The Kansas City Mavericks are in full swing for the upcoming season, and even though Monday consisted mainly of physicals, second-year head coach John-Scott Dickson liked what he saw when some players went out on their own to skate.
“It got a little physical out on the ice, and you like to see that fire, especially this early in camp,” Dickson said as he prepares for today’s first official practice at 10 a.m. “We have 22 on the roster right now and are expecting another goalie from Calgary. At the start of the season, we can carry 21, with 19 active players.
“After 30 days in, we cut that total down to 18 actives.”
While there were many new faces, familiar players included longtime fan favorite Rocco Carzo, who is entering his third season with the Mavericks, and defenseman Patch Alber, who played in Independence two seasons ago.
“It’s great to be back, to see so many familiar faces and just have that comfort zone as you enter camp,” Alber said. “I can’t wait for camp to start. I got all fired up with the spoke with JSD in the offseason and couldn’t wait to play for the Mavericks again.”
Carzo, who has become the face of the team following the retirement of Andrew Courtney, said this could be a special season.
“There is a lot of talent in this locker room,” Carzo said. “I’m excited to be back. This has become my second home and we were all disappointed we didn’t make the playoffs last season. This season, our goal isn’t just to make the playoffs, but to bring a championship to our fans.”
TRYOUTS: The Mavericks added Keegan Bruce and Lawrence Cornellier to the camp on tryout agreements.
Bruce, 25, wrapped up his collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point last season, posting career highs of 24 goals, 19 assists, 43 points and 43 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 170-pound forward got his first taste of post-college hockey with seven games with the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Fayetteville FireAntz, finishing with one assist.
Cornellier, 26, spent last season with the SPHL’s Columbus Cottonmouths, finishing with 51 points and 19 penalty minutes in 56 games. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward played college hockey at St. Scholastica College, finishing with career-highs of 15 goals, 19 assists and 34 points during his senior campaign.
SCRIMMAGE: The Black-Orange Game is 6 p.m. Wednesday at SEC Arena. The intrasquad game will feature two 15-minute periods with a running clock followed by a third period of regular timing and a shootout. Players will sign autographs after the game.
The Mavericks will then play exhibition games Friday (8:45 p.m.) and Saturday (5:30 p.m.) against the Allen Americans in Allen, Texas.
The regular season gets underway Oct. 13 at Tulsa. The first home game is Oct. 28 against Wichita.