INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks secured a seven-point safety net for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Mountain Division prior to the start of their eight-game road trip. With six straight losses, this team is causing a sweat for fans and making the playoff possibilities harder to secure.
The Mavericks have not been a very consistent team on the road this season. This road trip may prove to be the most important of the year, and with playoffs fast approaching, the time to figure it out is now. The Mavs have played five out of the eight so far, and after falling to Tulsa in their last home game, they are in the middle of a season high six-game losing streak.
While they did have very good recent competition like the league-leading Cincinnati Cyclones, they were upset by the last team in the league in the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The games against the Atlanta Gladiators and the South Carolina Stingrays in the standings should have been pretty even match-ups, but the Mavericks could not find a way to come up on top.
Games At A Glance
March 19 vs. South Carolina Stingrays
Final Score: Kansas City 2 – South Carolina 4
South Carolina puts up four goals in the first period and the Mavericks are only able to answer back with one of their own from Rocco Carzo. They put up another in the third period from Joey Sides, but the comeback ends there. Mason McDonald gets the loss in the crease, saving 40/44 Stingray shots.
March 21 vs. Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Final Score: Kansas City 3 – Greenville 5
Both teams appear to go back and forth for the first two periods. Greenville opens up the scoring, then Jordan Klimek ties it up for the Mavericks. Darian Dziurzynski gets the Mavericks the lead, but it is tied up once again by the end of the opening 20 minutes. Carzo pulls ahead just over halfway into the second period, but that will be the last goal the Mavericks score, as Greenville gets another three of their own (one in the second and two to finish it off in the third). Kamerin Nault scores a goal every period and earns a hat trick to help lead the Swamp Rabbits to a victory. McDonald takes the loss in this game, stopping 33/38 shots.
March 22 vs. South Carolina Stingrays
Final Score: Kansas City 3 – South Carolina 5
Corey Durocher earns every single goal in this competition, but it was not quite enough to lead his team to victory. He scores two in the first period and one in the third, but is the only Mavericks player able to find the back of the net. The Stingrays come out hotter and score a single goal in the first two periods and put it away with three in the last period, including an empty net goal. Nick Schneider gets his shot at this team, but is unable to contain another high shooting game where he stops 40/44 (identical to McDonald’s night against the Stingrays).
March 23 vs. Atlanta Gladiators
Final Score: Kansas City 3 – Atlanta 4
This game appears to have had the most control the Mavs carried in this road trip this far. Carzo opens up the scoring with a power play goal, and Dziurzynski put up one of his own in the first. Greg Betzold nets one late in the second period, but again, that closes off the scoring for the Mavs that night. Atlanta takes the lead in the last four minutes of the game and the Mavericks are unable to at least tie it up. McDonald stops 42/46 in the loss.
March 27 vs. Cincinnati Cyclones
Final Score: Kansas City 3 – Atlanta 5
Cincinnati attacks first by putting up two tallies in the first period. Kansas City lets them get three before they start to answer back. Sides and Dziurzynski score back-to-back goals in the second period, going into the third down by one. Cincinnati gets another two, but the Mavs go right down to the final second when Mike Panowyk scores with a single second to go in the game. McDonald has a lower shot night, stopping 26/31.
The rest of their road trip will consist of a three-game weekend series starting on March 29 against the Toledo Walleye, then the Fort Wayne Komets and Indy Fuel to conclude the trip. The Mavericks have fallen to the nineteenth spot in the league and hold the fourth spot in the Mountain Division by five points on Rapid City with two games in hand. The Mavericks need to find a way to get at least a single point out of these games to keep their heads above water and a playoff position within their grasp.
The Mavericks will play their last regular season home game on April 2 against the Tulsa Oilers. Puck drop is at 7:05 pm CT.