The Kansas City Mavericks weren’t the only winners on the ice Saturday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, where they dominated the Fort Wayne Komets 5-1.
Following David Dziurzynski’s first-period goal, more than 4,500 teddy bears were tossed onto the ice as it was Teddy Bear Toss night, with all the plush toys being taken to area hospitals and charities to be distributed over the holiday season.
“It’s one of my favorite games of the year,” team president and general manager Brent Thiessen said, as the bears covered the arena ice. “I think it’s one of our fans’ favorite nights, too. Those bears are going to make a lot of little kids happy over the holidays.”
The win helped the Mavericks improve to 10-9-2-0 and move into fifth place in the ECHL's Mountain Division, and maintained that spot despite falling 4-1 to the Wichita Thunder Sunday at Wichita to drop to 10-10-2-0.
“We didn’t get off to the start we wanted, but we’re playing good hockey right now,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said. “We have two of the best young goalies in the league, and tonight and Friday (a 4-1 win over Wichita) we played 60 solid minutes of hockey, and that’s what you have to do to be successful in this league.”
Dziurzynski scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to send the bears flying at the 5:53 mark of the first period.
The Mavericks doubled their lead at the 11:42 mark of the first on a goal from captain Rocco Carzo. Defensemen Cliff Watson and Justin Woods earned assists on the goal.
Fort Wayne cut the Mavs lead in half with 4:08 left in the first period on a goal from Shawn St. Amant.
Michael Parks extended the lead back to two goals at 8:08 of the second period on an assist from Tad Kozun.
The Mavericks made it 4-1 on a dazzling individual effort from forward Loren Ulett on an end-to-end unassisted goal at the 3:57 mark of the third period.
Rookie forward Ryan Galt capped off the night with another shorthanded goal at the 15:55 mark of the third period. Kozun collected his second assist of the night on the goal.
In his last two starts, Mavericks goaltender and Stockton assignment Tyler Parsons has stopped 56 of 58 shots for a .965 save percentage and now holds a .931 save percentage and is 3-1.
MAVS FALL SUNDAY: The Mavericks saw their four-game winning streak come to an end Sunday with the 4-1 loss at Wichita.
“It was our third game in three nights with the game on the road, and we’re not using that as an excuse, but we didn’t play as well as we had in the three previous games,” Dickson said.
“Every team plays three in three – it’s part of hockey – so we gave the guys Monday off, except for some guys who needed treatment, and we’re ready to go Tuesday.”
After a scorless first period, Fabrizio Ricci and Stefan Fournier scored just 1 minute, 24 seconds apart early in the second period to put Wichita ahead. Billy Exell made it 3-0 at the 11:24 mark.
Zach Osburn scored off assists from Kozen and Ryan Van Stralen to make it 3-1 at the 16:41 mark of the third period, but Patrik Parkkonen scored an empty-netter just 1:05 later to seal the win for the Thunder.
The Indy Fuel visit SEC Arena at 7:05 tonight.