INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks hosted the first place Cincinnati Cyclones for a Sunday matinee game. The goalie matchup alone is enough to get excited about this competition. Mason McDonald squared off with Michael Houser who only holds a .02 advantage in his save percentage. McDonald went into this game with a .922 while Houser sat at .924. Sunday’s game was a hard fought one for each team both with their sticks and their fists, but Cincinnati came out on top in the shootout.

Head Coach John-Scott Dickson reflects by saying,

“That’s a great character win. We came back down 3-1. Our team never quits and tonight they showed that. To get a point, tie the game up. Had our chances in overtime and they’re a good hockey team. Obviously, the best team in the league. I thought we played a pretty good game with them.”

The game was quite an eventful one as both teams accumulated 72 minutes of penalties each. The biggest contributor to these being dustups in the second and third period that resulted in two near line brawls. There was a fight in every single period, but the one in the first draws no comparison to the other crowds of conflict.

In the second period at 10:58, 32 minutes of penalties were called when Cincinnati’s Arwan AtwalShaw Boomhauer mixed it up with Darian Dziurzynski and Loren Ulett after a net-mouth scramble that resulted in a Cyclones goal. Judd Peterson opens up the scoring in the second period and the Mavericks answer back with a goal from Corey Durocher. The tie did not hold though, as Peterson lit the lamp with 51 seconds to go in the period, to give the Cyclones a 2-1 lead through two periods.

In the third, the Cyclones scored their second unanswered when Andrew DeBrincat snapped a shot from the right point that beat McDonald. The dynamic of the game shifted after the second, and much bigger skirmish in the third period at 14:13, when referee Andrew Bruggeman doled out 80 minutes of penalties to the clubs, including a match penalty to Atwal for fighting, and a boarding major to David Dziurzynski after a bruising hit on Cincinnati’s Vasili Goltov.  From there, the Mavericks begin to scramble to get back in it. With 4:30 to go in the regulation, Durocher netted his second of the night. Then, with 52 seconds left, Greg Betzold kept up his hot pace and netted the game-tying goal. With the helper, Durocher picked up his third point of the night.

After a scoreless overtime session, the Cyclones won the game in the shootout, when Alex Wideman scored the lone marker in the top of the second round. While the Mavericks were not able to get the extra point, their heads were not hanging low. Durocher said:

“Anytime you can compare yourself to almost the first, second place team in the league, it feels pretty good.”

Houser certainly held his own, stopping 35 out of 38 shots to lead his team to the victory but the Mavericks still take the positives in playing a playoff-like game and getting a point out of it.

With the shootout loss, the Mavericks will get some much needed rest this week and have a nine-point lead on fifth place Rapid City in the race for the final Mountain Division playoff berth. Additionally, the Mavs are just five points behind the Utah Grizzlies for the third playoff spot.

The Mavericks will host the Wichita Thunder on Friday, March 15 for the final game of the season series. The next night, the Tulsa Oilers come to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for the final time this season.

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