:32 remaining in the period and replaced him with Effinger, who owned a CHL-leading 2.39 goals-against average entering the game.

The move worked to perfection as Effinger stopped all 20 Oiler shots and the Mavericks suddenly came to life.

Lewis scored the Mavericks’ first goal of the third period as he took a pass from Mike Burgoyne seconds after coming out of the penalty box. That cut the deficit to 4-3.

Three minutes later MacDermid knotted the score and Derek Pallardy scored the game winner at 12:31, making a winner of Effinger, who is 5-1 with the Mavericks and 13-5 overall.

“I got a great pass from Carlyle, had the puck on my stick and finessed it past their goaltender,” Pallardy said. “We’re at a point in the season where we need every win we can get.

“It would be nice to go out and get a 6-0 win, but wins like this count for two points, too. They’re just a little bit more nerve-wracking.”

The Mavericks finished 1-for-8 on the power play and killed all six of Tulsa’s man advantages. The teams were even in shots at 39 each, and both teams tallied shorthanded goals.

The Mavericks will host the Wichita Thunder at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night at the Events Center. The game is nearly sold out and a limited number of day of game $34 loge tickets will be released for sale at the box office opening at noon.