2011-12 Season Highlights
The Missouri Mavericks entered the 2011-12 CHL season with high hopes after building a strong foundation in their first two years of existence. Coming off of two consecutive exits in the second round of the CHL playoffs, the Mavericks made a push towards the top of the standings and established themselves as one of the elite franchises in AA hockey. The Mavs finished third in the Turner Conference, setting franchise highs in wins with 39, points with 84 and recording the highest win percentage in team history at .636. The team also recorded the longest road and home winning streaks in the three-year history of the franchise. The Mavericks finished the season tied with the Evansville IceMen for second in the conference with 84 points, but the IceMen held the edge in wins, with 40 to Missouri’s 39. The Mavs proved themselves to be the superior team in the Turner Conference Opening Round, sweeping the IceMen in four games and advancing to the Turner Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
The Mavericks moved onto the conference finals, where they faced the Fort Wayne Komets. The two teams needed all seven games of the series to decide a winner. Missouri took games one and two on the road, winning Game One in a thrilling 3-2 overtime classic. The Mavs took a stranglehold of the series the next night with a convincing 6-3 victory and took a 2-0 series lead back to Independence. The Komets remained resilient, taking games three and four (double overtime) on the Mavs home ice. The Mavs won Game Five by a 5-2 score, but couldn’t close out Fort Wayne on the road and were eliminated after Fort Wayne won games six and seven in Fort Wayne.
In their third season of existence, the Mavs accomplished more than in their first two seasons and collected several honors and accolades, while breaking records along the way.
Regular Season Highlights
- After starting the season with a 2-7-1 record on home ice, the Mavericks reeled off a 17-4-2 record on home ice in their final 23 regular season games at Independence Events Center.
- Mavs’ rookie forward Andrew Courtney broke franchise records for goals, assists and points by a rookie in a season, recording 59 points on 29 goals and 30 assists. Courtney also tied the franchise record for goals in a season, represented the Mavericks at the CHL All-Star Game, was named to the CHL All-Rookie Team and was a finalist for the league’s rookie of the year award.
- Mavericks’ goaltender Charlie Effinger made 28 consecutive starts from January 8 to March 11, leading the Mavs to the third overall spot in the Turner Conference. During that stretch, Effinger compiled a .925 save percentage and a 2.67 goals against average. During the course of the regular season, Effinger was named the CHL’s goaltender of the week a record five times and goaltender of the month twice in October and March.
- The Mavericks had five different players score hat tricks this season. Dale Mahovsky, Ed McGrane, Sebastien Thinel, John-Scott Dickson and Brandon Coccimiglio all recorded three goals in one game this season. Dickson and McGrane registered their hat tricks in back-to-back games against the Arizona Sundogs on February 3rd and 4th. Mahovsky had the only hat trick that came in a losing effort in the Mavs 5-4 loss to the Wichita Thunder on November 12th. Coccimiglio’s hat trick was his third as a Maverick after scoring one in the regular season and one in the postseason last year.
- Mavericks’ captain Sebastien Thinel was the first player in team history to record 80 points in a season. Thinel finished the season with 82 points on 23 goals and 59 assists, breaking Jeff Christian’s franchise record of 78 points set in the Mavs’ inaugural 2009-10 season.
- The Mavs’ 39 wins this regular season set a new franchise high for wins in a season. The Mavs also set franchise highs for points in a season (84) and winning percentage (.636) this season. The previous franchise records were set in the 2010-11 season, going 37-23-6 for 80 points and a .606 winning percentage.
- Missouri finished the season with a 21% power play, the highest in the Central Hockey League and the only team to finish the season above 20% on the power play.
- With a 9-2-1 record in the month of March, the Mavericks clinched a playoff berth in their third consecutive season. The Mavs also finished the month with a 6-0-0 record on home ice.
- Missouri defenseman David Pszenyczny broke the Mavs record for goals in a season by a defenseman, scoring 14 times this season from the blueline. The previous record of 10 goals in a season by a defenseman was held by Ray DiLauro (2010-11) and Mike Burgoyne (2009-10).
