For a majority of the Kansas City Mavericks players skating out onto the ice at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena Wednesday, the annual orange and black intrasquad scrimmage was little more than a glorified practice session.
It meant a bit more to rookie goaltender Hayden Hawkey – pronounced like hockey.
That’s because the Providence College graduate – who appeared in 41 games for the Division I Friars and finished with a 1.88 goals against average his senior year – is looking for a professional contract.
Hawkey, who is Independence on a tryout, starred in the net Wednesday, leading his black team to a 3-1 win over the orange squad.
“The kid looked good,” said Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson, who watched the scrimmage, which consisted of two 25-minute periods, from a suite at mid-ice. “We really like what we’ve seen from him in camp. He’s big, and he’s athletic and he proved today he can play the game.”
Mavericks captain Rocco Carzo, who had a point-blank shot rejected by Hawkey with 1:54 left in the scrimmage, agreed with his coach.
“I like Hayden and what he has brought to the team this week,” Carzo said. “He is very athletic, and he works so hard. You can tell how much this means to him. He has all the tools to be a good goalie and a part of this team.”
Before a post-scrimmage workout session with his new teammates, Hawkey talked about what it would mean to join the Mavericks.
“You know what?” he asked, sporting a grin and talking in hushed tones, as to not bother the players who were working out around him. “I haven’t played a game since April, so it felt great to get back out on the ice in a competitive situation.
“I know it was only a scrimmage, but I wanted to do well. I am doing everything I can to make this team. I know Nick (Schneider, who was with the Mavericks last season) is the No. 1 guy. All I want is a chance to prove myself.”
As he looked around the workout area, he continued.
“I only know two guys on the team – Bryan Lemos and Ryan Gault – but all the guys have been great. They have made me feel like a part of the team. You can tell how much everyone respects Rocco and I just wanted to do well enough that they keep me around for a while.”
When asked what he brings to the team, Hawkey had a ready answer.
“I think I have a good hockey sense, I’m pretty athletic and I compete hard – I never let up when I’m out on the ice,” he said. “I’m going to work hard, and I hope that hard work gets me a spot on the roster.”