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Examiner
  • Mavericks goalie Rob Nolan named CHL All-Star

  • Scott Hillman is going to have some company Jan. 12, when he coaches the Central Hockey League All-Stars against the defending league champion Rapid City Rush at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena in Rapid City, S.D.

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  • Scott Hillman is going to have some company Jan. 12, when he coaches the Central Hockey League All-Stars against the defending league champion Rapid City Rush at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena in Rapid City, S.D.
    The Missouri Mavericks coach learned Wednesday that goaltender Rob Nolan was named as a reserve to the elite team.
    “It’s a shame the voting took place when it did,” Hillman said, “because if it would have been a week later I’m sure Robby would be starting.”
    Nolan is 12-4-3 and leads the CHL with a 1.96 goals against average. The first-place Mavericks are 17-8-3 and lead Rapid City in the Turner Conference by three points (37-34).
    “No one in the league deserves a spot on the all-star team more than Robby. He has been outstanding. The boys have so much confidence when he’s in the net.”
    Nolan said the news caught him by surprise.
    “Totally surprised, never saw it coming,” Nolan said Wednesday, a day after he helped the Mavericks claim back-to-back road wins (2-0 at Wichita and 2-1 at Tulsa) to remain atop the conference.
    “Back in camp, with the three goalies, we were all just fighting for a job. I never, ever, ever imagined being an all-star. I actually just found out about it so I have to call mom and dad.”
    Nolan said his parents and many other relatives are flying to Independence this weekend from Edmonton, for home games Friday and Saturday nights against Colorado and Quad City, respectively.
    “Family’s coming, I made the all-star team, we’re in first place, things couldn’t be better,” the personable Nolan said.
    “But this is a team honor, not an individual honor. I can’t thank the guys enough for playing so well to help me make the team. The way they block shots, the way they play on the penalty kill – those are the things that aren’t glamorous, but they are necessary to win games.
    “And by all the guys working hard, we’re really on a roll and can’t wait for the weekend to play Colorado on Friday and Quad City Saturday.”
    Tickets are available for each game.
    FANS CAN VOTE FOR SIROTA: For the first time in CHL history, fans are being allowed to vote for the 19th and final player on the CHL All-Star team.
    Mavericks forward Nick Sirota joins Bossier-Shreveport’s Justin Aikins, Colorado’s Riley Nelson and Odessa’s Todd Robinson in the fan voting contest. All four players are forwards.
    Fans can vote for their favorite player by logging onto the CHL’s Facebook Page via www.centralhockeyleague.com.
    One lucky fan, who selects the winning player, will receive a prize package from the league.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sirota, who has seven goals and five assists in the last 10 games, leads the Mavericks with 25 points and is +11 on the season.
    “Nick might not have the stats of some other players,” Hillman said, “but he is an all-star caliber player, and we encourage our fans to vote for him. He really deserves to make the team.”
    Sirota had a power-play goal in Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory at Tulsa.
    Fans have until 5 p.m. Friday to cast their votes.
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