INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The ECHL is gearing up for opening night, and the Kansas City Mavericks have been working hard at training camp. There’s a lot of new talent on the ice for the Mavericks so let’s look at what you can expect from this team.
Initial Schedule (Home Games in BOLD):
Friday, December 11, 2020 at Indy Fuel
Friday, December 18, 2020 vs. Indy Fuel (Home Opener)
Saturday, December 26, 2020 vs. Wichita Thunder
Thursday, December 31, 2020 vs. Tulsa Oilers (New Year’s Eve)
Saturday, January 2, 2021 vs. Tulsa Oilers
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 vs. Wichita Thunder
Friday, January 8, 2021 at Wichita Thunder
Saturday, January 9, 2021 at Wichita Thunder
Sunday, January 10, 2021 at Wichita Thunder
Head Coach: Tad O’Had – This is his first season with the Mavericks, coming over from the Florida Everblades where in 494 regular-season games and 67 playoff games, he had a .699winning percentage and made the playoffs in six of those seasons.
Captain: Not yet named
Last Season: 24-32-4, Last in the Mountain Division
2019-20 Season Summary – The 2019-20 campaign was a struggle for this team. They hit the holiday break with an 11-15-2-0 record and just 24 points. A large roster turnover wasn’t enough to put them in serious playoff contention. Head Coach John-Scott Dickson was relieved of his duties on January 30, 2020, and Kohl Schultz was named interim Head Coach. Dickson’s season ended with an 18-22-2-1 record. Schultz earned a 6-10-2-0 record before the season was cut short.
Hot or Not?
The Mavericks worked hard through the extended offseason to rebuild this team, adding talent throughout the lineup. O’Had brings winning energy and solid experience that gives me high hopes for success. Veteran forwards Anthony Collins, Lane Scheidl, and Rob Bordson will provide strong leadership that will help shape this team over the coming year. The defensive line looks strong with Zach Osburn and Justin Woods signing for another season. The addition of Andrew Shortridge, Justin Kapelmaster, and Taran Kozun gives the team three solid goalies to choose from.
- C.J.Eick (F) – An alternate captain last season, Eick has 48 points on 21 goals and 27 assists in 130 career games with the Mavericks.
- Bryan Lemos (F) – put up 31 points on 14 goals and 17 assists in 55 games
- Marcus Crawford (D) – accumulated 6 points on 3 goals and 3 assists and a minus -18 rating in 17 games with the Mavericks
- Giorgio Estephan (F) – boasts 136 points on 56 goals and 40 assists in 159 games played over the last two seasons with the Newfoundland Growlers
- Willie Corrin (D) – totaled 47 points on nine goals and 38 assists, and 136 penalty minutes with HKM Zvolen last season
- Andrew Shortridge (G) – Assigned to the Mavericks from the Stockton Heat, Shortridge finished last season with the Allen Americans with a .915 save percentage, 2.81 goals against average and two shutouts.
What to Watch For?
NHL/AHL Talent – With all the questions leading into the 2020-21 season, NHL and AHL are assigning a lot of talent to their ECHL affiliates. So far, the Mavericks have gotten only one player assigned from the Stockton Heat. Look for more assignments from both the Heat and the Calgary Flames.
Slow start – With so many new names on the roster, they could take some time to warm up, but I expect them to become strong contenders.
Chrystal Shannon covers the Kansas City Mavericks for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with her @SinBinMavs.
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