Early this afternoon Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson and his team will board a bus for the three-hour trip to Wichita, where the Thunder will play host for 7:05 p.m. games tonight and Saturday.

The Mavericks have won seven in a row, are 6-0 at home and 9-1-1-0 overall. They are off to their best start in team history, topping the 2013-14 club’s 9-2 mark.

And the hottest player on the sizzling Mavericks is forward Mark Cooper, who is tied for third in the ECHL with 19 points. He had three assists as the Mavericks took over sole possession of first place in the Mountain Division with 19 points with their 5-3 win over the Thunder in Tuesday’s annual Kids Day Game at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

“We’re playing really well right now,” Cooper said. “Home or away, it doesn’t matter. You can see this team’s confidence growing with every shift, every period and every game. And the great thing about it is that the better we play, the harder we’re working for Coach Dickson to keep this streak alive.”

Dickson is excited about the two games in Wichita this weekend.

“A day trip, with a game that night, offers some interesting challenges,” said Dickson, who said the team would leave just after noon for the trip West. “We’ll get there before the game, settle in and then spend the night in Wichita and play again Saturday.

“I really like the way we’re playing right now. I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a Mavericks team that has so many lines producing points, and we’re getting great defense, too.”

Goalie Mason McDonald was back at practice Thursday, but Dickson said he was not sure if he would make the trip to Wichita.

“That’s a decision we’ll make before the trip,” the coach said, as McDonald is dealing with lower body issues. “Ben (Halford, who has won the last two games in the net) has played well. We’ll be fine, but we all want to see Mase get back and get healthy.”

KETTLE CONTEST: Kansas City and Wichita fans will compete to see who can raise the most money for The Salvation Army in their hometowns.

Mavericks fans are encouraged to show up and support The Salvation Army at the Nov. 23 home game against the Thunder. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles will be on hand during the pregame skate. A portion of sales from that game’s Chuck-a-Puck contest will also go to benefit The Salvation Army in Kansas City.