I quit counting the number of phone calls, emails and texts I received Friday once they reached double digits.

I quit counting the number of phone calls, emails and texts I received Friday once they reached double digits.

Everyone wanted my opinion on the Missouri Mavericks’ 6-4 Game 7 loss at Fort Wayne Thursday – a loss that that ended a season filled with enough memories to last a lifetime.

The Mavericks started the playoffs by sweeping Evansville then winning the first two games at Fort Wayne. I had my hotel reservations in Wichita, because I knew the Mavs were going to find a way to get past the Komets and advance to the CHL’s championship round.

That didn’t happen, but not for a lack of effort.

Ed McGrane, Sebastien Thinel, Andrew Courtney, John-Scott Dickson, Dave Pszenyczny and David Simoes raised their games to a new level in postseason play.

And goalie Charlie Effinger carried the team on his back until three power-play goals Thursday night proved simply too much to overcome.

It’s time to give credit where credit is due. There is a reason the Komets finished in first place in the Turner Conference. They earned the No. 1 seed, and won a thrilling seven-game series, even though they lost the first two games and trailed 3-2 going into Game 6.

While it’s tough to shake the disappointment of that loss to the Komets, try to remember back when the Mavericks started this season 6-0. I thought to myself, “Engrave their name on the championship trophy.”

Then, they hit a skid and were a disappointing 2-7-1 at home.

That’s when the architect, team president and general manager Brent Thiessen went to work.
He signed Simoes and Brandon Smith and they made an immediate impact on the team.

Forward Ryan Jardine, who only played in 31 games this season, came back from an arm injury and infused new life into the Mavericks’ offense, and McGrane and Thinel began to click – on any line they happened to be on – and Effinger became the CHL’s iron man, standing tall in the net night after night.

It was a thrilling joy ride that ended with a heartbreaking loss to a Komets team that was simply too physical for a young and enthusiastic Mavericks team.

Do you remember the first-year Mavs?

The only original Mav still on the roster is Carlyle Lewis, and his future is cloudy as he rehabs from hip surgery.

The Mavericks made significant upgrades in Year 2 and this year’s team had a championship caliber pedigree. It came up short in its quest to bring a championship cup back to the Independence Events Center, but that will only stoke the competitive fire that rages within Thiessen, Hillman and this team’s ownership group.

One day, the Mavericks will win a CHL championship.

Will it happen next year?

Only time will tell.

So let’s savor a season where a local team made a legitimate run at the big prize. They took us for a thrilling roller-coaster ride of a season and left us begging for more.


And after all, isn’t that what we all dreamed about back in September?