The Missouri Mavericks have won their last two games at the Independence Events Center, and Tuesday night they made sure that the Community Services League came away the big winner.
Coaches Richard Matvichuk, Simon Watson and Clint Elberts and the Mavericks players participated in the second-annual Mavericks Trivia Night, one of the biggest fund-raising events of the season for the CSL.
“We play a sport and entertain people,” Matvichuk said, as the players mingled with the more than 200 fans who attended the event. “The people at the Community Services League change lives. They are so important to our community, and any time we can help them out at an event like this we’re going to be there.
“We’re asked to make a lot of appearances, and this is one that everyone looks forward to.”
CSL president and CEO Doug Cowan said the event would likely raise between $5,000 to $10,000 that will provide food, clothes and help with utility bills for residents of Eastern Jackson County.
“This is huge, just huge,” Cowan said, as volunteers sold raffle tickets for a variety of prizes that included a signed Missouri Mavericks stick and jersey.
“The best thing about this event is that we attract so many people who might not even be aware of what the Community Services League means to our community. It’s just a great event, everyone has fun and a lot of people in need benefit from it.”
One new Maverick attended the event, goalie Josh Robinson, who just reported to the team after playing in Szekesfehverar, Austria.
“I wasn’t getting much of a chance to play over there and we were nearing the end of the season, so when my agent told me about the opportunity to play with the Mavericks, I was very excited and decided to come back to the States,” said Robinson, a native of Frankenmuth, Mich., who was 10-7 with a 3.85 goals-against average for Alba Volan HC.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting Coach Matvichuk and really like that he was a defensive player in the NHL and a defensive-minded coach in the ECHL. They don’t care too much about defense in Europe. I’m looking forward to playing for a team that really focuses on defense.”
Matvichuk said he will go with three goalies for a while and then decide on which of the trio – which also includes Mike Clemente and Maxime Lagace – will remain with the team.
“It will all play out,” Matvichuk said. “With Josh, we felt like we had a chance to upgrade the team, so we went out and got him.”
Clemente has been in the net for the Mavericks’ last two wins – 4-2 against Tulsa Friday and 2-1 against Quad City Saturday.
“When a team struggles offensively, like we had happen during that (seven-game overall and seven-game home) losing streak, everything starts with your goalie, and Mike has been outstanding the past two games.”