When we last checked in with the Mavs, they had themselves mired in a six game losing streak, and had picked up only a single point due to a shootout loss in that stretch. The loss of goaltenders Tyler Parson and Mason McDonald to their Stockton callups had clearly left Kansas City high and dry, as they had spiraled to sixth place in the Central Division and dropped top a 53-25-26-0-2 record after being in the thick of the hunt for the division lead earlier in the season. We were left wondering if the Mavs would be able to break their slump and try to fight back into a playoff spot, and surprise... they made big steps in the right direction!
KC rattled off a monster 10 points in a six game stretch, losing only once in a tight 2-1 contest against Rapid City, and picking up big divisional points in two clashes with the Fort Wayne Komets.
GAME BY GAME:
02/23/18 vs Allen Americans W 3-6
02/24/18 vs Allen Americans W 0-1
02/27/18 vs Rapid City Rush L 2-1
03/02/18 vs Fort Wayne Komets W 2-3
03/03/18 vs Fort Wayne Komets W 3-4
03/07/18 @ Colorado Eagles W 4-1
WHERE THEY STAND:
The 5-1 run was good enough to bump Kansas City up two spots in the Central, and back into a playoff spot from 6th place to 4th. They leapfrogged the Kalamazoo Wings and the Indy Fuel, but everybody in the division with the exception of the Walleye and Mallards have games in hand on the Mavericks. The Wings are also only a point back, and the Fuel aren’t far behind with a five point gap.
Mavric Parks and Adam Carlson continue to carry the workload between the pipes in the absence of Parsons and McDonald. They both struggled initially once thrust into the starting jobs, but seem to have now settled in. Parks collected a pair of wins against the Americans (with a 22 save shutout in the second contest), but suffered a loss in the Rapid City game. Parks’ .925 save percentage is already better than Parsons’ or McDonald’s was when they got called up, so there’s something to be said for that. Carlson then came in for the next three, and hammered out 3 straight victories (2 GA with 27 SVS; 3 GA with 39 SVS; 1 GA with 19 SVS), two against the Komets and one against the defending Kelly Cup Champions, the Colorado Eagles.
Mark Cooper has finally surpassed Mike McMurty for the team lead in scoring (it helps that McMurty is in Stockton and not picking up any Mavericks points). Defensive powerhouse Patch Alber has also moved up, shooting past Matt Robertson. Tyler Elbrecht continues to lead the team in PIMs, now sitting at 144 on the season.
The Mavericks will be out on the road for three more before the come back home for four straight. They’ll be in tough against the 73 point Idaho Steelheads for a pair of games. They should have more luck in a home-and-home against Tulsa, a game against the last place in the division Quad City Mallards, and the Wichita Thunder. Check back with M&G in two weeks to see if Kansas City can keep or improve their playoff standing!