In a season-opening road trip that spanned five cities in two weeks, the Missouri Mavericks embarked on a new season in a new league with a new coach behind the bench.
The introductory tour, of sorts, finally comes home.
The Mavericks will play their home opener at 7:05 p.m. Saturday inside the Independence Events Center, where the team will welcome the Rapid City Rush.
Competing in the ECHL this season, the Mavericks were 2-3 on the road trip to begin this season. That puts them in a bit of an early-season hole in the Central Division of the Western Conference, where they sit in sixth place among seven teams.
A day before the season began, first-year coach Richard Matvichuk said the team would be playing a more aggressive style of hockey this season.
“We’ll see if there are some growing pains with a new system,” Matvichuk said. “But I can promise you it will be an exciting (brand) of hockey.”
The brand has produced some scoring — newcomer David Rutherford leads the team with four goals — but it’s also produced some issues on the back end. The Mavericks have allowed 22 goals in five games.
Prior to the home opener Saturday, the Mavericks will host a “Rally at the Rink” pep rally at 4 p.m. outside the East doors. It includes giveaways, music and appearances by the players. The event is free to the public.
▪ The Mavericks announced Thursday that they acquired right wing Ross Ring-Jarvi from the Alaska Aces. To complete the deal, the Mavericks’ AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, re-assigned defenseman Colten Hayes to Alaska.
Ring-Jarvi, 27, won the Kelly Cup championship with Alaska last season.
“Ross plays both ends of the ice very well and knows what it takes to win a championship,” Matvichuk said. “He is a great addition who will go into the corners to create offense and will also be responsible in his own zone (to help) our overall defensive focus.”
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