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Three Observations: Mavericks 2, Cyclones 5

CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Kansas City Mavericks dropped the first game of their three-game stint in the Buckeye State by a 5-2 final score against Cincinnati.

Here are three observations from the game:

Fast Start, Slow Finish
The Mavericks got exactly the start that they needed while trying to put last weekend's results in the past, jumping on top of Cincinnati with two goals in the opening 10 minutes of play as Jordan Kwas and Shawn Pauly both found the back of the net. It was all Cincinnati from there, the Cyclones scoring five unanswered goals for the victory. The Mavs will now head to Toledo to begin a two-game set against the Central Division-leading Walleye. 

When It Rains, It Pours
The Mavs began the new year with seven wins in their first 10 games but have sputtered since the calendar flipped to February, losing their third-straight against Cincinnati in the final game of the series between the teams this season. The team will have no time to feel sorry for itself as the puck drops in less than 24 hours in Toledo against a game Walleye squad that will be looking to even the score after the Mavericks took two of three against them in January. While Kansas City rides a three-game losing streak into the brief series, a win on Friday would provide a big boost for a Mavericks locker room that hasn't seen things go their way in a few weeks.

Uphill Climb
The Mavericks dug themselves a hole in the standings a year ago before rallying to finishing within four points of the playoffs. While they're within a point of playoff position right now, both teams tied for third - Kalamazoo and Cincinnati - have three games in hand on the Mavericks. The Kansas City squad has the leaders in place to overcome a deficit in points, especially coming in early February, but they have their work cut out for them for the remainder of the season. The remaining schedule does no favors for the Mavericks either, as Kansas City does not have any remaining games against the teams they're chasing for one of the final two playoff spots in the Central Division.

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