- The Mavs were one of just three teams in the entire Central Hockey League to win at least 20 games on the road. Only Missouri, the Fort Wayne Komets and Wichita Thunder won more than 20 games on the road among all 14 CHL teams. Missouri finished with a 20-10-3 record away from Independence Events Center.
- Veteran forward Ed McGrane finished the regular season on a franchise record, 13-game point streak, scoring three goals and recording 18 assists for 21 points over the course of the streak. The previous record was held by Jeff Christian, who recorded points in 11 consecutive games during the 2009-10 CHL season.
- The Mavs retained 15 players from their opening night roster all the way through the final game of the 2011-12 regular season. It marked the most players to stay throughout the season in the three-year history of the Mavericks.
- Independence Events Center was sold out 19 times this season for Mavs’ games, setting a franchise high for sellouts in a season. In total, 182,533 fans came through the turnstiles at the IEC, averaging 5,531 fans per game, third highest average attendance in the CHL.
- Missouri saw quite a few awards given to them this season. Charlie Effinger was named the CHL’s goaltender of the week four times this season, including goaltender of the month twice. Brandon Coccimiglio was awarded with the CHL player of the month award for January after scoring eight goals and recording 10 assists for 18 points during the month.
- The players and coaches of the CHL are polled annually in 50 different categories to determine the “Best of the Best” in the CHL. The Mavericks took home first-place honors in the categories of Most Gentlemanly Player (Ed McGrane) and Best Pound-for-Pound fighter (David Simoes). The Mavericks front office placed first overall in two awards as well, for Best Website and Best Use of Social Media. The Mavs have now won Best Website and Best Use of Social Media two years in a row. The Mavericks placed second in six different categories. Sebastien Thinel for Best Playmaker, Andrew Courtney for Best Power Forward, Best Fans, Best On-Ice Promotions, Best Cheerleaders/Dance Team (Filly Spirit Squad) and Most Attractive Place to Play. Missouri placed third in Best Training/Equipment Staff, Best Press Box, Best Game Notes and Best City.
- Against the other three teams in the CHL’s Turner Conference who qualified for the playoffs, the Mavericks went 9-2-1 against the Fort Wayne Komets, Evansville IceMen and Rapid City Rush this season. The Mavs went 4-0-1 against the Rush and didn’t lose a single game in regulation to Rapid City this season.
- On March 6 against the Evansville IceMen, the Mavericks won their 100th game in franchise history with a 4-2 win. Missouri ended the season with a 107-71-18 all-time record in three seasons, making the postseason in each of the three seasons.
- The Mavericks partnered with one of the largest sports radio stations in the country, Sports Radio 810 WHB, to broadcast 12 Mavericks games over their 50,000-watt station this season. Play-by-play announcer Danny Clinkscale and color commentator Justin Scholtes covered the action for the Mavericks and the voice of the Mavericks, Bob Rennison hosted intermission segments.
-The Mavericks completed their first playoff sweep in franchise history over the Evansville IceMen in the Turner Conference Opening Round, winning all four games against the IceMen. The Mavs outscored Evansville 16-6 and had an average margin of victory of two and a half goals.
-Charlie Effinger was one of the most outstanding goaltenders in the 2012 CHL Playoffs, recording a 2.50 goals against average and .932 save percentage with a 7-4 record, starting all 11 postseason games for the Mavericks.
-The Mavs reached new heights during the 2012 postseason, playing in the most postseason games, latest date played and longest series in franchise history. The Mavs were also the closest they’ve ever been to a championship, having needed just one win to advance to the CHL President’s Cup Finals.
-The Mavericks played the first Game Seven in franchise history in the Turner Conference Finals against the Fort Wayne Komets. The Komets won the game, 6-4.
-Mavs’ captain Sebastien Thinel was one of the premier performers in the CHL postseason, leading the Mavericks with 15 points on three goals and 12 assists in postseason play.
Pictures courtesy of Scott Thomas and Daniel Russell.