CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Kansas City Mavericks topped the Cincinnati Cyclones by a 3-2 final score Friday night at U.S. Bank Arena.
Here are three observations from the win:
Early Storm Enough Against the Cyclones
The Mavericks wasted no time claiming the upper hand in the game, finding the back of the net three times in the game's first seven minutes to take a commanding lead in Friday's game. ECHL All-Star Matt Robertson got the scoring started just 1:11 into the game, and Eric Freschi's fifth of the year and Kayle Doetzel's third added up to an insurmountable lead to the Cyclones, who came into the game with a strong 11-4-1-0 record on home ice. Kansas City then staved off a furious comeback attempt from the Cyclones in the third, halting the comeback attempt at two goals.
Another Key Divisional Win
The victory was the second critical divisional win in the standings in the last three games for the Mavericks. First Kansas City topped Kalamazoo to keep distance between the Mavs and Wings for fourth in the division and now tonight's win pushes the Mavericks into a tie for third and just a point back of second-place Fort Wayne. The victory came against one of the hottest teams in the ECHL as Cincinnati entered the contest with an 8-2 record in its last 10 games played, including a now-defunct three-game win streak.
Nell Wins KC Debut
Netminder Chris Nell joined the Mavericks last week on loan from the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, joining the team with a pedestrian 1-3-0-0 record. He was strong in this game, turning away 24 of 26 shots faced while taking a shutout into the final period of play and coming up with big saves down the stretch to preserve the lead. Nell's play in this game did not allow him to find his way onto the Three Stars though he was more than worthy after his showcase in his debut with the Mavs.
The Mavericks take on the Central Division-leading Toledo Walleye Saturday night in Toledo and will then host the Walleye in a triple-header next weekend at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
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