By Fred Liggett

After 19 days away the Kansas City Mavericks returned home to Cable Dahmer Arena to continue action in the Kelly Cup Playoffs and left a soldout crowd with quite a memory after a hard fought 2-1 overtime win on Friday night. The Mavericks with the win take a 3-1 series lead over the Toledo Walleye in the Western Conference Finals Series.

The top two teams all season long in the Western Conference gave hockey fans 54 minutes of scoreless hockey until Toledo’s Matt Anderson scored with 6:54 left in the third period. The Mavs would respond just 1:24 later when Jake Jaremko tied the game at one. The two teams valiantly fought for a game winning goal in regulation but it never came sending the game to overtime. The Mavericks would fend off a Toledo power play just six minutes into the OT period and six minutes later would score the winning goal. Cole Coskey tallies the game winner with 8:30 left in the overtime session and sends the sold out crowd into a frenzy.

Mavericks goaltender Jack LaFontaine said the team plays “with next goal wins mentality” during an overtime. LaFontaine on the home crowd, “Home ice is enormous, so supportive and get ya going.” Mavericks head coach Tad O’Had felt it was “an unbelievable crowd.” Regarding how close the game was played throughout the 72 minutes of action, O’Had says “both teams evenly matched,” then adds, “Our guys found a way.” The play in goal by LaFontaine, O’Had called the performance “phenomenal.” Now O’Had states the team “focus on the next game and get back at it tomorrow.”

The same two teams meet again for game five of the series on Saturday night with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. A Mavs win would end the series and send them to their first ever Kelly Cup Finals Series. A Toledo win would extend the series to a game six to be played on Monday afternoon at Cable Dahmer Arena.

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