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Examiner
  • New Mavs goalie thankful for chance

  • As Ryan Daniels skated off the ice at the Independence Events Center, he was greeted by a group of fans who had been watching the Mavericks’ Wednesday morning practice session.

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  • As Ryan Daniels skated off the ice at the Independence Events Center, he was greeted by a group of fans who had been watching the Mavericks’ Wednesday morning practice session.
    Mavs announcer Bob Rennison was introducing the new goaltender to the large group of spectators when he came to Frank Spevak, a fan who tapes a handwritten sign on the glass before each home practice session and who also greets the team before it leaves for a road game and also when it returns back to the Events Center.
    “Frank? Oh, I've heard about you,” Daniels said, grinning.
    “I'm in trouble,” Spevak replied.
    Daniels has been in town just a few days, but he's already getting a feel for the Mavericks fan base and what the CHL team means to Eastern Jackson County.
    “The guys have told me about the great fans they have here in Independence,” said Daniels, 24, who was a fifth-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. “And all you have to do is look around at this building to see that everything here is first class. When they called me, I couldn't wait to get here.”
    In fact, he drove 15 straight hours from Waterloo, Ontario, to join a team that is battling to climb the CHL standings.
    “I know this team is doing all it can to get a good playoff spot,” Daniels said. “And I'm not here to set the world on fire. I will do whatever Scott (Hillman) asks of me, and I am so honored to be here.
    “If they want me to do something, all they have to do is ask. This is special. Opportunities like this don't happen every day and if they call my number, I will be ready.”
    Goaltender Mike Clemente, who leads the CHL with 21 wins and 932 saves, has made the bulk of starts this season as Mathieu Corbeil battled injuries and was then called up to the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.
    But the Mavericks are entering a stretch where they play four games in five days – Friday at home against Quad City, Saturday at Allen, Sunday at Wichita and Tuesday at home against Bloomington.
    “We're pleased to have Ryan in camp,” Hillman said. “We're excited that we have Ryan and don't have to depend on an emergency goalie, which has been the case earlier in the season.
    “We'd watched him in the Ontario Hockey League and Canadian university hockey. He has also gained valuable experience participating in a number of NHL and AHL training camps.”
    A native of Pickering, Ontario, Daniels recently finished his career at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. In his final three years at Wilfrid Laurier, the 6-foot-1, 194-pound goaltender had a 2.89 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 81 games.
    Page 2 of 2 - In other Mavericks news, the team waived defenseman Brock Wilson.
    “It was a move that we felt we needed to make,” president and general manager Brent Thiesen said. “We have some (injured) players who are close to getting back on the ice, and we decided to waive Brock. We wish him the best.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
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