When we last checked in withe the Flames’ ECHL affiliate, the Kansas City Mavericks, they were having a tough season. And, unfortunately, there is nothing new to report on that front. Having spent most of the year in or near last place in the Mountain Division, the push for a playoff berth has been an uphill climb. At last look, KC sat eleven points out of a playoff spot, and a whopping THIRTY POINTS back of first place. In their last twenty games, they had won only six. Extrapolate that to their current record, they have won only EIGHT out of their last THIRTY ONE contests, and it hasn’t been pretty either. The Mavs are sitting on a -46 goal differential for the season. Silver linings? The Wichita Thunder haven’t been great lately either, which has allowed KC to move up out of last place and into sixth, all of one point up on their division rivals, for the time being. Not so silver? This still leaves them eleven points back of the 4th place spot for a playoff berth.
GAME BY GAME:
FEB 22nd- KC Mavericks 1 @ Utah Grizzlies 0 -WIN
FEB 23rd- KC Mavericks 2 @ Utah Grizzlies 1 -WIN (SO)
FEB 24th- KC Mavericks 0 @ Utah Grizzlies 3 -LOSS
FEB 29th- KC Mavericks 2 vs Kalamazoo Wings 8 -LOSS
MAR 6th- KC Mavericks 4 vs Allen Americans 5 -LOSS (OT)
In one of the few consistencies to KC’s campaign so far, Rocco Carzo has continued to hang on to the team scoring lead. Apropos to the year, however, he has fallen as cold as the rest of the team, and is currently riding a five game pointless streak.
In the blue paint, it hasn’t been any better of a run for the netminders than it has for the skaters. Flames prospect goalie Nick Schneider has seen the bulk of the work, and is now up to 13 wins on the year after adding one in this last stretch. Fellow Flames prospect Tyler Parsons also added on victory. Those are the few bright spots, statistically, however. A recent 8-2 drubbing at the hands of the Kalamazoo Wings saw both goalies allow four goals each, which tells you all you need to know.
It’ll be a full on Mountain Division schedule for the Mavs in the next couple weeks, and in a nice twist of fate it’s not just against the good teams at the top. Kansas City will play four games against the Wichita Thunder, who are just behind them divisionally, and three games against the Tulsa Oilers, who are two spots ahead but hold down the final playoff spot. With the proverbial “four point games” against Tulsa, it’s a potential twelve point swing to close an eleven point gap, and the remaining contests against the Thunder give the team a chance to hold off the only team chasing them. For all the downs and lulls this year, at last their chances in the immediate future are completely within the team’s grasp. Check back with M&G to see if the team can steer the ship in the right direction in the final month before the Kelly Cup playoffs!