INDEPENDENCE, MO – After a slow start to the season, the Kansas City Mavericks have surged up the ECHL’s central division standings and are now in the conversation of playoff contender as the calendar turns to December.
The Mavs have done a nice job of controlling puck possession and pace of play in the games they have won this so far this season, as well as laying out to keep pucks in the zone, sacrificing the body to block shots, and winning more of the board battles that weren’t being won earlier this season. In the last two weeks plus, the Mavs have gone from 6th place in the Central Division to a very respectable 2nd place behind the red-hot Toledo Walleye.
Coach John-Scott Dickson was all smiles as he talked about his young team.
He definitely has plenty to be thankful for as the Mavericks have won seven of their last 10 games heading into tonight’s tilt against Kalamazoo.
The play of Pauly, featured in Joe Rozycki‘s article earlier this month on thesinbin.net, has been the catalyst for this Mavericks offense. Dickson mentioned in his interview that they don’t really have a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd line right now and he is 100% correct. Each line the Mavs roll out is playing solid two-way hockey and it’s hard to differentiate the play between each of them.
Pauly was quick to compliment his team on their unselfish play of late.
Tyler Parsons continued to be as hot as any goaltender we’ve seen in Kansas City this side of Josh Robinson. The young 20-year-old has been seeing the puck much better of late and his positioning has improved as he gets used to the ECHL level of play.
The final piece of Mavs news has been the huge elephant in the room for the past week or so…the status of Mavericks forward, Rocco Carzo. Carzo was injured in a game against Wichita and is out for the rest of the season after being diagnosed with an ACL tear. Mavericks head trainer, Nick Potter, will be helping Carzo through the rehab process and the outlook is very positive for a complete recovery. Carzo brings experience, a high hockey IQ, and grit to the ice that will be hard to replace, but the return of Dan Correale will definitely help cushion the blow a bit. Interestingly, Carzo has been behind the Mavericks bench and you can expect to see that moving forward this season.
After tonight’s contest, the Mavericks will host Kalamazoo on Friday night, face the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night before traveling to Wichita for a mid-week game next Wednesday evening.