It's good to be king.
It's good to be king.
Just ask Missouri Mavericks captain and CHL legend Sebastien Thinel.
He collected two assists in Friday night's 3-2 must-win victory over Bloomington before another sold-out crowd at the Independence Events Center.
In doing so, he became just the sixth player in the history of the league to record 800 points.
“He is the king,” said a grinning coach Scott Hillman, who played with Thinel at Odessa before coming to Independence to coach the expansion Mavericks. “He is the best, the most talented player I have played with – or against.
“I've seen about 400 of his 800 points. Nothing he does surprises me anymore.”
Rookie forward Kellan Tochkin, who won the CHL Player of the Week Award last week while playing on the same line with Thinel said, “Sebastien knows what you are going to do before you even know.
“If you play on his line, you're going to score a lot of goals.”
Thinel assisted on Colt King's first goal of the game Friday night and then assisted, along with John-Scott Dickson, on Riley Emmerson's game-winner.
“It's nice to be a part of history,” Dickson said. “He's thinking so far ahead of everyone else out there. If you're on Sebbie's line, and you're open, he is going to get you the puck.”
With a Mavericks lineup that is missing forwards Kenton Miller, Ryan Jardine and Andrew Courtney, Emmerson went up to Hillman before the game and jokingly told the coach, “If one has to ricochet off my face, I'm going to score a goal for you tonight.”
Luckily for Emmerson, Thinel's shot ricocheted off another part of his body.
“It went in off my knee,” said the grinning 6-foot-8 man mountain. “Now, I can tell everyone that I scored on Sebastien Thinel's 800th career point. I'm not going to let him forget it.”
One of the most personable players on the Mavericks, Emmerson then fawned over Thinel as he discussed his big night.
“It's nice to get No. 800 on the game-winner,” Thinel said as Emmerson looked on with the same glow a 9-year-old girl might have in the presence of Justin Bieber. “I would not be happy if it would have come in a loss.
“At least we won, now I can enjoy it.”
Moments after getting his 800th career point, Thinel was hooked from behind on a power-play opportunity and was given a penalty shot against Blaze goalie Pier-Olivier Pelletier.
“I had two power-play goals against him last year and I know him pretty well,” Thinel said, “so I felt like I could score. He stopped my shot, then they put me in the penalty box (for slashing during the hooking incident) and all I can think is, 'They better not score with me in the box.'”
Page 2 of 2 - The Mavericks power-play until held on and Thinel was able to enjoy his big night after all.
Over the past 30 years at The Examiner, I have witnessed the incomparable Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer George Brett, NFL legend Joe Montana and a kid named Danny Manning who led a group of Kansas underclassmen to the 1988 NCAA championship.
I can now mention Thinel in the same breath as those athletes who have the rare ability to make everyone else they play with that much better.
Thinel leads the CHL in scoring with 71 points. He also leads with 50 assists and not one of his teammates rank among the top-25 scorers, so you can see what he means to the entire team.
“If we want a line or player to get hot, we team him with Sebbie,” Hillman said. “And it always works.”