INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks took a 2-1 series lead over the Tulsa Oilers in the Mountain Division Semifinals with a 3-2 win Wednesday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Mavericks forward Mark Cooper registered three points on the night with two power play goals and an assist. Forward Jared VanWormer scored the game-winning goal with 7:54 left in regulation. The Mavericks now host games four and five Friday and Saturday night.
Mark Cooper gave the Mavericks a 2-0 first period lead with two power play goals in the opening frame. First, netting the opening tally of the game just one minute and 15 seconds into regulation. Jared VanWormer and Joey Sides both assisted on the play. With the assists, VanWormer and Sides have recorded points in all three games this postseason. Cooper doubled the Mavs lead with 9:17 left in the first period. Defenseman Willie Raskob picked up the assist on the goal. Both teams put up 15 shots on goal in the period.
Tulsa drew closer four minutes and 31 seconds into the second period, when Stephen Perfetto scored his third goal of the series, cutting the Mavericks lead in half to 2-1. The goal was also scored on the power play. Steven Kaunisto and Chris Forney assisted on the goal. The Oilers evened the score at 2-2 with 8:31 remaining in the second period when defenseman Eric Drapluk broke through with yet another power play goal. All four of the game’s total goals were scored on the power play through the first two periods. The second period ended with the Mavericks edging Tulsa in shots, 25-24.
With the game deadlocked at 2-2, the Mavericks and Oilers inched closer to yet another sudden death overtime in Game Three. With 7:54 left in regulation, VanWormer collected a loose puck near the goal line and snuck it behind Tulsa goaltender Devin Williams, giving the Mavericks a third period 3-2 lead. Cooper picked up his third point of the game with an assist on the goal. The secondary assist went to rookie defenseman Nikolas Koberstein. The 3-2 lead held, and the Mavs skated away with the game three victory.
All three games of the series have had the game-winning goal scored in the final 10 minutes of regulation or overtime. Mavericks goaltender Mason McDonald finished the night with 26 saves on 28 shots. Kansas City finished the night two-for-four on the power play.
Mountain Division Semifinals (KC leads 2-1)Game One: 6-4, Kansas City - KC leads series, 1-0Game Two: 3-2 (OT), Tulsa - Series tied, 1-1Game Three: 3-2, Kansas City - KC leads series, 2-1Game Four: April 19 at Kansas CityGame Five: April 20 at Kansas CityGame Six: April 23 at Tulsa*Game Seven: April 24 at Tulsa*(*if necessary)
Playoff tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com. Faceoff for both games four and five will be 7:05 p.m. Tickets for Mavericks home playoff games start at $12. For more information, please visit kcmavericks.com.
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