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Allen Americans

Mavericks Prevail in Tense Contest Against Allen

The game, which saw 71 penalty minutes and 12 total goals, was an exciting opening to a full weekend of hockey for the Mavericks

Mavericks Prevail in Tense Contest Against Allen

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks defeated the Allen Americans on Saturday night in what turned out to be a vitriolic rebirth of the storied rivalry between the two teams. The game, which saw 71 penalty minutes and 12 total goals, was an exciting opening to a full weekend of hockey for the Mavericks. Throughout the game, the Mavericks were able to show that despite their hard edge, they are also a fundamentally sound hockey team. Saturday night saw the season debut of Andrew Shortridge in net and the professional hockey debut of Jake Bricknell.

First Period

After fumbling the puck several times after the opening draw, the Mavericks appeared to check into the game, with Loren Ulett stuffing a puck past Allen goaltender Francis Marotte, but the goal was immediately waved off by the referee, though it was never made clear to what exactly was the reason for the goal being overturned, even after video review the call on the ice stood. But Ulett’s time in the spotlight was not over. A few minutes later, he threw a heavy hit against Darian Skeoch who immediately took exception. Both dropped the gloves in front of the Mavericks bench. Then everyone else on the ice grabbed a partner. Skeoch ultimately took Ulett down and both were given fighting majors, though Ulett was also assessed an instigator penalty.

The biggest storyline of the night established itself early. It was clear to anyone who watched the game that the Allen Americans were targeting Jesse Mychan with their physicality. What was not clear was why Mychan drew the ire of Allen so early, but one could surmise it’s from Mychan’s choice to join the Mavericks rather than re-sign with the Allen Americans. Skeoch was going after Mychan early, but soon other players would jump into the frenzied pursuit of the Kansas City forward.

Shortly after the fight between Ulett and Skeoch, Bricknell was called for hooking and the Mavericks went on the penalty kill. Allen’s power play came out slowly and passively. The Mavericks jumped all over this and Bryan Lemos caught a pass and scored a shorthanded goal to put the Mavericks up by one. However, the glory was short-lived as Allen came right back and scored a power-play goal after a failed crease clearing attempt by the Kansas City defenders.

After this goal, things quickly devolved.

At 6:00 of the first period, Allen player Kelly Bent checked Mychan from behind. Bricknell immediately jumped in to stand up for his teammate. Dawson Butt obliged him and a brutal fight ensued. Bricknell threw several uppercuts and took Butt down. Bent would ultimately be assessed a five-minute major for fighting, and a game misconduct for being an aggressor. At this point, there was still 14 minutes left in the first period.

The Mavericks then had a five-minute power play. It took them a while to get things set up in the offensive zone, and once they did, they had trouble making anything of it. Allen ultimately killed the major penalty.

Then at 11:38, Nick Pastujov was assessed a slashing penalty. Allen won the ensuing faceoff, put a laser of a shot on goal which was stopped by Shortridge, and then the Mavericks were off to the races. Ulett picked up the puck, rushed into the Allen zone, and snuck the puck past Marotte for the Mavericks’ second shorthanded goal of the night. The Mavs would ultimately kill this penalty and would be ahead 2-1.

The period would end with 4-on-4 hockey. After the first period, the Mavericks were up 2-1 and led Allen in shots 14-9.

Second Period

The second period started a little bit slowly, with both teams trading possession of the puck early on. Then at 2:14, Mychan caught a breakaway, rushed into the Allen zone, and scored an impressive goal.

As the horn was sounding and the lights were flashing, Allen forward Jared Bethune tried to go after Mychan. Bethune was handed a misconduct for inciting. At this, Allen’s coach Steve Martinson was furious with the referee. After Martinson’s conversation with the ref, Skeoch started trying to go after Pastujov. At one point, he was knocked down and he visibly put his hands up almost in surrender. Pastujov is a good back checker, but he is most certainly not one of the team’s “tough guys.”

The Mavericks began to ramp up the pressure and the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Newly named captain, Lane Scheidl nearly scored in the ensuing sequence after Pastujov was hit. Then, out of nowhere, Marcus Crawford and Jackson Leppard were called for delay of game. In the resulting 4-on-4, the Mavericks had several prime scoring chances, but they went wide.

All the while, both teams were taking liberties with each other. Trips, slashes, and hooks were going unnoticed and the frustration of both teams was becoming palpable. At 14:28, Jerome scored for Allen as Shortridge was scrambling for a save to make the score 3-2. By this juncture in the game, if the game wasn’t in motion the teams could be counted on to be tied up with each other in front of their benches.

Shortly after, the referee called off a second Mavericks goal, this time, it was clearly goaltender interference. Mavericks Head Coach Tad O’Had stepped over the bench and demanded an audience with the referee. He spoke his mind to the referee for about 45 seconds, and then the referee skated away. In the ensuing play after O’Had’s conversation, Ulett was blatantly elbowed but no call was issued. As the period ended, it seemed like both teams were about to blow their stacks. As the teams were leaving, several players and even Coach Martinson were yelling at Mychan. Several of Mychan’s teammates stayed on the ice with him as the Americans left the ice.

After two periods, the score was 3-2 in favor of Kansas City. Shots on goal were 33 for KC and 19 for Allen.

Third Period

Much like last Friday night against Wheeling, the third period seemed primed to be explosive, but no fireworks display happened. 4:10 into the period, Bricknell scored his first professional goal to put the Mavericks up 5-2. At this, Allen called their timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, Kansas City peppered Marotte with several more high danger chances. Then at 10:22, Spencer Asuchak was called for crosschecking and the Mavericks were on the power play. The Mavericks answered, with Michaud scoring on the power-play just 28 seconds into the man-advantage, making the score 6-2 in favor of Kansas City. When Kansas City took their foot off the gas, the momentum quickly shifted towards Allen. At 12:32 of the period,  Chad Costello scored to make it 6-3. Just 41 seconds later, a goal from Ryan Lohin made it a 6-4 game.

Any momentum Allen had quickly vanished, as they were called for two penalties in quick succession. The penalties were killed and Allen pulled their goalie. At 17:26, Jerome scored a goal while the Americans had the man-advantage. With the Allen net empty, the Mavericks would ice the puck three times in a row before finally skating the puck into the Allen zone and allowing Michaud to score an empty-net goal at 19:50. The Mavericks would end up winning the game 7-5.

Analysis

Tonight was a measuring stick game for both of these teams. Allen was hoping to break out of their slow start to the season and win a second straight game. Kansas City was eager to show that they are the real deal this season. This was clearly a statement win by the Mavericks. While they didn’t stray from their patented hard-edge, they played a fundamentally sound game in all three zones for most of the night. Despite the three quick goals against, the Mavericks controlled much of the play throughout the game.

Bricknell had an outstanding professional debut tonight. Scoring a goal, and having a fight, he ended up recording two shots on goal as well. The team credited him with an assist as well to give him a “Gordie Howe Hat-Trick” though the official scoresheet does not include an assist for the rookie.

The three stars of the game were officially Noah Delmas, Bryan Lemos, and Jesse Mychan. However, Michaud and Bricknell certainly deserve some recognition as well.

The Mavericks’ record is now 3-2-0 and they roll into Wichita on Sunday to take on a team that has lost four games in a row. Puck drop on Sunday is at 4:05.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2021 season!

    Dan Stilley covers the Kansas City Mavericks for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMavericks.

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