The captain doesn’t know what to do.
The coach is looking for answers.
The mood was grim outside of the Kansas City Mavericks locker room following Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Utah Grizzlies at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
“Look, I’m including myself in everything I tell you tonight,” Mavericks captain Rocco Carzo said, “and it all starts with me and the guys in that locker room. I need to do a better job, the guys on the team need to do a better job.
“We have too much talent to be playing the way we’re playing. We should have won three games on the road (they were 1-2 on a recent Florida road swing) but we only won one (in overtime, with Carzo scoring the winning goal).”
It didn’t get any better Saturday with a 5-2 loss to the Tulsa Oilers at SEC Arena.
“I hate to lose more than I enjoy winning. And we need other guys who hate to lose – and we don’t have enough of them,” Carzo added Friday. “It’s frustrating and it’s getting late in the season – we’re a third of the way through.
“We should be done saying it’s going to come together. When? It needs to come together tomorrow (at home against Tulsa).”
Coach John-Scott Dickson was equally frustrated as he pointed out the same mistakes he has been mentioning much of this 11-16-2-0 season that finds the Mavericks back in the ECHL Mountain Division cellar.
“We came out soft – soft!” Dickson said. “Playing at home after losing two of three on the road and we come out soft.
“We have guys, veteran guys, who are not paying attention to detail. Yeah, we were on the road three games – big deal. No more excuses. This is going to change. We’re going to find guys who want to play Mavericks hockey.”
Grizzlies forward Tim McGauley had four points on the night with two goals and two assists. Utah led 2-0 after one period.
Mavs defenseman Justin Woods scored the lone goal for Kansas City in the second period and Utah padded its lead to 4-1 in the third.
Mavericks goalie Nick Schneider finished the night with 21 saves on 25 shots. The Mavericks went two-for-two on the penalty kill and zero-for-two on the power play.
On the next night against Tulsa, Kansas City fell into another 2-0 hole in the first period. Mitch Hults scored at 7:11 of the second period to pull the Mavericks back within a goal, but Tulsa responded with a breakaway goal 29 seconds later and another later in the period. Rookie forward Bryan Lemos scored on a power play in the third period for the Mavericks’ other goal.
Lemos had a multipoint game with a goal and an assist and Terrance Amorosa notched his sixth point in the last four games with an assist.
The Mavericks now head to the ECHL holiday break and won’t play again until they travel to Cincinnati on Friday. Their next home game will be against the Wichita Thunder at 7:05 p.m. Dec, 31. The New Year’s Eve game is a First Watch Family Four-Pack night.