A little home cooking might be just what coach John-Scott Dickson’s Kansas City Mavericks need to claim the first home win this season.

They play host to the arch-rival Wichita Thunder at 7:05 tonight at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

The two teams also meet at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the SEC Arena.

It will be the ninth game this season for the Mavericks (4-4-0-0, 8 points), but just their second at home.

“Yeah, after we got home from our last road trip I had to introduce myself to my two kids,” joked Dickson, following a spirited practice session on the community ice Thursday morning. “They kept asking Mommy who that strange man was in their house.”

Team captain Tyler Elbrecht and associate captain Rocco Carzo have no children, but they know where their coach is coming from.

‘I’d forgotten what it was like to sleep in my own bed, and I’ve been able to sleep in it every day this week,” Carzo said. “We’ve been on the road a lot early this season, and that’s just the way the schedule has been – we’re not the only team to have a lot of road games. But we have to make the most of our games at home – especially back-to-back games this weekend.”

The Mavericks played Wichita in their lone home game this season, and despite outshooting the Thunder 41-22, lost 4-1.

“We ran into a brick wall in the net when we played them the first time,” Carzo said, referring to Thunder goalie Shane Sterrett. “He was nails that night. We played well, we just couldn’t find a way to score.

“We have to find a way to score when we play them Friday and Saturday.”

Elbrecht said. “We got a little home cooking, got to sleep in our own beds and got in some great practices this week. It’s exciting any time you play your rival.

“Especially when that rival is Wichita. They beat us in the home opener, and unless our fans have watched some road games on TV, that’s all they’ve seen of us this season.

“They were great in the opener. We had a sold-out barn and it was really rocking. We all wanted to reward them with a win, and it didn’t happen. The Wichita goalie was amazing that night, and there are times you have to tip your hat for a job well done. Friday is going to be great.”

The Thunder, who lead the ECHL’s Mountain Division with 16 points, bring an 8-1-0-0 record to town and Dickson said he expects a complete game from his team.

“They pose a real challenge, as we found out in the home opener,” Dickson said. “Our problem has been making two or three key mistakes that lead to two or three goals from who we’re playing. We’ve watched a lot of film this week and are paying attention to the little things that help you win games.

“We’re excited to be home and we’re excited to get back out on the ice.”