So, what happens to a professional sports team that is all geared up for a home game and it doesn’t happen?
“It’s tough,” Kansas City Mavericks team captain Rocco Carzo said when asked about Tuesday’s postponement of a home game with the Tulsa Oilers, who experienced bus problems and icy weather conditions on their way to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, forcing the postponement until Feb. 13.
“We’re in the middle of a big homestand, and we need to put as many points on the board as possible, but we’re pros and there is nothing we can about not playing last Tuesday,” Carzo added. “We just have to take all the excitement and energy we had for last Tuesday and use it this weekend.”
The Mavericks play host to the Allen Americans at 7:05 p.m. today and the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at SEC Arena.
“You know I’m going to be excited this weekend because we’re playing two games and that means my dad (Rocco III) is coming in from Philly,” said Rocco IV, who always seems to come up big when his father is sitting in his familiar seat behind the west goal inside the arena.
“We’re past the midway point of the season, but we’re in the middle of a battle for a playoff berth and these games are just as important as games later in the season. We want to get four points this weekend and are going to do all we can to accomplish that.”
The Mavericks have played 43 games and are 22-18-2-1 and are in fourth place in the ECHL’s Mountain Division with 47 points. Wichita, who has played 47 games, is 19-20-5-3 and has 46 points. The top four teams from each division advance to the playoffs.
The Mavericks had a spirited practice Thursday morning at the arena after spending Wednesday at a gym.
“We wanted the boys to get off the ice, get a nice sweat going at the gym and then get back out on the ice this morning,” coach John-Scott Dickson said Thursday. “And it was good to get back at it.
“We were all disappointed about last Tuesday, but there’s nothing we can do about it. It happened. Move on.
“We know it’s going to be cold (Friday), but it’s hockey season and we’re supposed to play when it’s cold. You could sense the team was excited to get back out on the ice today, and they’re even more excited to get back on the ice Friday.”
Two players who will not be on the ice for the Mavericks are standout forwards Mark Cooper and Mike McMurtry, who have been called up to the American Hockey League.
That scenario frustrates team president and general manager Brent Thiessen, who was diplomatic when asked about the Tuesday postponement.
“First, we lost Cooper and McMurtry, who were both called up, and we would have had them (Tuesday night) if we had played,” Thiessen said. “And Tulsa has a player suspended, so it would have been a great night to play with two of our best players still on the roster and them missing one of their top players.
“There was an initial thought of moving the game back to 8:35, but with the ice and the weather, it was best for our fans to move the game to next Wednesday.”
Dickson said he is thrilled for Cooper being recalled to San Antonio and McMurtry going back to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat.
“That’s why we’re here,” Dickson said, “to give our guys the chance to move up and possibly make it to the NHL. That attracts other quality players to our team and we are thrilled for Mac and Coop – but, we wish we could have played with them, because you know we’re a much better team with them in the lineup.”
The Mavericks did get another player back. Defenseman Cliff Watson has been returned to the Mavericks from the AHL’s Utica Comets.