Life is good if you are a fan, player, or executive of the Missouri Mavericks.
I mean, really good.
By the time the team plays again — Sunday, Dec 13 against Tulsa — it will be 42 days since their last loss. The 14- game winning streak is now tied for fourth-longest in ECHL history and the sixth longest in minor pro hockey history.¹
Here is a look at how the Mavericks current run stacks up with others in minor pro hockey:
|Team||League||Season||Length of Streak|
|Norfolk Admirals||AHL||2011-12||28 games|
|South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||2014-15||23 games|
|Philadelphia Phantoms||AHL||2004-05||17 games|
|Cincinnati Cyclones||ECHL||2007-08||17 games|
|Victoria Salmon Kings||ECHL||2008-09||15 games|
|*MISSOURI MAVERICKS||ECHL||2015-16||14 games|
|Louisiana IceGators||ECHL||2001-02||14 games|
|Knoxville Cherokees||ECHL||1993-94||14 games|
|South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||2009-10||13 games|
|Las Vegas Wranglers||ECHL||2006-07||13 games|
|Reading Royals||ECHL||2014-15||12 games|
|Richmond Renegades||SPHL||2008-09||12 games|
* => Denotes current streak
With the Mavericks place in overall minor pro hockey history established, let’s look at some of the numbers inside the streak and see how the Mavericks are beating teams.
The Mavericks have quite a few guys who are splitting the offensive load during the streak.
Jesse Root, the CCM/ECHL player of the month for November, has tallied 20 points (8G, 12A) and is a +10 during the streak. His running mate, Tyler Barnes, is hot on his heels, tallying 18 points (9G, 9A) and is a +8.
Every good offense needs players who make good decisions with the puck. So far, Rocco Carzo (8 assists) and Kane Lafranchise (8 assists) have fit that billing.
Going deeper in the numbers, the Mavericks have outscored the opposition 53-23 during their run. Here is that breakdown:
One of the amazing stats here is that the Mavericks are outscoring the opponents 31-10 after the first period. The other stat that stands out during this streak is the Mavericks really clamp down on defense after the first stanza. In fact, they held the opposition scoreless in six straight second periods at one point.
The goaltending has shined as well during the streak. Both Josh Robinson and Parker Milner have won seven straight starts, but the numbers show Milner has been the better goalie. Robinson has allowed 15 goals on 150 shots faced (.900 save percentage) and has a 2.11 goals against average. Milner, meanwhile, has only allowed eight goals on 157 shots faced (.949 save percentage,) has a 1.12 goals against average and a pair of shutouts (11/7 v. WIC and 12/2 v. EVA) during the run.
Special teams have been good as well. The power play has gone 11-50 (22% efficiency) during the streak, while the penalty kill has extinguished 38 of 44 opposition power plays and scored three short-handed goals.
So what does all this mean?
Long story short for Mavs fans, expect to see your hockey team play deep into April and possibly May in Independence. Every single team with a 12-game or longer winning streak in ECHL history has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
As I mentioned in The Sin Bin Podcast Episode #4, I expect the Mavericks to have home-ice throughout the western conference and possibly the entire playoffs, provided AHL clubs do not pick the Mavs apart.
But does the current run the team is on equate to a Kelly Cup Championship in June? Let’s look.
|Team||Season||Streak||Kelly Cup Playoff Result|
|South Carolina Stingrays||2014-15||23 games||Lost in 7 games to Allen in Kelly Cup Finals|
|Cincinnati Cyclones||2007-08||17 games||Lost in 7 games to Dayton in North Division Finals|
|Victoria Salmon Kings||2008-09||15 games||Lost in 5 games to Alaska in West Division Finals|
|*MISSOURI MAVERICKS||2015-16||14 games||N/A|
|Louisiana IceGators||2001-02||14 games||Lost in 4 games to South Carolina in Southern Conference Finals|
|Knoxville Cherokees||1993-94||14 games||Lost in 3 games to Louisville in 1st round|
|South Carolina Stingrays||2009-10||13 games||Lost in 5 games to Cincinnati in American Conference Quarterfinals|
|Las Vegas Wranglers||2006-07||13 games||Lost in 6 games to Idaho in Northern Conference Semifinals|
|Reading Royals||2014-15||12 games||Lost in 7 games to South Carolina in the East Division Semifinals|
It is interesting to note that in the first table of the article, only the Norfolk Admirals and Philadelphia Phantoms went on to win their league championship. Of course, the ECHL angle to this column becomes a moot point if the Mavericks win a championship.
But, the overwhelming message to Mavericks fans, players and executives is to enjoy this. Winning streaks like this are rare, and serve as a showcase for the entire depth of the organization and its affiliates.
¹ => Among active hockey leagues (AHL, ECHL, SPHL)