The Kansas City Mavericks kicked off their 10th season with a bang, starting the season with the franchise’s best start in club history as the now decade-old franchise finished the year 36-30-4-2 in fourth place in the ECHL’s Mountain Division. The Mavericks 9-1-1 start in the 2018-19 season’s first 10 games set the tone for a memorable season that ended with the Mavs first postseason appearance since the 2016 ECHL Playoffs. In Head Coach John-Scott Dickson’s third season, the Mavericks fought their way into the fourth and final playoff spot in the division, holding off late-season pushes by rivals the Wichita Thunder and Rapid City Rush in the final weeks of the season.
The Mavericks also had many memorable moments off the ice, raising over $180,000 at their Dinner On Ice function benefitting The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City. On December 1st, the Mavericks hosted their annual Teddy Bear Toss, where the Mavericks and their fans donated over 4,600 stuffed animals to local children’s charities after Jordan Ernst scored the first goal of the game against the Tulsa Oilers. The 4,624 animals collected set a new Teddy Bear Toss record as the Mavericks donated each of them to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department, Friends of Special People, Shadow Buddies Foundation, Bags of Fun Kansas City, Community Services League.
Individual performances and accomplishments highlighted the Mavericks 10th season. Coach Dickson got his 100th career victory against the Fort Wayne Komets in a dominant 5-2 victory on March 30th. The victory also clinched the seventh postseason berth in Mavericks franchise history.
Forward Jared VanWormer was selected as the Mavericks all star in the 2019 ECHL All-Star Game. VanWormer racked up four points on three goals and an assist for the Western Conference in the three-on-three tournament and participated in the hardest shot competition.
Mavericks forward Greg Betzold took home multiple league honors during the 2018-19 ECHL season. First, he was named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for March 4-10, notching nine points in three games, featuring a four goal, one assist performance against the Allen Americans on March 6th. Betzold’s tear through the ECHL continued all the way through March, as he compiled 24 points in one month on eight goals and 16 assists, giving him CCM ECHL Player of the Month honors for March.
Goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Mason McDonald turned in a stellar season between the pipes for Kansas City, tying for the league lead in shutouts with four and finishing in the top 10 in goals against average, save percentage and wins. McDonald was also voted by his teammates as the Mavericks Most Valuable Player at the team’s annual Mac Awards.
The franchise celebrated accomplishments off the ice as well. The 10th Annual Mac Awards honored individuals involved with the organization whose conduct exemplified the spirit of “Being a Maverick.” Mavericks Assistant Coach Kyle Hood was given the Maverick of the Year award for his involvement with the youth hockey community, as he regularly traveled to youth practices around the KC metro, giving valuable insight to players and coaches and growing hockey in the community at a grassroots level. The James McGinnis Spirit Award was given to Mavericks 10-year off-ice officials Dennis King and Rick Hansen, after being struck with pneumonia in January, King was still able to manage the off-ice officials crew from the hospital and corresponded with Hansen to make sure the Mavericks stat-keeping process remained seamless. The Mavericks awarded play-by-play broadcaster Bob Rennison with a lifetime achievement award in his 10th year as the “Voice of the Mavericks.”
The Mavericks marched into the postseason with momentum on their side, finishing the regular season with a 4-0-1 record in their final five games, leading into an classic playoff series against long-time rival, the Tulsa Oilers. The playoff series went seven games, with the Mavericks winning the first game of the series in stunning fashion on a late goal by Jared VanWormer, but the first place Oilers outlasted the Mavericks and eliminated Kansas City in Game Seven. It was just the third Game Seven in franchise history. Mavericks forwards Mark Cooper, Jared VanWomer and Corey Durocher shined in the series, with both Cooper and VanWormer grabbing eight points on four goals and four assists in the series. VanWormer was clutch all series, scoring two game-winning goals. Durocher led all Mavs with five goals in the series.
The Mavericks will continue to play at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for the foreseeable future, signing a six-year lease with the building, extending their run in Eastern Jackson County well into the next decade. Building improvements in the offseason will include brand new giant endzone scoreboards, enhancements to the loge level and other upgrades.
For more information on the Kansas City Mavericks this offseason, stay tuned to Mavs social media and kcmavericks.com.