Mavericks Add Four More Including Sirota and Lavender
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - Missouri Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman announced Wednesday the Central Hockey League (CHL) team has signed four more players for the 2010-11 season. Forward Nick Sirota and defenseman Jared Lavender return for their second season with the Mavericks, and defenseman Dominic D'Amour as well as goaltender Rob Nolan have signed with the team.
"It's a great day for the Mavericks with the signing of these four players," remarked Mavericks' President and General Manager Brent Thiessen. "We added quite a bit of scoring up front and solid defense, in addition to a goalie that was sought by several other CHL teams."
Sirota, 26 (1/28/84), finished second on the Mavericks in scoring as a rookie last season with 45 points (19-2645). The Fox Lake, Wisconsin native was also a finalist for Rookie of the Year in the CHL after finishing third among all rookies in scoring. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward missed just two games with the Mavericks last season and led the team with a +5 rating.
"Sirota was one of the top rookies in the league last year leading our team in plus/minus and was quite possibly our best player in the final series against Rapid City," said Hillman of his second-year forward. "We are very excited to have Nick back and look for him to be a major contributor this season."
Lavender, 26 (3/30/84), also returns for his second season with the Mavericks. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound defenseman competed in 49 games for the Mavericks as a rookie last season and finished with seven points on two goals and five assists. Prior to playing professionally, the Cleveland Heights, Ohio native played four seasons at Castleton College where he recorded 35 points (8-2735) in 97 games played.
"Lavender is back for year two after probably being our most improved player in year one," exclaimed Hillman. "He skates very well on our blue line and plays a hard hitting style. Having been one of the bigger players on our blue line last year, he will find himself one of the smaller defensemen this year which will allow him to play an even more physical game."
D'Amour, 26 (1/28/84), enters his seventh professional season. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound defenseman was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round (88th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Overall, D'Amour has played 267 games professionally in six different leagues with 111 points (37-74111) and 521 penalty minutes in his career. The Lasalle, Quebec native had his best season as a pro last year when he had career highs in goals (13), assists (20), points (33) and penalty minutes (165) for the Nottingham Panthers (EIHL).
"Dominic was a high draft pick and brings solid AHL experience," added Hillman. "He adds more size, physicality and composure to our blue line. We will look for him and Blake (Forsyth) to really anchor our blue line; he has a very big shot and will be on the ice in most key situations."
Nolan, 24 (12/10/85), enters his second pro season having played for the IHL's Flint Generals last season. He is the third goaltender signed by the Mavericks this off-season joining Gerry Festa and Bobby Jarosz. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native played in 49 games last season for the Generals with a 19-22-4 record, 2.89 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. Nolan also backstopped his team to the Turner Cup Finals where he had a .918 save percentage in 11 playoff games. Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-0, 170-pound goaltender played four seasons at Michigan Tech.
"Rob Nolan was one of the top goaltenders in the IHL last year as a rookie," added Hillman. "As the third goalie we have signed this off-season, he carries the most professional games played although he is just a second year player. The goaltending competition will be fierce in training camp."
"These four key signings really start to round out our roster as we continue to try to improve our team for the 2010 season," said Hillman in closing. "We are happy with the players we have signed but will continue to focus on adding more scoring punch with our final few signings."
Mavericks' signings to date:
Matthew Brenton, F Bobby Jarosz, G
Jeff Broekema, F Gerry Festa, G
Olivier Filion, F Rob Nolan, G
Marco Guercio, F Dominic D'Amour, D
Brett Hammond, F Blake Forsyth, D
Derek Knowles, F Jared Lavender, D
Toby Lafrance, F Chris Mifflen, D
Carlyle Lewis, F Cole Ruwe, D
Derek Pallardy, F Mike Wakita, D
Karl Sellan, F
Nick Sirota, F
Ryan Sparling, F
Myles Stevens, F
Bill Vandermeer, F
Simon Watson, F
The Missouri Mavericks will begin their second season in the Central Hockey League on October 15, 2010 against the Odessa Jackalopes at 7:05 p.m. The Mavericks play their home games at the state-of-the-art Independence Events Center where parking is always free. Individual game tickets will go on sale September 10, and season tickets are on sale now starting at just $10 per game. Call (816) 252-7825 for more information or visit www.MissouriMavericks.com .
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