Mavericks Score Three in Third to Beat Eagles, 7-4
LOVELAND, CO - The Missouri Mavericks scored four unanswered goals en route to a 7-4 victory over the Colorado Eagles Sunday night at Budweiser Events Center. Simon Watson had a pair of goals for Missouri and 14 different players had at least one point for the Mavericks. Missouri improved to 24-17-5 on the season and moved into a fourth-place tie in the Turner Conference. The Mavericks took five of a possible six points in the three-game series against the Eagles over the weekend and Missouri finished 3-1-1 at Budweiser Events Center this season.
"Obviously that was a huge effort by our team," said Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman. "The boys didn't give up, they remained focused and even got more focused as the game went on. All 18 guys contributed in the win."
The back-and-forth battle started early in the first period on Simon Watson's first of two goals. Watson scored his 11th goal of the season at the 4:33 mark on assists from Derek Pallardy and Mike Wakita. The Eagles answered on a goal by Dan Sullivan at the midway point of the period, but Missouri again regained the lead at the 14:46 mark. Todd Griffith scored his first goal in a Mavericks uniform to give the visitors a 2-1 lead, but the lead only lasted 33 seconds as the Eagles again answered. Kevin Ulanski took a feed and beat Mavericks' goaltender Gerry Festa to tie the game, 2-2, after one period.
The Eagles took their first lead of the game at the 3:18 mark of the second period on a goal by Adam Chorneyko, but the Mavericks answered just over a minute later on Watson's second goal of the game. Watson's goal came on the power play and was assisted by Ray DiLauro and Toby Lafrance who re-entered the lineup after missing the previous three games for Missouri. Festa was pulled in favor of goaltender Robby Nolan after the Mavericks' tied the game at three. Riley Nelson gave Colorado their final lead of the game at 4-3 at the 6:58 mark of the second period. Ulanski earned the assist on the Eagles' final goal of the game.
Missouri took control for the remainder of the game and scored four unanswered goals. DiLauro flipped one over Eagles' netminder Kyle Jones at the 18:05 mark to tie the game, 4-4, before the second intermission.
It was all Mavericks in the third period as Mike Berry notched a goal in his fifth straight game, and it proved to be his team-leading sixth game-winning goal of the season. Nathan O'Nabigon made it a 6-4 game when his wrist shot from the slot beat Jones. Finally, Nick Sirota buried a slapshot from a sharp angle for a power play goal and his team-leading 19th goal of the season.
The Mavericks finished 2-for-6 on the power play and killed all four of the Eagles' chances. The seven goals scored marked the second highest total of the season. Missouri had scored seven goals total in their previous four games. The Mavericks are unbeaten in their last four games a 3-0-1. Missouri finished 3-1-1 this season at Budweiser Events Center.
The Mavericks and Eagles close out the three-game road trip Tuesday night when they face the Tulsa Oilers at BOK Center. The Mavs return home next weekend for a Friday matchup with the Rapid City Rush and a Saturday game against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. Tickets are available for all Mavericks' home games at the Independence Events Center Box Office, by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting www.TicketMaster.com.
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