By Nick Hartman:
(ALLEN,TX): On the brink of elimination the Mavericks had a life-saving performance, Saturday. The emotional intensity was carried into a stellar Monday night performance against the Allen Americans that resulted in a 6-2 victory. The Mavericks needed the win to keep their playoff hopes alive and, sure enough, they found it. The victory showed the reality of the playoffs and how a team can “turn the tides on the table”. The Mavericks did just that and have now forced a game seven to be played.
The first period was full of action and showcased five goals, four for the Mavericks and one for the Americans. The first goal was scored just 3:07 into play when Andrew Courtney took a shot from the top of the right face-off circle and sent the puck flying over the head of, Allen goalie, Aaron Dell. This goal was assisted by Colt King and Ryan Jardine. Three minute later, the Mavericks found the net again when Kenton Miller, after receiving a great set-up from Kellen Tochkin, took a shot from outside the left face-off circle and sent the puck through the legs of Aaron Dell. At the 12:40 mark in the first period, the Mavericks scored a third time when Kenton Miller poked a puck into the goal, after receiving a good feed from Sebastien Thinel. With 42 seconds remaining in the first, the Americans notched their first goal on an Anthony Maiani power play goal. This goal was assisted by Trevor Ludwig and Todd Robinson. The Americans thought they had gained some momentum but with four seconds left, Andrew Courtney and Colt King went on a 2v1 breakaway and Courtney had an open net for a goal. After the goal, the first period came to an end with the Mavericks lead 4-1.
The Mavericks scored two more times in the second period, adding on to their already impactful lead. The first goal didn’t come until the 14th minute when Andrew Courtney shot the puck between the legs of Steve Sliverthorn, for the hat trick goal. The goal couldn’t have happened without the assistance of Ryan Jardine and Kyle Hood. Four minutes later, the Mavericks scored their sixth and final goal on a John Scott-Dickson one-timer that went top-shelf ultimately winning the game for the Mavericks.
While the goals decreased in the third period, penalties increased as a total of 20 penalties were given, twelve within the last five minutes of the game. Only one goal was scored, 13 minutes into play, Darryl Bootland scored on the power play making the final score 6-2.
With the win the Mavericks locked in a spot for a seventh game. The game is life or death; one team’s season continues and the other is over. The question now is who will win. That answer will come down to three keys: 1) The Mavericks have to be strong on special teams. 2) The Mavericks must carry the momentum in from the last two games into the seventh game. 3) The goal-tending needs to be as solid as it was Saturday and Monday alike. If the Mavericks perform well, they can achieve a victory and advance to the “Ray Miron President Cup Championships” to play the Wichita Thunder.