INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks have turned into hometown heroes in Independence after an impressive 7-2 victory over the Indy Fuel on Saturday, October 27th. This was only the Mavs’ second home game of the season, but the energy played like the home opener. The Mavs came out hungry and aggressive after falling 4-1 to Tulsa the night prior. Both teams were sure to finish their checks and more bodies hit the ice than shots hit the net in the opening minutes of the game. Coach John-Scott Dickson recognized the challenge of coming back late from Tulsa but said, “I think the guys knew it would be a tough night for them if they didn’t come out ready to play.”
Mason McDonald gets his first win of the season after taking the first weeks off for precautionary injury maintenance. He sits at a 0.930 save percentage.
Jared VanWormer had a three-point night and surpassed the 50-point milestone in his ECHL career.
This win ranks the Mavs third in the Mountain Division, fifth in the Western Conference and tenth in the league.
Jordan Ernst and Jordan Klimek both get their first professional goals.
Ten Mavericks registered points in the game, three with multiple points.
The Mavericks have registered a total of 12 goals in two home games.
If anyone had any doubts about Rocco Carzo’s comeback this year, he has undoubtedly proved them wrong. Carzo scored a short-handed goal that put the Mavericks on top and started the trio of goals the Mavericks put up in the last four minutes of the first period. He also assisted the first goal of the night and scored again in the final minute of the first leaving the night with three points. The night’s first star was not overly impressed with the previous game but was impressed with the effort of the team against Indy. “We play so many games where you may have a bad game, but you look right past it. If we would’ve had the week off that loss might have sunk in some more, but that’s the beauty of this league. You get right back at it and get a chance to redeem yourself the next night.” There was minimal opportunity for Indy to battle back, and that was exactly what the Mavericks wanted. Carzo said, “Once we get ahead like that you got to keep going. You can’t play it safe, we kept pushing tonight and that’s what happens.” A hard effort pays off, and the Mavs have shown home fans in both games that production on home ice is not something they should worry about.
Coach John-Scott Dickson emphasized the importance of this game and said, “We have to come out ready to play. We set the bar at our home opener and I think the last three games have not been very good games for us. We had chances and we have the guys that get those chances.” With there being so much depth, especially in the forward department, the coaching staff will make those game-time lineup decisions based on consistency and accountability.
A standout for Dickson was C.J. Eick. “I have to throw Eick’s name in there. He brought energy right away from his first shift. You could tell his first shift he definitely had them in the zone. That line with Panowyk and Dizzy there and mixing in Betzy a bit. Putting him in the lineup,” Dickson adds, “he’s making it hard for us to take him out of the lineup and that’s the type of player he is.”
There are healthy scratches that want their time on the ice and with the plethora of options you need to perform to play.
“I say this to a lot of the guys, this isn’t personal, its professional. We had a guy last night that’s on an American League contract did not play. A guy tonight, did not play. But at the same time, we’re trying to help these guys develop. It’s nothing personal. We talk to them, we let them know what we didn’t like and what we expect from them.” – Mavericks Coach john-scott Dickson.
Dickson was also happy to see McDonald’s play. “I thought he played well; I thought he was sharp. I’m happy to see him execute on his gameplay.”
McDonald himself is glad to get back on the ice at 100% and ready to get back into the swing of things. He was very impressed with the team’s effort tonight. “The structure was unbelievable tonight. The first six or seven minutes were a little rough but after that, the guys got rolling,” said McDonald. He played the game with poise and did not let the first goal get to him.
“They had two breakaways in the first five minutes and one of those goes in, maybe it’s a different game. I stood my ground early and was ready for that. The boys just kept rolling and rolling after that.” – Mavericks Goalie Mason McDonald
The Mavericks played great games in both home appearances but this one had a different edge to it. More of the team looked in a midseason form and not as many fanned shots, slips and missed checks were visible. The team is used to the ice and no one seemed to fall behind on the pace in which the game stayed for the majority of the 60 minutes. The Mavs kept their foot on the pedal and did not let a three-goal lead through the first carry them for the rest of the game. Kansas City kept shooting, kept digging and an additional three goals secured their victory. Indy did not back down but made a goaltender change after the first period. Even the players admit a change in mentality and pace could have flipped the game around quickly. It seemed a game to redeem themselves was precisely what the Mavs needed after a hard to swallow road trip.
The Mavericks have a perfect 2-0 home record for now and look to continue that trend going into a pair of home games next weekend against the Wichita Thunder on Friday, November 2nd and the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday, November 3rd. The next three games will be played on home ice before the Mavericks head back on the road for a two-game road trip at Allen.
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