INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Missouri Mavericks jumped to an early lead Saturday, then held off a late Mallards push for a 3-2 victory to bounce back from Friday night’s 3-2 loss in Moline.
Reed Seckel and Jacob Doty scored first-period goals to give the Mavericks an early 2-0 advantage. Mallards opponents have now scored first in 10 of their past 11 games.
"We made some mistakes, they scored two goals," Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski said. "One goal is OK but two goals is hard to come back from."
The Mallards answered when Sam Warning scored on a breakaway 3:18 into the second period for his 10th goal of the season.
Rocco Carzo put the Mavericks back up by two goals at the 9:49 mark of the second period. With more than 3 minutes to play in the third period, Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski pulled goalie C.J. Motte and Michael Parks rewarded his coach with his 12th goal at the 2:35 mark of the third to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Mallards had their chances put couldn’t get the equalizer in the final 2 minutes.
The win was Missouri’s first in three tries this season over the Mallards, who were swept out of the ECHL playoffs a year ago by the Mavericks.
The loss ends a three-game winning streak for the Mallards, who entered the contest having won five of their last six.
"I always go off the last game and the last game I'm not happy about losing," Ruskowski said. "We have to get better, we have to be more physical. We stick checked in the first half of the game and it was ridiculous and we have to realize it's a game of contact and if you don't make contact, they're going to burn you and they did the first half."
The Mallards return home to face Fort Wayne on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.