WICHITA, Kan. – While things didn’t go as coach John-Scott Dickson and captain Rocco Carzo planned Saturday in Wichita, where the Thunder handed the Mavericks just their second shutout loss of the season, they’re hoping the team’s success against the top-ranked teams in each division will continue today and Wednesday in Newfoundland.
“We go out and play to win every game,” Carzo said, “but we’re realistic and know we can’t win every game, so we have to rebound and head up to Canada to face the best team in the league last season.”
Following that 4-0 loss at Intrust Bank Arena, the Mavericks hit the road to play the defending Kelly Cup Champions Newfoundland Growlers (27-10-0-0).
The Mavericks are 3-1-0-0 in the calendar year of 2020 and had won six of seven games before Saturday’s loss.
“We’re off to a good start this year, and that means we’re just going to keep working hard to keep that success and those wins coming,” added the captain. “The key to success is working hard and playing our style of hockey,”
The Mavericks are 7-2-0-0 against first-place teams this season with wins coming against the Toledo Walleye, Cincinnati Cyclones, Allen Americans, Rapid City Rush and Fort Wayne Komets. At the time of the wins, all of those teams sat atop their respective divisions.
“We’ve had a lot of success on the road recently and we hope it continues in Newfoundland,” Dickson said. “If we keep playing our style of hockey – gritty, greasy hockey where we just do our best to outplay our opponent, we’re going to be OK.
“We just want to be in the (playoff) hunt and continue playing like we have been. If we do that, everything will take care of itself.”
The 17-17-2-0 Mavericks (36 points) are in sixth place in the Mountain Division, seven points behind Rapid City and Wichita, who are tied for fourth with 43 points.
Saturday night in Wichita, Chris Crane opened the scoring just 3:18 into regulation. Beau Starrett doubled the Thunder lead at the 6:30 mark.
Wichita’s Shaq Merasty netted the Thunder’s third goal of the game at 6:18 of the second. Ostap Safin’s goal resulted in the final score.
The Mavericks were held to a season-low with 16 shots. It was the second time the Mavericks were shut out this season and the first time they were shutout on the road.
Kansas City’s Nick Schneider stopped 21 of 25 shots.
MAVERICKS 5, OILERS 1: Before Friday night’s ECHL Mountain Division showdown with Tulsa, coach Dickson was visiting with broadcaster Bob Rennison.
“I was talking with Bob about the confidence the guys have right now – and, like I said, it was before the game,” Dickson said. “You could just see the confidence. I’ve seen it all week at practice, and I saw it tonight, too. Then, our guys go and play with a lot of confidence. Not cockiness – we certainly don’t have anything to be cocky about – but a confidence that has played a big role in our recent success.”
Mavericks defenseman Terrance Amorosa finished the night with three points on a goal and two assists, and captain Rocco Carzo netted two goals in the Mavs’ fourth straight win.
Goaltender Tyler Parsons was red hot in the net, stopping 36 of 37 shots.
Tulsa grabbed a 1-0 lead 2:39 into the contest on a power play goal from Adam Pleskach.
But Carzo tied the game at the 6-minute mark of the opening period. Amorosa and Tad Kozun assisted on the goal.
Amorosa notched his second point of the evening with a goal with 1:14 left in the first. Kevin McKernan and David Dziurzynski assisted on the goal.
“It was big to come back and tie the game then take the lead at their place,” Dickson said.
David Dziurzynski tipped home a Cliff Watson shot from the point by Derek Pratt to double the Mavs lead to 3-1 at the 1:45 mark of the second period. Derek Pratt also earned an assist on the goal.
Rookie forward Bryan Lemos pushed the lead to 4-1 at 3:55 of the period on assists from Ryan Van Stralen and Amorosa.
Carzo added another goal to make it 5-1 with 9:19 remaining. Neal Goff and Darian Dziurzynski assisted on the goal.