LOVELAND, Colo. – From the opening puck drop, Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson liked what he saw from his team in a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Eagles Wednesday night in Budweiser Events Center.
Shawn Pauly enjoyed his second hat trick of the season and Adam Carlson continued to star in the net as the 30-27-0-2 Mavericks hurdled Kalamazoo to move into fourth place in the ECHL's Central Division, 62 to 61 points. Kalamazoo has two games in hand on the Mavericks and did not play Wednesday night.
Pauly scored a goal in the first and two in the third to seal the victory. Corey Durocher added the Mavericks’ second goal of the game, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games.
Carlson and the defense had another strong game, limiting the Eagles to just one goal on 20 shots. Carlson has turned away 85 of his last 91 shots faced.
“They are such a great, high-scoring team, and to hold them to 20 shots and one goal is pretty impressive,” Dickson said by phone. “From the start, we pretty much dominated every phase of the game. We’re on a little bit of a streak now and the guys are playing with a lot of confidence. And Adam gets better with each start.
“This is a tough road trip, and it’s great to start with a win at Colorado.”
The Mavericks started fast, putting two pucks past Joe Cannata in the opening period. The first score came from Pauly, his 16th of the season, on a redirection of a Patch Alber shot just under eight minutes into the period. Durocher then continued the second line’s scoring streak with his eighth of the season and fourth as a Maverick to make it 2-0 at the 12:36 mark.
After a scoreless second, the Mavericks withstood a pair of power plays for the 37-16-4-2 Eagles and eventually tallied an insurance goal, Pauly’s second of the game and 17th of the season, for the decisive 3-0 lead.
The Eagles scored with just over three minutes left on Michael Joly’s 39th of the year, but Pauly completed his hat trick with an empty-netter with 46 seconds left.
“We had Shawn at the wing tonight, a new position for him, and he really responded,” Dickson said. “His third goal was so big, because they scored right after that. We all wanted him to get the hat trick, and he was able to score the empty-netter at the end, which really pleased everyone. He’s such a great kid and he’s really become a big offensive threat.”
The Mavericks continue their road trip with a pair of 8:10 p.m. games at Idaho on Friday and Saturday.
NOWICK RETURNS: Forward Darren Nowick has been reassigned to the Mavericks by the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Stockton Heat.
Nowick, 26, spent February with Stockton after being recalled to the AHL team Jan.31. The Long Beach, Calif., native has totaled three points in 12 games with Stockton.
The right-handed forward has skated in 20 games with the Mavericks, totaling 15 points on six goals and nine assists. Nowick last played with the Mavericks in the team’s Jan. 30 win over Colorado, scoring a goal and registering six shots on goal.
He played in Wednesday’s game and recorded two shots and a plus-2 rating.