Strong start has Mavericks on top of league


After missing the playoffs in their first ECHL season a year ago, the Missouri Mavericks have soared to the top of the league standings through the first month of the 2015-16 season. Missouri has won eight straight games and has a league-best 13-2-1 record. The Mavericks’ 27 points are three ahead of Allen and Florida for the most in the ECHL.

The Mavericks went 3-0-0 last week, beginning with a 4-1 win over Allen on Tuesday. Kane Lafranchise (1g-1a), Tanner Fritz (1g-1a), Scott Allen (1g-1a) and Colin Markison (2a) all had mutli-point efforts in the win while Josh Robinson turned aside 17 of the 18 shots he faced to record the victory in goal.

Missouri went on the road on Friday and came away with a 5-4 overtime win at Tulsa. Tyler Barnes led the way for Missouri with three points (1g-2a) while Sebastien Sylvestre (2g), Kellen Jones (1g-1a), Andrew Courtney (2a) and Jesse Root (2a) all chipped in with two points each. Rocco Carzo delivered the game-winning goal 2:37 into the extra session.

The Mavericks ended the week with a 5-2 victory at Wichita on Saturday. Root scored a pair of goals and added an assist with Carzo adding a pair of assists and Barnes notching a goal and an assist. Parker Milner picked up the win in goal with 24 saves on 26 shots.

Barnes, the 2014-15 ECHL Rookie of the Year with Toledo, has picked up where he left off last season, ranking third in the league with 19 points (8g-11a) while Root is third in the ECHL with nine goals and tied for fourth with 18 points.

The Mavericks boast a strong one-two punch in goal as Milner and Robinson have combined to allow a league-low 1.75 goals-against per game. Milner ranks second in the league with a 1.57 goals-against average and is third with a .938 save percentage while Robinson is third with a 1.64 goals-against average and sixth with a .932 save percentage.

Missouri, which is 4-0-0 at home this season, is home for three games this week, hosting Quad City on Wednesday and Indy on Friday and Saturday.