By Fred Liggett

The Kansas City Mavericks take care of business on Monday afternoon clinching the Western Conference Championship with a 7-1 win over the Toledo Walleye. The Mavericks take the series four games to two with a dominating performance that saw them lead the game from start to finish. Mavs now advance to the Kelly Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.

The Mavericks put 13 shots on goal in the first period and one of them landed in the back of the net thanks to All-Star Jeremy McKenna. The forward gave the Mavs a 1-0 lead with 3:40 left in the opening period. The next score wouldn’t come until 11:48 left in the second period when McKenna again scored this time making it a 2-0 Mavs lead. Cole Coskey got in the scoring column with 9:02 left in the period to make it 3-0. The Walleye, facing elimination, pushed forward in the third period but it was the Mavericks scoring four more times including one coming via an empty netter.

The Mavericks secure the Bruce Taylor Trophy thanks to a hat trick from Jeremy McKenna, two more goals from Cole Coskey and single goals from Theo Calvas and rookie Max Andreev. The Bruce Tayor Trophy, given to the Western Conference champion each season, was presented to team owner Lamar Hunt, Jr. immediately after the game. Following the momentous win Mavericks head coach Tad O’Had said the team “played a complete 60 minutes.” O’Had stated the Mavs are “a very resilient group, was disappointed after Saturday night.” O’Had commented on this latest achievement “incredibly rewarding.” On the play of goaltender Jack LaFontaine “just incredible in net.” O’Had has been to the Kelly Cup before as an assistant with Florida but now his first has a head coach. O’Had admits, “It’s pretty special as an assistant coach, now as a head coach it was my goal, just incredibly proud.”

The Mavericks will open up play in the Kelly Cup Final series starting on Friday night with game one played inside Cable Dahmer Arena. The Mavs opponent remains unknown as the Eastern Conference series between Adirondack and Florida has yet to be settled. Currently, Adirondack leads the series at 3-2. Mavericks will host the first two games of the finals series. Till then the Mavericks can enjoy the franchise first conference championship.

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