After dropping back to back games in Allen, putting their season on the brink of elimination, the Missouri Mavericks bounced back to win Game Five of their best of seven series with the Allen Americans.
The Mavericks have had issues staying out of the penalty box all series, and this game was no different, as Missouri gave the most potent power play in the ECHL six opportunities with the man advantage. However the penalty kill of the Mavericks, led by goalie Josh Robinson, stymied the Allen attack, keeping them off the score sheet on all six chances.
Another trend in this series also came to an end, as prior to Game Five, the team that scored first would win each of the previous four match-ups. Allen would open the scoring as Greger Hanson beat Robinson high over the shoulder on an odd-man rush. Allen would out-shoot the Mavericks 10-9 in the frame, and the tally from Hanson would be the only goal in the opening period.
Missouri bounced back in the second period, utilizing their speed to force the Allen defense out of position at times. Carter Verhaeghe would provide the equalizer, beating Allen goalie Riley Gill, who was tremendous once again in net for the defending Kelly Cup Champions, knotting the game at a goal a piece early in the period. A miscue in the neutral zone by the Allen defensemen would spring Rocco Carzo on a shorthanded breakaway. Carzo snapped one past Gill to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead, that goal being the eventual game-winner. Allen had several chances to turn the tides, but a bouncing puck prevented Casey Pierro-Zabotel from an easy tap-in goal, and Vincent Arseneau fired a wrister over the crossbar with a wide open net to shoot at. Ross Johnston would provide the insurance marker for the Mavericks halfway through the third period, burying a great feed from Tyler Barnes behind Gill’s net. The Mavericks would survive a few late rushes by the Americans, and win Game Five by a final score of 3-1. Allen still leads the series three games to two.
The series now returns to the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence for Game Six on Tuesday night. Opening faceoff is at 7:05pm CST.