When captain Rocco Carzo gave his Kansas City Mavericks a 1-0 lead at 8:05 in the first period, he felt like it was going to be a good night for his team in front of 3,541 fans at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
He was right as forward Michael Parks exploded for two goals and an assist in his Mavericks debut and forward Mitch Hults finished the night with three points on a goal and two assists in a 6-4 win over the previously undefeated Toledo Walleye.
“We came out and took that 3-0 lead, and it wasn’t just the 3-0 lead, we were playing physical hockey and we were putting the puck in the back of the net, which we’ve had trouble doing early in the season,” Carzo said after the Mavericks improved to 2-3-0-0.
“We’ve worked hard in practice this week and all that practice paid off tonight, and we were able to do it at home, which made it even better.”
Parks, who assisted Carzo’s goal, continued to put up stats early on in the second period, doubling the Mavs’ lead 3:18 into the second period. Hults and defenseman Derek Pratt assisted on the goal.
“It was big to take the early lead,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said, “and we kept attacking the net. And we did play a physical game. We kept pushing the puck and took time and space away from Toledo.”
The Mavericks extended their lead just over a minute later when defenseman John Furgele netted a goal on the power play. Forward Darian Dziurzynski and defenseman Terrance Amorosa picked up the assists on the goal.
Toledo (2-1-0-0) broke goaltender Nick Schneider’s shutout at the 5:22 mark of the second period on a power play goal from forward Abbott Girduckis.
The Walleye continued to climb back into the game at the 9:15 mark when Josh Kestner netted another power play goal.
Parks put the Mavericks back up by two goals with 37 seconds left in the second period, blasting home a one-timer from defenseman Justin Woods on the power play. Woods and forward Jack Walker earned assists.
Terrance Amorosa made it 5-2 at the 3:33 mark of the third period with a power play goal. Hults and Corey Durocher assisted on the goal.
Toledo stayed within striking distance, making it 5-3 on a goal from Troy Loggins.
Hults picked up the Mavs’ final goal late at the 15:36 mark of the third. Forward Ryan Van Stralen assisted on the goal.
The Walleye scored on a penalty shot with 46 seconds remaining in regulation to set the final score.
The Mavericks finished the night 3-for-6 on the power play and penalty kill. Both teams combined for six power play goals. Schneider finished with 17 saves on 21 shots.
The two teams face off again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“It’s good to go out and play again after a good performance like that,” Dickson said. “The guys will tell you it’s a lot better than practicing. We’re all looking forward to Saturday.”