September 12, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Missouri Mavericks
Independence, Missouri - The Missouri Mavericks announced Thursday the Central Hockey League (CHL) team has signed three rookies: goalies Joe Howe, Erno Suomalainen and forward Rob Kleebaum for the 2013-14 season. The Mavericks are currently at 17 players signed to their pre-season roster.
Howe, 23 (3/5/90), spent the past four seasons at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Plymouth, Minnesota native averaged a .902 save percentage in 119 games with his college career high of .915 occurring in his senior year. Howe was named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's (WCHA) All-Rookie Team in his freshman season. Prior to Colorado College, the 6-foot, 195 pound goalie spent two seasons with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League (USHL)
Suomalainen, 22 (3/2/91), has not competed since the 2010-11 season when he was a member of the Finish 2nd league (Mestis) championship squad, Sport. He is a 6-foot, 165 pound goalie from Espoo, Finland.
"These two young goaltenders are coming to Missouri ready to compete and earn a spot in professional hockey. Joe had a very solid career in one of the top conferences in NCAA hockey. Based on what we have seen him do in college, we believe that he can make a very strong goaltender in our league," Hillman said. "Erno will be coming over from Finland where he has had excellent training. He has a good deal of international hockey experience and has represented Finland at several tournaments over the years including a bronze medal at the world junior championships in 2009. We are anxious to have him at camp."
Kleebaum, 23 (11/17/89), played the last four years at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. He ended his college career with 54 points (29-2554) in 105 games. The 6-foot, 209 pound forward, played five games with the ECHL' s Las Vegas Wranglers following his graduation. Prior to university hockey, he played three years for the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). He amassed 136 points (67-69136) in 176 games.
"Rob is a very skilled hockey player who loves to shoot the puck. He has great speed and can play all three forward positions. We are anxious to see Rob play in camp on lines with some of our veteran players," Hillman said. "We believe his hockey sense, coupled with his dangerous shot can make him an offensive threat.
The Missouri Mavericks will host their fourth annual Fan Fest next Sat., Sept. 21 at Independence Events Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Mavericks will begin their fifth season of play in the CHL in October. Season tickets are on sale now. With season tickets starting at just over $11 per game and FREE parking, the Mavericks are the pinnacle of family affordable entertainment.