When we last checked in with the Flames’ ECHL affiliate, the Kansas City Mavericks were having a tough year. Too Long, Don’t Read: It has continued.
The Mavs were previously looking at a minimum seven point gap to try and sneak into the fight in the ECHL’s Mountain Division. They were mired in seventh and last place in the division, one point back of the Tulsa Oilers for sixth, and a whopping seven points back of the fifth place Wichita Thunder for fifth. All those gaps, including the ones higher up, have worsened. They are currently 21st in the 26th team ECHL, for some wider perspective. In their last eight contests, KC has been outscored by a total of 36-14. In their last twelve contests, they have dropped all but three of them. It’s not a pretty picture, but here’s a look:
Game By Game:
JAN 18th- Allen Americans 8 @ KC Mavericks 2 –LOSS
JAN 20th- KC Mavericks 0 @ Allen Americans 8 –LOSS
JAN 24th- Idaho Steelheads 4 @ KC Mavericks 3 –LOSS (SO)
JAN 25th- Idaho Steelheads 1 @ KC Mavericks 2 – WIN (SO)
JAN 28th- Kalamazoo Wings 6 @ KC Mavericks 1 – LOSS
JAN 31st- Tulsa Oilers 1 @ KC Mavericks 2 – WIN (OT)
FEB 1st- Tulsa Oilers 5 @ KC Mavericks 1 – LOSS
FEB 4th- KC Mavericks 3 @ Wheeling Nailers 4 –LOSS (OT)
With the Mavs’ slump hitting biblical proportions, offense has been tough to come by. At our last check-in, Rocco Carzo was holding on to his top spot in team scoring, as he had all year. However, Bryan Lemos had crept up to 2nd place and trailed him by one point. Adding 3 goals and an assist in his last two weeks, Lemos has finally overtook the top spot. Being recently sent back down from the Flames’ AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat, Mitch Hults now slots into third place on the team at 26 points.
Ryan Van Stralen previously held the team lead in PIMs and had cracked into the team top five for points, but was dealt to the Indy Fuel along with Cliff Watson in exchange for Sam Kurker and Matt Schmalz on January 28th. Kansas City forward Loren Ulett overtakes the dubious penalty minutes honour with 67 on the season.
Inside the blue paint, you can imagine that this skid hasn’t been easy on the Mavs’ masked men, either. In two games alone, there were a total of sixteen goals surrendered in a back-to-back with the division leading Allen Americans. Flames goalie prospect Tyler Parson has tacked on 4 more games played to his campaign, and added one more win. His goals-against-average has climbed seven points, while his SV% managed to remain steady from .918 to .917. His fellow Flames prospect, Nick Schneider, continues to get the bulk of the work in the crease. He’s added half a dozen starts to the year, but also only picked up one win. Parsons continues to dwarf Schneider statistically, but has seen much less of the ice time. In a tough season like this, it continues to be hard to put too much judgement on the netminders, even though they hope to be key parts of Calgary’s prospect pipeline.
Things won’t get any easier for the Mavericks. While seven of their next eight games are against divisional opponents, and that stretch will include a five game homestand, it’s a large hole for the team to dig out of because every team in the division is ahead of them. They’ll play the first place Allen Americans, the Tulsa Oilers, and the Idaho Steelheads all once, and the second place Utah Grizzlies twice, as well as the Wichita Thunder twice.
Check back with M&G in two weeks to see if there’s a little magic left in the saddle bag!