The Best of the Missouri Mavericks Series will look back on the top ten moments from the inaugural season of the Missouri Mavericks.
Moment #9 - Sellan shines as the Mavericks take a big step
There are many moments throughout the course of a hockey season that can define a team. These defining moments are usually a sign of good things to come, or an omen to the outlook of the rest of your season. The Missouri Mavericks had one of these defining moments on a cold and blustery night in February.
During the thick of the stretch run, the Mavericks welcomed one of their fiercest rivals to town, the Mississippi RiverKings. As these two squads jockeyed for the final two playoff spots in the Northern Conference, the volatility grew with each passing match-up. These two teams simply did not like each other. During the playoff push, every point that a team can attain could be crucial when the final whistle blows on the regular season. Both the Mavericks and the RiverKings knew just how important this game would be.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Independence Events Center, these two bitter foes squared off, and the raucous crowd would not go home disappointed. Fans of the Mavericks knew that this team possessed the potential to be great, but they had yet to put all the pieces together. This night, however, would be a different story. The Mavericks pounded the RiverKings, with colossal checks, pitiless punches, and most importantly, on the scoreboard. The Mavericks lit the lamp a team-record six times, and Charlie Effinger stopped 39 of the 40 shots that he faced in rout to a 6-1 Missouri victory.
While Effinger put on a clinic between the pipes, it was Mavericks forward Karl Sellan who stole the spotlight on this evening. Sellan recorded the first (and only) hat trick in team history, in which two of those goals came on the powerplay. He also added an assist on Jeff MacDermid's powerplay goal to tie the team record of four points in a game (Jeff Christian). While a four-point night isn't exactly a phenomenal feat, Sellan's reputation as a bruiser and enforcer made it that much more surprising, and exciting. Just to put the icing on the cake, Sellan completed the coveted "Gordie Howe" hat trick (goal, assist, and a fight in one game), by dropping the gloves with RiverKings forward David Simoes.
While Sellan's performance is one that will be noted in team history, one aspect of the game that will not be forgotten is that this was the night that the Mavericks put it all together. This was the night that the team was firing on all cylinders from the opening faceoff to the final horn. This was the night that this team made their mark. This was the night that the first-year franchise from Missouri took that first step towards greatness.
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