Mavericks Coach Matvichuk Moving On
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI - The Head Coach of the Missouri Mavericks, Richard Matvichuk, has accepted the position as head coach of the Prince George Cougars, a Canadian major junior ice hockey team currently members of the B.C. Division of the Western Conference in the Western Hockey League (WHL), based in Prince George, British Columbia.
In 2015/2016, his second season as the Mavericks' head coach and director of hockey operations, Matvichuk led Missouri to the Brabham Cup title as ECHL regular-season champions with a 52-15-5 record for 109 points. Missouri improved by 44 points over last season, tying the eighth-best single-season point increase in league history. The Mavericks won 29 home games last season, tied for the second most wins on home ice in a single-season in ECHL history.
"When I purchased the Mavericks In January of 2015 I knew we had possibly a special coach in place with a great pedigree as an NHL player," says team owner, Lamar Hunt Jr. "Over the last 16 months I saw him work through the adversity of a losing season and leverage the relationships the organization had put in place to bring our franchise back to perhaps as good as it has ever been on the ice. We will miss his intensity and the thoughtful planning he did to bring our roster and franchise back to life as a viable contender in the ECHL. When coaches are winners others take notice and though we are disappointed that he will be leaving the Missouri Mavericks we also understand that with success comes greater rewards and opportunities. We wish him and his family the best and thank him in a heartfelt manner for his dedicated service to our team and franchise."
Matvichuk, the inaugural recipient of the League's Hockey Executive of the Year award, was also named John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year. He was named the second coach in team history on June 12, 2014 after previously working with the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Prior to coaching, Matvichuk had a successful 14-year career in the National Hockey League, drafted eighth overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. He went on to play 11 seasons for the Dallas Stars, winning the Stanley Cup in 1999, before moving on to play for the New Jersey Devils for the final two seasons of his career from 2005-07.
"I've been blessed in both my playing career and coaching positions with great teams to be part of," said Matvichuk. "The Mavericks' players and organization are some of the finest in the ECHL and I know they will continue on the path to a championship. A special thanks to team owner Lamar Hunt Jr. and General Manager Brent Thiessen for their unwavering support and kindness over these last two seasons"
"Rich did an incredible job with this team," said Brent Thiessen, Missouri Mavericks General Manager. "While we will miss him on the bench and in the locker room, we are excited for him in his new endeavor and wish him much success."
The Mavericks will immediately begin an extensive coaching search for Matvichuck's replacement.
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