When he wasn’t serving hot dogs and chips to the more than 500 Missouri Mavericks fans who attended the team's first Summer Games and Tailgate Party Saturday afternoon at the Independence Events Center, first-year coach Richard Matvichuk was talking about the latest trio of players to join the CHL team’s roster.
The Mavericks announced they have re-signed defenseman Dave Pszenyczny and left wing Evan Vossen to standard player contracts, in addition to signing forward Ben Power to the 2014-15 roster.
Pszenyczny, who has 30 goals, 55 assists and 385 penalty minutes through 177 games with the Mavs, returns for a fourth-consecutive season.
“Pszenyczny is an agitator, a guy other team’s top skaters hate to play against,” Matvichuk said of the veteran, who tallied 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) and a team-high 166 penalty minutes last season. “It’s a real bonus to have him back in the locker room, and I look forward to using him as a shut-down defenseman. We just have to find a way to keep him out of the penalty box; he’s too valuable to our team out on the ice.”
Vossen, who attended the event and mingled with fans after he signed, has spent the past two seasons with the Mavericks, contributing 25 goals, 25 assists and 115 penalty minutes, including 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) and plus-14 rating last year.
“Vossen is a guy who plays under the radar,” the coach said. “You don’t win championships without guys like Evan Vossen. He does anything you ask and he is a big name in this community.
“He is also a top-line centerman with skill that will be able to take him to the next level. When you see that the Mavericks ranked near the top in penalty kills, you look to a guy like Vossen. He is going to be a key player on the penalty kill for us. He can shut down the top players on another team.”
Vossen is excited about returning to the team and likes the energy Matvichuk has brought to the offseason.
“There’s a different atmosphere with the team now that Coach Matvichuk is here,” Vossen said. “You can see how excited the fans who attended today’s event are and the players feel the same way. We can’t wait for the season to start.”
Power, a right wing, is a native of Montreal who spent four years at Lake Superior State University before playing for the Knoxville Ice Bears (SPHL), the Allen Americans and the Rapid City Rush last season.
Power has played just 56 professional games yet has 44 points (with 20 goals, 24 assists). He had a goal and assist against the Mavericks last season while playing with Allen.
“Power is a talented young forward who I worked with briefly while in Allen,” Matvichuk said. “He scored six goals in only 11 games, and is capable of being a dangerous addition the Mavericks lineup this season.
“I think the fans are really going to like this kid.”