EVANSVILLE, IN – It is said that championship-caliber clubs grab victory from the jaws of defeat, even when they have very little chance of winning.
The Missouri Mavericks did that Saturday night at the Ford Center in Evansville.
The IceMen stuck first after winning a boards battle in the offensive zone. Nathan Moon dug the puck free and set up Justin MacDonald, who snapped a hard wrist shot over the glove of Missouri goaltender Chris Rawlings 6:11 into the game.
Evansville made it 2-0, when Tyson Fawcett scored his ECHL-leading 16th goal on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Chris Rumble and Alex Wideman at 8:51.
Carter Verhaeghe got the Mavericks on the board with just seconds left in the period, scoring at 19:46 with the help of teammates Chris Owens and Reed Seckel.
The IceMen would expand their lead to 3-1 in the middle stanza, when Alex Guptill ripped a one-timer top shelf at 7:35 of the period. Assists on Guptill’s eighth of the season went to Matthew Zay and Mike Duco.
Then, Missouri began the comeback.
Wes Cunningham, who was activated from injured reserve earlier in the day on Saturday, scored his first goal for the Mavericks at 11:48. Rookies Chris Owens and Tanner Fritz assisted on Cunningham’s debut goal. Rocco Carzo tied the game 93 seconds later, with the help of Carter Verhaeghe and defenseman Loic Leduc.
The game-winning goal came 3:30 into the extra session, when David deKastrozza stretched the twine behind IceMen netminder Christoffer Bengtsberg for the game-winning goal. Tyler Barnes and Bryce Aneloski were credited with the helpers on the final play of the night.
Goaltender Chris Rawlings made 27 saves between the pipes in his first game wearing a Missouri Mavericks sweater and recorded his second win of the 2015-16 ECHL season (Nov. 28 with Utah Grizzlies).
Missouri’s winning streak is now at seven games. The team will stay on the road for the next six games, and will play the Tulsa Oilers Tuesday night at the BOK Center.