Scott Hillman could manage a chuckle as he talked about an “interesting” 25-hour bus ride for his Missouri Mavericks from Independence to Prescott Valley, Ariz., the home of the Arizona Sundogs.
“Well, a 20-hour trip – that began at 3 p.m. Wednesday, turned into a 25-hour trip thanks to an electrical problem on the bus 14 miles out of Prescott,” the coach said by phone late Thursday night. “They sent another bus, but I guess they got the problem fixed. Anyway, we were able to finally arrive in Arizona and get ready for two big games against the Sundogs.”
Many Mavericks players posted humorous photos of the vehicles that came to the team’s rescue.
“Life in the CHL,” quipped Hillman. “It’s not always glamorous, but it’s always interesting.”
Hillman said Shane Owen, who won a 3-2 shootout last Saturday in the season opener at St. Charles, Mo., will be in the net tonight when the Mavericks take on the Sundogs at 9:05 p.m. The coach said he will make a decision on Saturday’s goalie sometime after the Friday night game.
The coach also had some interesting news for Mavericks fans.
“I can’t say anything tonight,” Hillman said, “but we’re going to have some surprising news, some big news about the team. We can’t let the word out because we have some things to take care of, but our fans are going to be surprised, and we think our team is going to be stronger.”
Look at The Examiner’s website late Friday and Saturday’s Examiner to see the news.
CHL HALL OF FAME: The CHL announced Thursday that the Central Hockey League Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be honored at the Tulsa Oilers/Allen Americans game at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Inductees Brad Lund, Doug Lawrence, Hardy Sauter, Doug Sauter and Tom Berry will attend.
Lund was the architect of one of the most successful hockey franchises in minor professional history, the Oklahoma City Blazers. Lund was honored as the CHL Executive of the Year four times and three times the Blazers were named the Franchise of the Year. After his time with the Blazers, Lund was instrumental in setting up the business structure of the Missouri Mavericks who were named the CHL Franchise of the Year the past three seasons.
Lawrence is one of the most decorated forwards in the history of the league and is one of the most recognizable players during the 1990’s and beyond. His 875 career points rank fourth on the league’s all-time points list and his 684 assists and 2,109 penalty minutes are the most in each category in the history of the CHL.
Hardy Sauter, the nephew of Doug Sauter, is arguably the best defenseman to ever play in the CHL. The Maryfield, Saskatchewan native has appeared in more all-star games than any other player (8) missing only once in his nine-year career.
Doug Sauter is the first coach inducted into the Central Hockey League Hall of Fame. The league’s all-time leader in wins (544) and games coached (918), the Fairlight, Saskatchewan native posted an all-time CHL record of 544-291-83.
Berry is currently the commissioner emeritus of the CHL and for a half-century has had an impact in the hockey world. In 2010, one of the two CHL conferences was named after him, the Berry Conference, and today the lone CHL conference carries his name.