Beyond The Benches

Missouri Mavericks Look To Rebound

It’s been three months since the Missouri Mavericks suffered the worst upset in the history of the Central Hockey League when they became the first top seed to drop an opening playoff match-up to an eight seed. No matter what level of competition, playoff hockey is notorious for yielding unexpected outcomes and the Mavericks suffered the harsh truth of this reality.

However, what transpired in the Mavericks first round series against the Arizona Sundogs should not negate all the accomplishments Missouri earned over what truly was a historic season for the franchise. In their fifth season of competition, the Mavericks dominated the regular season en route to their first governors cup. A large part of the Mavericks success is in large part due to a record breaking performance from forward Andrew Courtney. Courtney was able to set the single season franchise record for goals scored at 34.

The Mavericks offseason got off to a dubious start when on May 21 the franchise announced the resignation of head coach Scott Hillman. Hillman had been the coach of the Mavericks since the inception of the franchise back in 2009. However, exactly three weeks later Missouri introduced new head coach Richard Matvichuk to the franchise with high hopes.

The first thing that comes to mind in regards to Matvichuk is the championship pedigree he brings to the franchise as both a player and a manger. Matvichuk won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars back in 1999 and has been the defensive coach and assistant general manager for the two time defending CHL champion Allen Americans.

Along with finding a new coach, the Mavericks followed suit with many other team in the CHL by trying to preserve the core of their team to the best of their ability. Record breaker and goal scorer Andrew Courtney has been brought back into the fold as well as prolific passer and point producer Sebastien Thinel.

The Mavericks have also gone out and acquired talent with the hopes of pushing their roster over the top in terms of talent. Two players, Colin Circelli and Dallas Ehrhardt, have been signed to standard player contract for the upcoming season. Ehrhardt is coming off spending time with a championship winning Allen Americans organization.

Even though Missouri has yet to hoist their first Presidents Cup, the franchise has consistently demonstrated a commitment to winning throughout the brief history of their franchise, and those efforts received proper recognition at the CHL’s annual summer conference in Arizona. The Mavericks received several media and communications related awards, however the one that stood out the most was being awarded Franchise of the Year.

The Mavericks have been on the cusp of competing for a championship for more than a few years now. It should be no surprise that bringing in players and coaches with championship pedigree has been a top priority. Missouri is ready to win a championship, and anything but that might be a disappointment for next year’s team.



Staff writer: Michael Memmolo is a passionate hockey fan who loves to share thoughts & opinions regarding everything having to do with the sport; especially when it has to do with the Boston Bruins. Mike lives in Chelsea, Massachusetts, with his fiance Julie and their dog Graham.  He can be reached on Twitter @btownpucks.

(Photo Credit: Missouri Mavericks via Twitter)