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Examiner
  • Bill Althaus: Enthusiasm of Mavs fans always impressive

  • The Missouri Mavericks led the Central Hockey League in sellouts this past season and were second in overall attendance, getting edged by a Wichita team that plays in a facility closer in size to Kansas City’s Sprint Center.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks led the Central Hockey League in sellouts this past season and were second in overall attendance, getting edged by a Wichita team that plays in a facility closer in size to Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
    The league does not keep stats for attendance at a news conference, but Thursday morning’s crowd of more than 175 fans that spilled out of the President’s Club at the Independence Events Center would have likely shattered it.
    The Mavericks announced the signing of four key players for the upcoming season in captains Sebastien Thinel and Dave Pszenyczny, along with veteran forwards John-Scott Dickson and Andrew Courtney as fans cheered coach Scott Hillman and president and general manger Brent Thiessen’s every word.
    “It was amazing, just amazing,” Hillman said when asked about the fans who attended the 11 a.m. news conference. “Our fans never cease to amaze me, but to have that many fans attend a news conference on a Thursday morning shows why we have the best fans in the league.”
    Thinel, the reigning CHL MVP and scoring champion, said he was stunned when he walked from behind a curtain and saw how many fans were in attendance.
    “We have great fans at games and at news conferences,” Thinel said, grinning. “That’s why I’m back. There is no place else like Independence and the Mavs.”
    While the signings were the biggest news coming out of the conference, there were several other highlights:
    n The Mavericks introduced their Season 5 logo that will be worn on alternate orange jerseys. It incorporates a horseshoe and hockey stick into a No. 5, which signifies the team’s milestone season.
    n The team will once again honor the famous phrase of Independence’s own 33rd President Harry Truman, with a slightly different spelling of "Give M Hell" as their campaign slogan for the upcoming season. “We love that slogan,” Thiessen said as fans applauded. “We’re sticking with our roots and President Truman’s saying.”
    n The Mavericks will play their first home game at 7:05 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. The Mavericks will also host the traditional New Year’s Eve game with the remainder of the Central Hockey League schedule coming in mid-August.
    n The Mavericks will unveil a special Season 5 jersey promotion. Starting July 1, all fans will be able to vote at MissouriMavericks.com for their favorite jersey over the past four seasons. The top five jerseys will be featured in jersey giveaways throughout the season. There will be two adult jersey giveaways, two youth jersey giveaways and one for all season-ticket holders.
    n Former Mavericks vice president of communications Patrick Armstrong has left the team to take over the day-to-day operations of the new St. Charles Chill, which will join the CHL this season. While he will be with a new team, he will remain a part of the Mavericks family as the Matt Adams ownership group, which owns the Mavericks, also owns the Chill.
    Page 2 of 2 - n In a lighthearted exchange after the news conference, Courtney and my 81-year-old mother Joyce, a longtime Mavericks season ticket holder, discovered they share the same June 8 birthday. Courtney is 28. “What I’d give to be 28,” my mom said, as she got a hug from Courtney. “I just wish my eyesight was better so I could see you boys out on the ice more clearly.”
    n Speaking of Courtney, it didn’t take long to find out that he was the favorite player of Andrew Thiessen, the 5-year-old son of the team’s president and general manager. When fans were given the opportunity to ask questions, Andrew’s hand shot up. He asked Courtney, “How many goals will you score in the first game of the season?” Courtney responded, “I’d like to give you a hat trick, but let’s go with one.”
    Bill Althaus is a sportswriter and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at 350-6333 or bill.althaus@examiner.net. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     
     
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