The home cooking is over for the Kansas City Mavericks, who open a three-game series in Utah beginning at 8:05 p.m. (Central time) tonight.
The nine-game homestand ended with a 2-1 loss to Tulsa Wednesday, as the Mavericks prepare for a big weekend in Utah.
“We got five wins in nine games, and we’d have liked to have gotten nine, but we’ll take what we got and try to get the job done on the road,” captain Rocco Carzo said. “The homestand was special because of the fans and the atmosphere they created at every home game.
“It’s about midway through the season, but these points are just as important as the points we’ll score late in the season. We just have to take care of business and see what happens. All we can do is take care of our business. We can’t worry about what other teams are doing, just what we can control.”
The fourth-place Mavericks (24-19-2-1, 51 points) have multiple games in hand on most of their ECHL Mountain Division opponents, but lost out on a chance to make up ground on the second-place Oilers (28-17-4-2, 62 points).
Instead of seven points behind and five games-in-hand on the Oilers, the Mavericks dropped to 11 points behind.
“All the home points were so important,” Mavericks head coach John-Scott Dickson. “We got five wins and 11 points – which is less than we hoped for. And when you’re playing the team you’re chasing in the standings, those are always important points.”
Goalie Mason McDonald has starred in the net for the Mavericks, despite losing to the Oilers.
“I feel good, real good,” said McDonald, who missed much of the season with a lower body injury. “And I want to help this team reach the playoffs. It’s been great playing at home with all our fan support.
“Now, we’re going on the road and have to get some wins in Utah. Then, we have to win wherever we play – home or road – and we have the talent to finish the season strong. It’s going to be exciting to see what happens.”
After playing today, Saturday and Monday (a 2 p.m. Central Presidents Day start), the Mavericks return to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for another six-game home stand starting Wednesday against the Toledo Walleye.