• Mavs excited to be home

  • Colt King, Jeff Pierce and Brian Bicek know what it's like to play in front of a sold-out crowd at the Independence Events Center.

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  • Colt King, Jeff Pierce and Brian Bicek know what it's like to play in front of a sold-out crowd at the Independence Events Center.
    It's just that three of the newest members of the Missouri Mavericks did it while wearing a different team's uniform.
    “I can't even explain how I feel, how excited I am about Saturday night,” Bicek said when asked about the Mavericks 7:05 p.m. Saturday home opener against archrival Wichita.
    “We had some big crowds back at Evansville, but it was kind of hit and miss. A big crowd, then no one would show up. Here, they sell out every weekend game and have big crowds during the week. We've all been talking about the home opener, the fans, all that stuff.”
    King was an enforcer for the CHL champion Rapid City Rush back in 2009, the Mavericks' first season.
    “The thing I remember about playing the Mavs that first season,” said King, whose Rush did not lose to Missouri in 2009, “was their crazy fans. They were cheering against us, and now, they're going to be cheering for me and this team.
    “I want the fans to know that they can impact a game. We get energy from them, we really do. They embrace us and we're going to embrace them. The veteran guys (who played on the Mavericks last year) on this team have talked a little about what it's like to play at the Events Center.
    “Some of us have played here with other teams. But none of us will have experienced what we're going to experience Saturday night. We want the fans to fill this place up and have some fun.”
    Pierce, a newcomer who was named the CHL's Player of the Week in the first week of this season, played with the now-defunct Odessa Jackalopes in 2009 and 2010.
    “I can't wait,” said Pierce, who was a teammate of Mavs captain Sebastien Thinel at Odessa, “because I know this place is going to be sold out. We already know that Missouri has the best fans in the CHL.
    “It's kind of funny, because no one has come right out and said, 'Saturday night is going to be amazing,' because we all know that it is. It just goes without saying. Even the young guys, who have never played in front of a crowd as big as the one we'll have here Saturday, seem to know what to expect.”
    Brandon Smith knows what to expect, although this will be his first home opener with the Mavs.
    “It's cool to start the season with the team,” said Smith, who made a dramatic impact when he joined the Mavericks midseason in 2011. “I want our fans to know that we're ready to go. We're as excited about Saturday night as they are.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Less than 300 tickets remained Friday afternoon for the Saturday night opener.
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