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Examiner
  • Szuper’s departure comes at worst time for Mavs

  • The Missouri Mavericks have placed goaltender Levente Szuper on team suspension. Szuper, who came to the Mavericks just over a week ago in a trade with Arizona, joined Missouri to serve as a complement to starter Charlie Effinger.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks have placed goaltender Levente Szuper on team suspension. Szuper, who came to the Mavericks just over a week ago in a trade with Arizona, joined Missouri to serve as a complement to starter Charlie Effinger.
    Now, he has left the Mavericks to pursue his career with a team in Russia and has been placed on team suspension so the Mavericks can retain his rights in the CHL. The Mavericks also signed goaltender Wes Russell, 27, as a stop-gap measure Friday. The Springfield, Ill. native last played for Robert Morris University in 2009.
    “We are pleased that Levente has this amazing opportunity to play in Russia, but the timing could not have been worse for this team,” Mavericks president and general manager Brent Thiessen said.
    “We have said from Day 1, if we lose a player because he can better himself or his family, we wish him the best of luck. He was an elite goaltender and that’s why he has this opportunity. But we have an elite goaltender in Charlie Effinger and he’s going to get plenty of playing time this weekend.”
    Following a 6-4 victory over Effinger’s former Allen American team Friday at the Independence Events Center, the Mavericks boarded a bus for a six-hour ride to Bloomington. The Mavericks return home Sunday to play host to the Fort Wayne Komets, and former Mavs goaltender Gerry Festa.
    “If Fest’s in the net Sunday, it’s going to be wild,” said Effinger, who is a longtime friend of Festa’s. “The atmosphere in this building is going to be electric, just like it was tonight.”
    Mavs coach Scott Hillman said he has supreme confidence in Effinger, even during a three-games-in-three-days weekend.
    “Charlie better get ready to go to work,” Hillman said. “We’re really going to be counting on him this weekend. He knew before Levente left the team that he was starting tonight because he is – and always has been – our top goaltender.”
    When asked about Szuper’s move, Hillman said, “As we have stated over the last few weeks, we were acquiring an elite goaltender in Levente Szuper.
    “He has since been presented an opportunity by a team that he believes will be moving to the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which is internationally recognized as one of the top leagues in the world. We are very happy that he has been given this opportunity and wish him the best of luck with the progression of his career.  This is very bad timing for us, and we will go back to work and find a partner for Charlie.”

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