Kansas City Mavericks have been road warriors as of late. But they returned home from a three-city, four-game road trip with a perfect 4-0 record as they ride a five-game overall winning streak into a rare early-season home game against Wichita at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.
“I think the boys like the road, especially the way we’re playing right now,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said after his team claimed 5-1 and 2-0 victories over the weekend in Moline, Ill., against the Quad City Mallards.
“I’m very excited about the way we’re playing. We’re grinding it out when we need to, getting great defense and Tyler (Parsons) and Mason (McDonald) have been great in the net.”
With the five-game win streak, the Mavericks have improved to 9-6-0-0 overall and are in second place in the Central Division with 18 points (Toledo is in first with 24 points). It’s the longest win streak since the Mavericks’ 2015-16 Brabham Cup-winning season.
The Mavericks finished the perfect road trip with the 2-0 win over Quad City Sunday at the TaxSlayer Center.
Parsons claimed his first-career shutout in the game, turning away 28 shots.
“He’s just a lot more calm going into games, and I think the defense has played better, and that’s helped his confidence,” Dickson added. “It’s a team effort.”
The Mavericks got off to a strong start Sunday, scoring on a fortunate bounce on a deflected pass from Hunter Smith, his fourth goal of the season, for an early 1-0 lead. Kansas City wasn’t done, doubling its lead with 10 seconds remaining as Jordan Kwas redirected a Patch Alber slapshot for a 2-0 lead at the break.
Alber had a career night Saturday with four assists , three of which came in the third period as the Mavericks blew the game open with four goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. McDonald made 21 saves in the contest to stifle the Mallards’ offense.
In the second game, after a scoreless first period, Jordan Kwas scored for the second time this season at the 8:31 mark of the second to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead in the game that had been a defensive struggle up to that point. The Mavericks, who led in shots by an 11-5 margin after one period, took a 25-15 edge in scoring chances to the locker room after the second.
The floodgates opened on the offensive end in the third as Darren Nowick, Mark Cooper, Hunter Smith and Mike McMurtry struck within a five-minute span to turn a close game into a blowout at 5-0 with nearly half of the third period remaining. Quad City cashed in on a power play several minutes later, producing the 5-1 final score.
After Wednesday’s game, the Mavericks are back on the road for two more games, before returning home for a Sunday contest.
NOTES: Parsons has excelled in the Mavericks’ wins this season. Parsons has made 217 saves on 228 shots faced for a .952 save percentage and a 1.78 goals against average. The 20-year-old was a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and is NHL.com’s top prospect within the Calgary Flames’ system.
• McMurtry posted seven points in five games last week to take over as the team’s scoring leader. McMurtry tallied three goals, including the overtime game winner at Fort Wayne, to go with four assists.