When fan favorite Charlie Effinger, the goaltender who helped the Missouri Mavericks make a late-season run to the playoffs, announced that he would not return to the Central Hockey League team so he could pursue his MBA and play for the Newcastle Vipers in the Elite European League, shock waves registered throughout Eastern Jackson County.

When fan favorite Charlie Effinger, the goaltender who helped the Missouri Mavericks make a late-season run to the playoffs, announced that he would not return to the Central Hockey League team so he could pursue his MBA and play for the Newcastle Vipers in the Elite European League, shock waves registered throughout Eastern Jackson County.

“We knew our fans were concerned when it was announced that Charlie was going to play a year in Europe,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said.

“The news today should really excite our fan base. I know we couldn’t be more excited.”

Hillman announced Wednesday that the Mavericks had signed goaltender Zane Kalemba, who is currently at the NHL Buffalo Sabres training camp.

Kalemba, 24, played the past four years for Princeton University and was a Hobey Baker award finalist in 2009.

The Saddle Brook, New Jersey native finished his career at Princeton as the school’s all-time career leader in games played (108), save percentage (.912), wins (57) and shutouts (9).  

“We all know that goaltending is the most important position on the ice,” Hillman said.  “By signing Zane, we feel we have three goalies that are very well prepared to fight for a starting position with our hockey club.  Although Zane has yet to play a professional hockey game, he may enter camp as the most experienced goalie on our roster.”

The Mavericks will head into camp the first week of October with Gerry Festa, who teamed with Effinger last year to give the team one of the top 1-2 goalie combos in the league, Rob Nolan and Kalemba.

The team announced Wednesday that rookie Bobby Jarosz had been traded to Arizona for future considerations.

Kalemba was nominated for the Hobey Baker award as the NCAA’s top men’s ice hockey player following his junior season where he set Princeton single-season records for wins (22), goals-against (1.82) and save percentage (.932).

He finished the season with a 22-10-1 record, was named the Ivy League Player of the Year and was also a second-team All-American.  In 25 of 34 appearances during his junior season, Kalemba allowed two goals or fewer.

“This kid is the real deal,” Hillman said. “Zane has had a very busy summer and has been playing with and against some of the best hockey players in the world.

“In July he was at the Tampa Bay Lightning development camp and he now finds himself in the Buffalo Sabres main camp. We are very pleased to have Zane join our team and he adds to our growing list of players that strive to reach the highest level of hockey.”

Team president and general manager Brent Thiessen said the team had been waiting to find out Kalemba’s status before making any moves at the goaltender position.

“We weren’t sure of the status of Kalemba because of the interest shown in him by the NHL and AHL,” Thiessen said. “We are very excited he will be joining us and wanted to give Jarosz a chance to play in the the league. The trade to Arizona just made sense.”