Back in January, it was a pretty darn Happy New Year for the Kansas City Mavericks. The boys were in the thick of the hunt for first-place in the ECHL Central Division. Taking two of three contests from then-division leading Toledo Walleye, they sat only six points back of the division lead. Then, the champagne and noisemakers wore off. The Mavs went 2-3 in the next stretch, taking only four of a possible ten points. In the meantime, the Fort Wayne Komets went on a 5-1 run, pushing KC all the way back to 5th place. Couple that with handing Cincinnati four points, and the Mavs were also leapfrogged by the Wings and Cyclones. It was absolutely a tough way to finish out what was previously a great start to the new year.
This last two weeks was a big shot for KC to get back into the race, with three upcoming road games against divisional opponents Cincinnati and Toledo, and two home starts against the division team right behind them, Indy. Flames prospect Tyler Parsons was set for one more start before his call up to the Stockton Heat, and the Mavs could have made up some ground. Except then the wheels fell off, as they went 0-6 and picked up but one single point in an SO loss.
GAME BY GAME:
02/08/18 Cincinnati Cyclones L 2-5
02/09/18 @ Toledo Walleye L 1-2
02/10/18 @ Toledo Walleye L 0-5
02/16/18 vs Indy Fuel L 4-2
02/17/18 vs Indy Fuel L 4-3
02/18/18 vs Florida Everblades L 3-2
WHERE THEY STAND:
The Mavs managed to drop from fifth in the Central Division to sixth. With the ECHL regular season ending on April 8th, if KC doesn’t pick it up soon we might have to zoom out to the Western Conference standings to keep an eye on the playoff picture.
Tyler Parsons got recalled to the Heat on the 9th, and subsequently got re-injured, which led to the Mavericks also losing Mason McDonald to the Heat to replace Parsons on the 12th. In the middle of that, Mavs 3rd string ‘tender Chris Nell was reassigned to Hartford of the AHL on the 10th. This bought Mavric Parks (1GP, 3GA, 29 saves) and Adam Carlson (2 GP, 6GA, 42 saves) in to pick up the goaltending scraps in the remaining 3 home games, and needless to say, they didn’t.
Mike McMurty remains first in team scoring, but also still remains up in Stockton. Cooper and Robertson are still dogging it out for 2nd, with Alber now creeping into the mix. Tyler Elbrecht still leads the team in PIMs at 135, good enough for 12th overall in the ECHL.
The Mavericks will stay put at home for five of their next six contests, and try to put their best foot forward. The stand includes a pair of division matchups against the division leading Fort Wayne Komets, before they tangle with the Mountain Division leading Colorado Eagles on a road trip. Check back with Matchsticks & Gasoline in two weeks to see if Kansas City can drag their way out of this mess!