INDEPENDENCE, MO – Coming off a win against the resurgent Wichita Thunder on Wednesday night, the Kansas City Mavericks will look to stay hot this weekend as they travel east to face the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday and the Quad City Mallards on Saturday.
Before Wednesday’s overtime goalie extravaganza, the Mavericks had struggled to contain the Thunder powerplay unit and had yet to find the win column versus their rivals this season. With one baseball bat swing of his stick, forward Darren Nowick changed all that in the first 20 seconds of overtime on Wednesday.
With the always tough Komets looming next on the schedule, the Mavericks will be looking to continue to improve the penalty kill unit in addition to staying out of the penalty box. The Komets always bring a well-disciplined and explosive offense to the ice and a solid defensive core. With their last two victories, however, the Mavericks now find themselves sitting one point ahead of the Komets in the standings; making Friday’s tilt all the more critical.
The Quad City Mallards share an identical 6-6-0 record with the Mavericks heading into the weekend. It will be the first matchup this season between the Mavs and their former Central Hockey League foes.
The biggest surprise so far this season has been the offensive output of John-Scott Dickson‘s third line. Shaun Pauly, in particular, has exploded offensively out of the gate in the early going. Pauly recorded his first career hat trick in front of a sold out Silverstein Eye Centers Arena crowd on Tuesday morning against the Tulsa Oilers. He added a goal and an assist in last Friday’s matchup with Wichita, as well. The third line has been the energetic spark Dickson has been looking for both offensively and defensively this season.
Tyler Parsons also looks to continue his hot streak of late. Parsons has been as good as it gets in his last two starts with a 34-save performance against Tulsa and a 38-save showing against the Thunder to back it up. Parsons is beginning to show why he is the number one prospect in the Flames’ organization.
One thing to keep an eye on this weekend will be the health of Mavericks forward, Rocco Carzo. Carzo left the ice during the game against the Thunder Wednesday night and did not return. No further updates have been released by the Mavericks. Carzo is pivotal to the Mavericks in so many ways; he contributes on the power play, penalty kill, and is as good as you’ll find in the faceoff circle. Losing Carzo for any length of time would be less than optimal for the Mavericks at this point in the season. The things Carzo brings to the ice are irreplaceable.
The Mavs return home next Wednesday night for a matchup with…wait for it…wait for it…the Wichita Thunder. You’re obviously surprised, but it should be a great night of hockey before all your annoying relatives show up the next day.
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