When Matchsticks & Gasoline last checked in with the Flames ECHL affiliate in Kansas City, it seemed they had turned the corner in an attempt to get out of the division basement. They’d managed to collect wins in six of their last nine contests, including a four game winning streak to kick off the stretch, which included sweeping a three game set with the divisional Wichita Thunder. It had the Mavericks up to 24 points on the season, which was enough to get them out of the Mountain Division basement and move up one spot from 7th place to 6th. Since then, the Mavericks have fallen back to playing just-above-.500 hockey, collecting 5 wins and 4 losses in their last nine contests. While they managed to steal a pair of wins against the Division-and-League leading Allen Americans, they felt flat against the rest of the division. Splitting a home-and-home with Wichita and losing to the Utah Grizzlies and Tulsa Oilers did them no favors in the race to climb the Mountain Division standings. While they’re technically out of the basement, there are four-and-five point gaps to catch the Thunder and Rush, respectively. The silver lining is they’ve currently won three in a row and might be poised to go on another run!
Game By Game:
DEC 18th- KC Mavericks 5 @ Orlando Solar Bears 7 LOSS
DEC 20th- KC Mavericks 1 vs Utah Grizzlies 4 LOSS
DEC 21st- KC Mavericks 2 vs Tulsa Oilers 5 LOSS
DEC 27th- KC Mavericks 3 @ Cincinnati Cyclones 2 WIN
DEC 28th- KC Mavericks 4 @ Indy Fuel 0 WIN
DEC 30th- KC Mavericks 2 @ Wichita Thunder 5 LOSS
DEC 31st- KC Mavericks 2 vs Wichita Thunder 1 WIN (OT)
JAN 2nd- KC Mavericks 5 @ Allen Americans 3 WIN
JAN 3rd- KC Mavericks 4 @ Allen Americans 2 WIN
As he’s done all season to this point, Rocco Carzo continues to lead the Mavs scoring race. He’s added 3 goals and 3 assists in this last run to bring his total to 24, while Bryan Lemos has exploded for 10 points in his last 9 to leapfrog both Ryan Van Stralen and David Dziurzynski into second place on the team. Darian Dziurzynski rounds out the Top 5 and also leads KC in PIMs with 49 on the campaign.
Minding the blue paint, Flames prospect goalie Nick Schneider continues to lead the charge in workload, notching up five more starts but adding only two W’s to his resume. Fellow Flames prospect Tyler Parsons is hot on his heels, grabbing four more starts over the last couple weeks. Parsons also picked up a December 28th shutout in a 4-0 victory against the Indy Fuel, which stands as the only SO for Mavs netminders this year. It was good enough to grab him ECHL Goaltender of the Week honours for Dec. 26-29. Currently his numbers edge out Schneider’s, albeit with half the sample size.
The Mavs will have a six days off, giving them almost a week to go over game tape of their three straight wins and their impressive showing against the usually-dominant Allen Americans. They’ll resume January 10th and continue their road trip, with five of the next six as the visitors on the way into the January 21st ECHL All-Star Break. Four of the next six will again be against divisional opponents, and they’ll have another two-game set against the Americans to round things out before the break. Check back with M&G to see if the Mavericks can giddyup!