Early-season mistakes are as much a part of the learning process for a new hockey team as boarding, fisticuffs and scoring.
But the same mistakes, over and over again, by what seems to be a new individual or group of players every night, is beginning to frustrate Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson.
“We’re eight games into the season, and I know it’s still early, but are we still going to be saying the same thing a week from now? A month from now?” Dickson said inside his office at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena after the Mavericks returned from a 1-2 road trip.
“We’ve looked at video, the guys know what we’re talking about, and if the same mistakes keep getting made, we’re going to have go out and find some players who won’t make those mistakes. I know that sounds harsh, but the mistakes have to come to an end, and come to an end soon.”
The Mavericks saw their record dip to 4-4-0-0 after dropping the final game of their road trip 4-2 to the Atlanta Gladiators (4-4-0-0) Saturday night at Infinite Energy Arena.
Similar to Friday’s game, the Gladiators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Chase Witala and Alexandre Carrier. Witala’s goal was the second shorthanded goal the Mavericks have allowed this season.
Kansas City’s Kayle Doetzel picked up his first goal of the season to cut the deficit to one, but Atlanta’s Alex Gacek scored a power-play goal and accounted for the final score with his second goal of the night.
Rocco Carzo scored for the second night in a row to make it a 4-2 contest.
“We work on the penalty kill, and we give up a shorthanded goal,” Dickson explained. “Another mistake by a player who knows better. It’s one or two mistakes a night, and it’s one or two mistakes a night that are leading to our losses. And we’re getting plenty of offensive chances, but just aren’t finishing with a goal.
“It’s frustrating, but we’re working hard to clean some things up.”
Tyler Parsons stopped 30 of 34 shots to suffer the loss. Mike McMurtry assisted on both goals and Matt Robertson and Nate Widman each added an assist.
The Mavericks play host to longtime rival Wichita at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Kansas City is tied with Quad City for fourth place in the ECHL’s Central Division with eight points, five behind division leader Toledo (6-2-1-0).
ROOKIE RELEASED: The Mavericks announced Monday that rookie Carson Dubchak has been released from his standard player contract.
Dubchak, 26, was signed out of Lakehead University by the Mavericks in the offseason. He had not skated in any games for Kansas City.