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Examiner
  • Mavs get two goalies, forward from AHL

  • There was an air of excitement, even though it was just the first day of practice for the Missouri Mavericks.

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  • There was an air of excitement, even though it was just the first day of practice for the Missouri Mavericks.
    More than 100 fans were on hand at the Independence Events Center Monday as 22 players hit the ice for a Mavericks team that has one goal this season: winning the Central Hockey League championship.
    “We came close last year,” said returning forward John-Scott Dickson, “and you can tell that we’re all business. It was great to see all the fans and to be back on the ice, but only have two weeks to get ready for the regular season so we're taking each practice seriously.”
    The Mavericks preseason roster will reach 23 when goaltender Mike Clemente, from the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons, joins the Mavericks sometime this week. The Mavericks also were assigned two more players later Monday when the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks sent forward Kellen Tochkin and the AHL’s Chicago Wolves sent goaltender Mathieu Corbiel.
    “We’re eager to get Mike into camp so he can compete for one of the goalie spots on the team,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said of Clemente. “Mike is a very exciting prospect, and we are honored Springfield has selected the Mavericks to oversee his development this season.
    “The goaltenders that have played with our franchise have experienced a great deal of success in the CHL, and we believe Mike will help us continue that tradition. His numbers were exceptional in the AHL last season and that speaks volumes about his ability to compete under pressure.”
    Clemente will be the fourth goaltender in camp, joining Corbiel, Austin Lee and Kyle Moir.
    Clemente, 22, enters his rookie season after playing the previous four seasons at Brown University. Upon the completion of his career at Brown, the Great Falls, Va., native appeared in six games with Springfield last season. In those six games, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound goaltender had a 2.99 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and one shutout.
    Hillman spent much of Monday’s practice session in the press box watching a spirited team scrimmage.
    “We have two weeks to put together the pieces of this team,” he said. “The players who make this team are going to be the best players out on the ice – the guys who can play, who have the right team chemistry and who fit well into the community.”
    Because of the addition of Corbiel and Tochkin Monday, the Mavericks were forced to release goalie B.J. O’Brien.
    O'Brien went 2-0 with a 2.99 GAA and a .913 save percentage in two games last year for the Mavericks. He was one of five goalies to see action behind starter Charlie Effinger, who is now playing for the Fort Wayne Komets in the East Coast Hockey League.
    Page 2 of 2 - Corbiel, 22, was a fourth-round draft pick (102nd overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-6, 188-pound goaltender enters his rookie season after playing the previous five seasons of junior hockey in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
    “Mathieu had an outstanding camp in Chicago,” Hillman said. “I was able to watch him closely in both practice and game scenarios, and we believe that he has a bright future.”
    Tochkin, 21, enters his rookie season with the Mavericks after playing the previous four full seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League.
    “Kellen has a real knack for scoring goals,” Hillman said. “We are committed to working very hard to help players like Kellen continue to develop as part of our working agreement with Chicago and Vancouver.”
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