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Examiner
  • Mavs coach gives Fan Fest personal touch

  • As Scott Hillman visited about the impact the fourth annual Fan Fest had on him and his Central Hockey League team, a youngster stood a few feet away crying his eyes out.

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  • As Scott Hillman visited about the impact the fourth annual Fan Fest had on him and his Central Hockey League team, a youngster stood a few feet away crying his eyes out.
    He had lost his father, and didn’t want anything to do with anyone – except the Mavs coach.
    Hillman approached the youngster and introduced himself as “Scott, the Mavericks coach.”
    The little boy looked at him and said, “I know who you are. I trust you.”
    Hillman took the child to the podium where he was shown on the big screen at the Independence Events Center.
    An announcement was made that the boy was looking for his father and they were reunited a few minutes later.
    That’s just another reason more than 1,500 fans showed up for the Fan Fest, as Hillman proved he cares deeply about the team’s fans.
    Many people walked past the child and looked away – but not Hillman.
    “I was happy he knew who I was and trusted me,” the coach said. “Maybe we have a new little fan.”
    As Hillman looked at the swarm of old fans on the Independence Events Center floor, he grinned and said, “There’s just a bit of a chill in the air at night and now, with Fan Fest taking place, it’s beginning to feel like hockey. And I can’t wait. We’re all eager to get this season started.”
    Team president and general manager Brent Thiessen feels the same way.
    “Let’s get the ice down and start tomorrow,” quipped Thiessen, as he shook hands and answered questions posed by fans.
    “It does feel like the start of the season when we have Fan Fest. And what about this turnout? Our fans never cease to amaze me. It gets bigger and better every year.”
    And both men are hoping the same thing can be said for the Mavericks, as they have reached postseason action in each of the previous three seasons but have never made it to the championship series.
    “We’re building a very strong team, a team the fans are going to like,” Thiessen said. “The addition of players like Brian Bicek and Colt King will make the team stronger and we want to let the fans know that we’re going to be fine at goaltender.
    “We might not have another Charlie Effinger or Rob Nolan, but we’re going to leave camp with two strong goaltenders who help us continue our quest for a CHL championship.”
    The Mavericks also announced the signing of Ryan Jardine, who battled injuries last season with the Mavs, and former Maverick forward Jordan Foreman, a fan favorite from the first season who got into a fight three seconds into his first game with the first-year team.
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