Rocco Carzo was the first member of the Kansas City Mavericks to emerge from the team’s locker room Saturday night, following a dominating 7-2 victory over Tulsa at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Coach John-Scott Dickson is usually the first visit with the media, but the team captain, who had two goals and two assists in the game, beat him by a few minutes.
As Carzo talked about the big win, Dickson joined the group, and began asking questions.
“Rocco, why weren’t you the first one of out the locker room (Friday night) in Tulsa?” the coach asked, with a devilish grin, as the Mavericks were roughed up by the Oilers 4-1. “I didn’t even see you after that game.”
Dickson was grinning, so was Carzo, and everyone joined in on the joke as the Mavericks improved to 3-1-1-0 with the rout of the Fuel.
“Coach told us Sunday (practice) wasn’t going to be much fun if we didn’t play better tonight than we did in Tulsa,” Carzo said. “We gave that early goal tonight, but after that, we pretty much dominated every phase of the game.
“Offense, defense, Mason (McDonald, in his first start of the season) was outstanding in goal. This was the game we were looking for, the game we needed. We know we’re better than we showed Friday night and we came out tonight and got the job done.”
Jared VanWormer added a goal and two assists and Mike Panowyk added two assists.
Indy struck first in the opening frame with a power play goal near the halfway point, but an offensive onslaught from the Mavericks gave the home team a commanding 4-1 lead at the first break as Kansas City scored three goals in 1 minute, 37 seconds.
Carzo got the scoring parade started with a shorthanded goal, and Darian Dziurzynski, Jordan Ernst and Carzo once again scored over that short time span to begin the rout.
“The boys really supported me tonight,” McDonald said. “My back had been bothering me and it feels great now. I wasn’t going to come back until it was 100 percent and this was a great night to get back out on the ice.”
After a scoreless second, the Mavericks scored twice in the first 3:49 of the third, with VanWormer and Jordan Klimek beating the goaltender to push the cushion to 6-1.
Indy’s Quentin Shore responded shortly after, then David Dziurzynski put the exclamation point on the win with a breakaway goal late in the period.
The Mavericks have outscored their opponents 12-3 this season in home games.
“We’ve really played well at home,” Dickson said. “This was a great overall team performance. I let the guys know that Sunday was going to be a tough practice if we didn’t play a lot better than we did Friday at Tulsa and you like to see a team respond like ours did tonight.”