When we last checked in with the ECHL Kansas City Mavericks, they were on a pretty bad skid coming out of the league’s holiday break. I’m assuming it was a turkey coma post-Christmas. The Mavs had lost six of their last nine contests, and dropped a whopping ten points back of the Mountain Division leading Tulsa Oilers. Even their next closest opponent was the third place Utah Grizzlies, and even that was an eight point gap. It was no understating that the team hoped the ECHL All-Star Game break would remedy their woes so KC could come back refreshed and ready to get back in the Division race. Unfortunately, they’ve been treading water since their return. The Mavericks have since lost six of their last eleven contests, turning their slide into now having lost 12 of 20. Starting back from the All-Star game break on January 25th, the Mavericks hosted 9 straight contests though late January and early February with 11 of 13 games inside friendly confines where the team had fared substantially better than the road this season with an 12-3 record. It seems even some home cooking couldn’t even help them out of this rut. KC is now 15 points back of the Grizzlies, and even just to catch the next closest Tulsa Oilers will require making up a 12 point margin.
GAME BY GAME:
JAN 18th- KC Mavericks 0 @ Wichita Thunder 4 -LOSS
JAN 19th- Wichita Thunder 6 @ KC Mavericks 5 -LOSS (OT)
JAN 25th- Utah Grizzlies 5 @ KC Mavericks 1 -LOSS
JAN 26th- Utah Grizzlies 3 @ KC Mavericks 4 -WIN
JAN 29th- Rapid City Rush 2 @ KC Mavericks 3 – WIN
FEB 1st- South Carolina Stingrays4 @ KC Mavericks 2 -LOSS
FEB 8th- Allen Americans 0 @ KC Mavericks 2 – WIN
FEB 9th- Kalamazoo Wings 3 @ KC Mavericks 4 – WIN (OT)
FEB 13th- Tulsa Oilers 2 @ KC Mavericks 1 -LOSS
FEB 15th- KC Mavericks 3 @ Utah Grizzlies 4 -LOSS (OT)
With former team leading scorer Mark Cooper loaned out to San Antonio on the 14th of January, and former leading scorer Jared Vanwormer returning from a loan to the Milwaukee Admirals in the same week, firepower is another spot the team is treading water. With seven points and a goal in this last stretch, Rocco Carzo has managed to hang on to the points lead. Heating up with nine goals in the last ten games added to his total, Darian Dziurzynski now sits at 20 on the year to lead the team in goals.
With Flames prospect netminder Nick Schneider called back up to the Stockton Heat, Calgary’s other prospect goalie Mason McDonald is back to carrying the load in the blue paint. Despite the team’s struggles, he’s seen a slight improvement in his numbers. Adding eight more starts in the last ten games to move to 14 wins on 20 games this year, he has gone on a 6-2-1 run in his last nine. Along the way he picked up three shutouts, his GAA has moved from 2.61 to 2.42 and his SV% has also climbed to .916 from .910
KC will play a pair of games against the Division leading Grizzlies on the road, before settling back in for another homestand. Once returning to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, they’ll be home for five straight games and they’ll be hosting division rival Idaho Steelheads for three straight in that stretch. While the team’s home record is not what it was early in the season, it presents some opportunity to gain ground on a team ahead of team in the standings. Check back with M&G in two weeks to see if the Mavericks can get turned around!