CINCINNATI – With his Kansas City Mavericks in the depths of a six-game losing streak, coach John-Scott Dickson wants his players to ignore the outside noise and continue to play hard.
That was the message Wednesday night at the US Bank Arena, where the Cincinnati Cyclones used an early 2-0 lead to pave the way to a 5-2 win over the Mavericks.
The Mavericks fell to 0-5 on their current eight-game road trip, which continues Friday night against the Toledo Walleye at Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
“I told the guys to keep playing hard, that was the message, and to shut out the outside noise – to not pay any attention to what anyone is saying negatively and to never point an accusing finger at a teammate,” Dickson said by phone after the Mavericks fell to 32-29-3-2.
With six games left this season, the Mavericks have 69 points and hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s Mountain Division. Rapid City defeated Idaho 5-3 to cut the Mavericks’ lead to five points, but the Mavericks have a game in hand on the Rush.
“We have to concentrate on what we need to do to make the playoffs,” Dickson said. “We got off to a slow start tonight, but played a good second period.
“Then they scored a power-play goal in the third and go from there. We need to get a win on the road.”
Cyclones forward Pascal Aquin scored the opening goal at 6:27 of the first period, while Jesse Schultz doubled it two minutes later.
Cincinnati appeared to extend its lead to 3-0 at the 18:35 mark of the period, but the referee declared goaltender interference against Kansas City’s Mason McDonald.
The Cyclones, who have the best record in the league at 48-12-4-3 (103 points) and lead the Central Division, outshot the Mavericks 15-3 in the period and took that 2-0 lead into the second.
The Cyclones extended their lead to 3-0 on an Arvin Atwal goal 8:48 into the second. The Mavericks quickly responded, though, as Joey Sides made it a 3-1 game just 1:14 later. Cincinnati native Greg Betzold was given an assist on the goal.
Kansas City cut the Cyclones’ lead to one with 2:43 left in the second period on a goal from David Dziurzynski. Betzold was once again credited with the assist, giving him 27 for the season (51 points).
The Mavericks outshot Cincinnati 14-7 in the second period.
Cincinnati made it 4-2 just 3:15 into the third period on a power-play goal from Vasili Glotov. The Cyclones regained their three-goal lead when Brady Vail found the back of the net one minute, 32 seconds later.
Mavericks forward Mike Panowyk added his 10th goal of the season with 0.4 of a second left on an assist from defenseman Riley Sweeney.