WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas City Mavericks got off to a hot start against Wichita Wednesday night, but could not maintain that momentum in a 3-1 loss to the Thunder.
Dan Correale scored the Mavericks’ lone goal, tapping in a cross-crease feed from Hunter Smith for the opening tally just 53 seconds into the contest to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead.
“It was looking good for the guys at that point,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said by phone, “but we just played lethargic hockey the rest of the period, and really, the rest of the game. There’s no excuse for that – none!”
Wichita (16-2-2-0) tied the game in the second, finding the back of the net just 39 seconds into the frame on a Travis Brown slap shot.
The Thunder then claimed their first lead of the game as Chad Butcher scored his first-career goal at 5:23 of the third period.
“We had some chances in the second and third periods, but couldn’t score and that’s frustrating,” Dickson said. “We’re struggling on our power play and just not providing much offense.”
Wichita then got a big insurance goal as Matt DeBlouw beat goalie Tyler Parsons at the 10:34 mark to account for the final 3-1 margin.
Kansas City (12-11-0-0) was held 0-for-3 on the power play and is 0-for-20 against the Thunder in six games this season.
Wichita goalie Joel Rumpel stopped 29 of 30 shots and Kansas City’s Parsons stopped 23 of 26 attempts.
The Mavericks are missing injured point producers Rocco Carzo (an associate captain who underwent ACL surgery Wednesday afternoon), Matt Robertson, Darren Nowick, Troy Donnay and Shawn Pauly.
But Dickson refused to use that as an excuse.
“Missing guys, injured guys, no excuses, that’s part of the game,” Dickson added. “But not playing with intensity, and playing lethargic hockey has nothing to do with injuries and things like that. Guys have to be ready to play 60 minutes and we did not do that tonight.”
The Mavericks will host the Allen Americans at 4:05 p.m. Sunday and 7:05 p.m. Monday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
MAVS ADD FORWARD: The Mavericks added forward Josh Erickson to the roster Wednesday.
Erickson, 24, comes to the Mavericks from the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League, where he has posted eight goals and three assists in 13 games while racking up 44 penalty minutes and a plus-5 rating in his first professional season.
The Roseau, Minn., native played college hockey at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks from 2013-14 through 2016-17, serving as an alternate captain during his senior campaign. He posted 12 goals and 13 assists with 267 penalty minutes in 124 games with the Nanooks.
The 5-foot-10, 181-pound left-hander played two seasons with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, tallying 10 goals and 10 assists with 236 penalty minutes in 89 games.
Erickson saw action Wednesday and had one shot on goal.