A few minutes after his Missouri Mavericks teammates have finished an optional Tuesday morning practice session, Sebastien Thinel hits the ice.

A few minutes after his Missouri Mavericks teammates have finished an optional Tuesday morning practice session, Sebastien Thinel hits the ice.

He is joined by his young sons Maddx and Jett, and it is soon evident that the biggest kid on the ice is the Mavericks’ veteran captain.

Despite the team's disappointing 6-7-2 record, Thinel is off to one of the best starts of his 10-year CHL career.

The former CHL MVP is fourth in the league with 21 points on six goals and 15 assists, yet coach Scott Hillman says his presence off the ice has been as important as his impact around the net.

“Sebbie is a leader, and that's what you need with a young team – especially a young team that has struggled at the start of the season,” said Hillman, whose Mavericks have righted a rocky start with back-to-back wins last weekend.

“Every player in that locker room looks up to him. And he has a belief – night in and night out – that we are going to win and that he is going to contribute to the win. When he has confidence, the other players sense that and it makes them confident, too.

“He's been around a long time, and I know from coaching him and playing with him in Odessa that he hates to lose. He doesn't care about the personal stuff – he just wants to win. And now, we've won back-to-back games and we have a big game this Friday (7:05 p.m. against the Quad City Mallards at the Independence Events Center) and we want to win for the hometown fans.”

Watching Thinel skate with his boys is nearly as special as watching him put the puck in the back of the net – something he does with great finesse and consistency.

“I think the great teams in the CHL are the consistent teams,” Thinel said as he left the ice. “The great teams are the teams that win on a consistent basis – it's not a win here, then a loss, and another win, and another loss.

“No one has been more disappointed in our start than I have been, but I've been around a long time and I know that this team has a great deal of talent. And that talent is going to come together and we're going to start winning on a consistent basis.

“After winning the two games last weekend, you can see the boys are more confident and are having more fun at practice this week. And losing at home just sucks, because we have such great fans. We won last Friday (4-1 over Fort Worth) and we want to win back-to-back games at home so our fans can be as happy as the players.”

When asked about his hot start, the veteran all-star and former MVP just shakes his head.

“It's a lot more fun to score when you win,” said Thinel, who has scored a point in seven consecutive games. “If we lose 8-6 and I get four points that means nothing. If we win 1-0 and I don't get a point I am very happy because we have won.

“I'm here with Scott because I want to win a championship. I have had a lot of individual success, but I have not won a championship. That is my only goal, and I know that it is the only goal of this team.”

MAVS SIGN DEFENSEMAN: The Mavericks announced Tuesday that they have signed defenseman Colten Hayes. The Mavericks also waived defenseman Jamie VanderVeeken on Monday evening.

“We felt we needed to make a change and Colten will add another element of physicality and intensity to our blue line,” Hillman said. “He has a very good skill set and will make us a tougher team to play against.”

Hayes, 22, played last season and a portion of this season with the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL. He split time between the Stockton Thunder and Reading Royals in 48 games in the ECHL last season, finishing with 3 goals and 20 assists. Hayes previously played three seasons of junior hockey split between the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCHL).

CORBEIL HONORED: Mavericks goaltender Mathieu Corbeil has been named the Oakley CHL Goaltender of the Week for the period ending Nov. 25. In recognition of his achievement, Corbeil will receive a special gift from Oakley.

The Montreal native won back-to-back starts stopping 50 of 52 shots (.962 save percentage). Corbeil held both the Fort Worth Brahmas and the Bloomington Blaze to only one goal each (4-1, 6-1 respectively) and lowered his goals against average to 2.89.