By Bill Althaus
It was business as usual for Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman and his team Wednesday at the Independence Events Center.
“All the boys made it to practice today and it looks like the weather is going to allow us to travel to Wichita on Friday,” Hillman said after the snowstorm that hit Eastern Jackson County forced the postponement of Tuesday night's home game against the Allen Americans to Feb. 25.
Allen, Rapid City and the Mavericks are all tied for first place in the Central Hockey League with 54 points.
“The boys were excited to get back on the ice and disappointed in the postponement Tuesday night,” the coach said, “but it was the right move. With all that snow, it would have been too dangerous to attempt to travel and play that game.”
The Mavericks made two roster moves Wednesday, signing veteran defenseman Jeff Buvinow and waiving defenseman Dean Moore.
The moves bring the Mavs' healthy roster to 17, with defenseman Henrik Ødegaard on personal leave to play for Norway in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and newly signed defenseman Evan Zych and forward John-Scott Dickson on injured reserve.
“It was a move we needed to make,” Hillman said. “We weren't ready to enter the next week of play with three of our six defenseman first-year players. And we just added two of those players, so we needed to get someone on the roster like Jeff.”
Buvinow, a native of Turnersville, N.J., spent four years at Brown University and went on to play for the Trenton Titans (ECHL), Tulsa Oilers (CHL) and, most recently, the Arizona Sundogs (CHL) earlier this season.
“We saw Jeff a ton last season when he was with Tulsa,” Hillman said. “He's calm with the puck, evasive and he can handle playing against a big physical team. And we have Wichita coming up Friday and then we're home against Allen on Saturday and he will be a big addition.
“He's also a player we can plug into our second power-play unit that has been struggling of late. He's a nice addition to our team and he comes at a good time.”
The Mavericks have also waived goaltender Bobby Andrews, who was signed to a five-game try-out contract last week. Goaltender Erno Suomalainen, who suffered an upper body injury last week, remains on the active roster.