An ECHL hockey game is 60 minutes long, but for all intents and purposes Saturday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, the Kansas City Mavericks lost to Kalamazoo at 7:12 of the first period.
That’s because Wings’ forward Josh Teves scored the first goal of the game.
When the Mavericks allow an opponent to score the first goal, they are a dismal 4-28-2-1 this season. When Kansas City scores the first goal, the hometown team is 19-2-1-0.
“Yeah, I know that, and it’s unbelievable,” Mavericks interim head coach Kohl Schultz said after the Wings soared to an 8-2 victory. “It’s something we need to fix.
“I don’t think our guys go into a game thinking, ‘If we score first we win, if we don’t we’re going to lose,’ but look at our record when an opponent scores first.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”
What made the goal more deflating was that the Mavericks had just killed a 49-second 5-on-3 advantage for the Wings and had not allowed a goal in two Kalamazoo power plays.
Yet seconds after that power play ended, Teves scored.
While Matt Schmalz and Ryan Galt scored goals for Kansas City, they were no match for the Wings as Justin Taylor finished with a hat trick. A four-goal second period was too much for Schultz as he replaced Tyler Parsons with Nick Schneider in goal.
“Mathematically we’re not out of the playoff race because the rest of our games are against Mountain Division opponents,” said Schultz, as the Mavericks are tied with Wichita for sixth place in the Mountain Division with 52 points. “But we sure have to play better than we did tonight.”
The Mavericks have three games against Mountain Division rivals this weekend. They face off against the Allen Americans at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Wichita at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 4:05 p.m. Sunday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
AMATEUR SIGNING: The Mavericks signed defenseman Kyle Meeh to an amateur tryout contract Friday.
Meeh, who is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, is a native of the St. Louis area and played collegiately at Saint Mary's University, an NCAA Division III school in Winona, Minnesota, where he had 31 goals and 36 assists in 99 games.
Saturday’s game was his first in the professional ranks.