Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson thought his team played much better Saturday than it did on Friday.
But that still wasn’t enough to be heroes in a loss to the Wichita Thunder on Marvel Super Hero Night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Matt Robertson scored two goals but it was not enough as the Thunder improved to 3-0 against the Mavericks this season and 10-1-0-0 with a 4-2 win in front of a crowd of 4,678.
“We played much better tonight than we did Friday night,” Dickson said, referring to an ugly 6-2 Friday night loss that led to him meeting with each player on the team in a verbal one-on-one post-game player evaluation. “We addressed some things Friday night, and I thought we came out tonight and really battled Wichita. They’re a great team, and we’ve played them three times here at home and tonight’s the closest we’ve come to a win.
“But there are still things this team needs to start doing on a regular basis if we’re going to break out of this slump we’re in. We need to play smarter, we need to play with more intensity and we have to step up our defensive game.
“We’re not trying to reinvent anything, we just need to play better hockey. There is so much talent in that locker room, and I promise we’re going to get better – or we’re going to go out and find the players who will make us a better team.”
The 4-6-0-0 Mavericks carried play in the first period, holding a 14-3 edge in shots on goal through 20 minutes. However, the Thunder got the early lead by scoring on their first shot. Robertson tied it in the final minute of the period.
The Thunder struck twice to gain a two-goal lead, but Robertson came through once again to draw the Mavericks back within one goal heading into the final period.
The Mavericks pulled goalie Mason McDonald with 1:36 left in the third period and the Thunder scored an empty-netter to account for the final score.
The Mavericks will hold their annual Kids Day Game at 10:30 a.m. today against Tulsa as the team welcomes students from schools across the metro area to SEC Arena.
“It’s always a big day for our young fans,” Dickson said, “and I hope we can reward them with a win.”
The Mavericks are 0-3 at home, with all three losses coming to the Thunder.