The Kansas City Mavericks, coming off a Friday night 7-6 overtime win against Cincinnati, ran into a hot Cyclones goalie Saturday night.
Michael Houser stopped all 32 shots he faced to blank coach John-Scott Dickson’s team 2-0 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Before the game, the Mavericks retired the No. 43 of Sebastien Thinel (see related story), the team’s all-time leading scorer.
“It would have been nice to get four points this weekend, especially after the big comeback win Friday,” Dickson said after his team fell to 19-15-1-1 overall and 14-3 at home, “but their goalie was outstanding tonight.
“It’s not like we didn’t have our chances. We didn’t get anything done all night offensively, but I was happy with the way we played defensively. That’s one of the best teams in the league and we were able to come away with two points – you always want more, but we have to settle with a weekend split.”
Ben Halford played one of his best games, stopping 20 of 22 shots, but he had little to show for it as his personal record fell to 4-7.
“When Ben plays like he did tonight,” Dickson said, “you wish you could reward him with a victory.”
The Cyclones, who lead the Central Division with a 24-7-3-3 record and 54 points (second best in the ECHL), grabbed the lead in the second period when Andrew DeBrincat, the brother of Chicago Blackhawks player Alex DeBrincat, scored a power play goal at the 9:30 mark.
Cincinnati doubled its lead 6:04 into the final frame on a goal from Jesse Schultz.
The Mavericks remain in fourth place in the Mountain Division with 40 points entering Friday’s game against the rival Wichita Thunder, who are fifth with 38 points.
VANWORMER RETURNS: Forward Jared VanWormer is returning to the Mavericks after being loaned to the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals on Jan. 2.
VanWormer had one assist in four games with the Admirals. He has scored 29 points on 13 goals and 16 assists in 29 games with the Mavericks this season.
COOPER LEAVES: Forward Mark Cooper has been loaned to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.
Cooper has played in 14 games for Kansas City this season, scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists for 19 points. He led the Mavericks with 47 points last season.