Mavericks goalie Parker Milner took exception to being slashed late in the second period Sunday.
After making one of his 28 saves, Milner confronted Quad City forward Jordan Knackstedt with a push to convey his feelings.
“Sometimes you just get fired up and you can’t control it,” Milner said. “I wanted the referee to realize I was getting slashed a lot when I had the puck. Just like the rest of our team, I’m passionate about what we’re doing, and sometimes that shows a little bit.”
Milner’s play and intensity led a stifling defensive effort by the Mavericks during a 2-1 win in Game 2 of the ECHL’s Western Conference quarterfinals at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“I was just trying to be the last line of defense,” Milner said. “The guys did a good job of limiting the chaos tonight and we really controlled the game.”
The Mavericks dominated possession the first two periods, with Reed Seckel and Josh Holmstrom scoring goals off rebounds in front of the Mallards’ goal.
“The best defense in the world is to hold onto the puck offensively,” Mavericks coach Richard Matvichuk said. “It's hard for them to score from the other end. And I thought we played really well defensively. We didn’t give up the outnumbered rushes or breakaways that we did Saturday in Game 1. We played disciplined and stayed out of the penalty box.”
The Mavericks lead the series 2-0 and head to Quad City for Game 3 on Wednesday.
“We made a few adjustments tonight. We knew we had to be a little more sound on the defensive side of things,” Holmstrom said. “When we can control the puck, it makes them chase the game a little more. That was part of the game plan, we had to take care of the puck in the right spots. To come out of the weekend ahead 2-0 is nice, but there’s still a lot ahead in the series.”
Quad City left winger Sam Warning put the Mallards on the board late in the third period, but Milner kept his former team from tying the game despite getting peppered with shots the final 2 minutes.
“It always feels good to beat your old team. I have a couple of buddies on that team, so I guess that’s an added bonus,” Milner said. “Once it gets to the playoffs, though, all that stuff goes to the back burner. I just like to win, and this was a really important game for us to do that.”