Mavericks Sign Four Players Including First Goaltender
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - Missouri Mavericks' President and General Manager Brent Thiessen announced Thursday the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has signed four players to the Mavericks' roster for the 2011-12 season. Forward Andrew Courtney, defensemen David Pszenyczny and Mike Wakita along with goaltender Jakub Macek have all accepted offers to play for the Mavericks.
Courtney, 26 (6/8/85), returns to the Mavericks after joining the team in March of 2011. He played in seven games with Missouri during the regular season and scored his first three professional goals by recording a hat-trick in a 7-0 win over the Mississippi RiverKings. In total, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound forward had four points (3-14) in his seven games with Missouri before being injured. Prior to joining the Mavericks, the Belleville, Ontario native played 106 games over the course of five seasons with the University of Lethbridge. He accounted for 72 points on 44 goals and 28 assists to go along with 172 penalty minutes. In junior hockey, Courtney played two seasons with the Trenton Sting of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL), scoring 78 points (33-4578) in 88 games.
"We are excited to be bringing back Andrew Courtney," added Thiessen. "We loved what we saw last season and unfortunately didn't get to see him in the playoffs, but we believe that he will contribute greatly this season."
Macek, 24 (6/25/87), becomes the first goaltender signed by the Mavericks for the 2011-12 season. A native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Macek enters his first professional season in North America. The 6-foot-0, 172-pound netminder played his first four pro seasons in Hungary, France and Slovakia and had his best season in 2008-09 with the Rapaces de Gap. During that season, Macek registered a 2.27 goals-against average (GAA) in 20 games during the regular season and a 2.87 GAA in six games in the playoffs. Prior to turning pro, Macek played for HC Slovan Bratislava in the U20 and U18 leagues in Slovakia. He also represented his country in 2007 in the U20 World Junior Championship.
"While he is untested in North America, he has an impressive resume in Europe which includes a spot on the Slovak junior national team," said Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman. "The reports from Europe came back positive, so much so, we were obliged to give him an opportunity with the Mavericks. He has a positive attitude and is excited to come to North America and show his wears in the CHL."
Pszenyczny (pshuh-NITCH-nee), 26 (2/18/85), is entering his sixth professional season and most recently won a Ray Miron Presidents' Cup Championship with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. The 6-foot-0, 190-pound defenseman played the last three seasons with the Mudbugs and accounted for 20 goals, 34 assists and 359 penalty minutes in 170 games played. He had a career year with the Mudbugs during the 2009-10 campaign in which the veteran defenseman finished second on the team in scoring among defensemen with 25 points (11-1425) in 63 games. From Sterling Heights, Michigan, Pszenyczny played the previous three seasons in the ECHL with Phoenix, Alaska and Reading. He also played four games for the American Hockey League's (AHL) Toronto Marlies during his rookie season. In total, Pszenyczny has 97 points (31-6697) and 591 penalty minutes in 278 games played as a pro.
"David is a veteran defenseman who brings a great deal of winning experience," added Hillman. "We want to be champions and David can help lead us in that direction. He is the type of player that other teams hate playing against. Our fans will love what he brings to the ice every night."
Wakita, 25 (5/28/85), enters his sophomore season with the Mavericks. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman played in 59 games with the Mavericks last season and had 13 points (2-1113) and 95 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Mavericks, the native of Campbell River, British Columbia had a four-year career at Union College (NCAA) with three goals and eight assists in 108 games to go along with 150 penalty minutes. Wakita was also an ECACHL All-Academic selection for his freshman and sophomore seasons. Prior to playing at Union, he played in 171 games for the Powell River Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and recorded 61 points (11-5061) and 472 penalty minutes in 172 games played. As captain for the River Kings during the 2005-06 season, Wakita was named the Coastal Conference Defenseman of the Year and First Team All-Star with 28 points (8-2028) and 180 penalty minutes in 60 games.
"Wakita brings us toughness on the blueline, but he is another player we didn't get to see in the playoffs," added Thiessen. "We believe he will help anchor the blueline this season."
The Mavericks will begin their third season in the Central Hockey League in October 2011. Season tickets are on sale now and start at just under $11 per game. Call (816) 252-7825 or visit www.MissouriMavericks.com for more information.
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