ECHL Playoff Recap: Idaho Steelheads Vs. Kansas City Mavericks Game 2 | 05/05/2024

The KC Mavericks met with the Idaho Steelheads in KC for game two of the second series. The Mavericks beat the Steelheads 4-2 on Saturday, continuing their absolute domination in the Kelly Cup playoffs. Both of these teams are full of superstars, with Max Andreev, who was named AMI Graphics Plus Performer of the Year, ECHL Announces Rookie of the Year, and to the ECHL All-Rookie team along with his teammate Cade Borchardt, then KC’s Patrick Curry was named to ECHL All-First team, ECHL All-Second team saw Idahos Matt Register, as well as Patrick Kudla who also was named ECHL Defenseman of the Year.

The puck dropped, and both teams had big guns in the net, Bryan Thomson and Jack LaFontaine. This is also Max Andreevs’ first game since his suspension. We get to see Max Andreev put his skills to work to get KC a shot at the goal. Idaho’s Lynden McCallum takes some extra on the puck in front of LaFontaine after he had gloved it down, and we see Andreev take it personally. Then Patrick Kudla, Cade Borchardt, and David Noël push each other around. Nothing came of it when they did call a penalty; it was for a crosscheck by Marc-Olivier Duquette at 5:49 in sending Idaho to PP. They were the top-ranked PP during the regular season, and the Mavericks are 3-4 on the PK during the playoffs. The power play ends, and almost 11 minutes later, David Cotton makes it a 1-0 with a rebound passed to him by Jeremy McKenna in front of the net. A review was called by Idaho only to be ruled a good goal, with no goalie interference. Idaho outshot KC 13-8 this period, with LaFontaine denying Idaho the entire time. 

We head into the second as Idaho continues outshooting KC 18-9. With almost seven minutes of continuous play, Jordan Kawaguchi gets a crazy shot past LaFontaine, tying the game at one. The 24s would get acquainted behind KC net and send both players, Marc-Olivier Duquette and Reece Hersch, to the penalty box. Keaton Mastrodonato, who headlocked Jake McLaughlin during this, knocking his helmet off, ended up with no penalty after being pulled away by Patrick Curry. Idaho would cause the next two penalties, Keaton Mastrodonato for roughing Patrick Curry when he took him down to the ice and started wailing on him; thirty seconds later, Wade Murphy would high sticker Jacob Hayhurst. The Mavericks Cole Coskey would score on that power play, making it 2-1. Two minutes later, Patrick Kudla was called for roughing Patrick Curry after Bryan Thomson had made a killer save. Hersch was also involved in this scrum but was not called out. The power play is running down, and teams are getting hot. Jaremko takes a shot at Thomson and is denied, only to be shoved around in front of the goal. Center Ice: 46 seconds to go, Justin Nachbaur and Connor Mylymok toss down their gloves and throw hands. Nauchbaur loses his bucket, and Mylymok takes him off his feet. Both landed some great throws, but Mylymok took the W on that one, which ended our period. 

In the third period, these teams got tired of each other’s mouths. 4:18 in Keaton Mastrodonato would get one past LaFontanie, making it a tie game again. Idaho has played stronger second and third-period games all season. Two minutes later, we would have our 9th penalty against Idaho’s Jake Murray for Tripping Cade Borchardt. The power play would end, and Idaho would take their first lead, with Ty Pelton-Byce making the goal. Our next action would come when David Noël cross-checked Pelton-Byce, putting Idaho back on the power play. 18:39 LaFontaine heads to the bench to give the Mavericks the advantage of trying to tie the game, forcing overtime, but with 42 seconds left, Wade Murphy gets called for holding, and KC has a 6v4 power play. The period ends, and Idaho has completed the comeback. Idaho outshot KC 32 to 39 in this game, with pure dedication getting the puck past KC. 

First Star of the Game: Ty Pelton-Byce
Second Star of the Game: Keaton Mastrodonato
Third Star of the Game: Jordan Kawaguchi

The outcome remains uncertain as the series moves to Idaho for game three on Wednesday, May 8th. Idaho, with its strong second and third-period performances, has the potential to take control of the series if it continues to outshoot KC. However, if KC can maintain its pressure and capitalize on Idaho’s mistakes, it could turn the power plays into game-winning opportunities. The next game could be a turning point in this series. Puck Drops at 7:10 PM MDT.

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Stephanie DeLaFleur

Beat Writer covering the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates, NHL Vegas Golden Knights and AHL Henderson Silver Knights. Follow me on X @StephiDelafleur

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