The Missouri Mavericks have had an unbelievable inaugural season, with the hopes that it will continue further into the playoffs. Here is a look back at the regular season, and a few players who are deserving of awards.
Rookie of the Year - #31 Charlie Effinger
Jason Tarwater of SportsRadioKC.com said it best (via his Twitter account) when he said “In a year full of great acquisitions, getting Effinger was by far the best.” While Nick Sirota was named to the CHL All-Rookie team and had a fantastic season, the impact Effinger has had on this team has been immense. The early struggles of the Mavericks’ goaltenders consistently plagued them and had a direct contribution to the inconsistency of the club. This has been a completely different team since Effinger was acquired from the Allen Americans.
Runner Up: #15 Nick Sirota
Fight of the Year – Mavericks’ captain #24 Carlyle Lewis vs. Arizona Sundogs forward #49 Cedric Bernier
While it is scary to see anyone get knocked unconscious at any time, you have to give Lewis credit for the thunderous right cross that rocked Bernier to sleep, but, unfortunately, also ended his season. While we do wish Bernier the best, that was by far the best fight of the season.
Runner Up: Carlyle Lewis vs. Rapid City defenseman Riley Weselowski
Most Underrated Player of the Year - #6 Jared Lavender
Lavender has had a fantastic season. Although he has only tallied 7 points (2 goals & 5 assists), he has been a rock on the blue line for this team all year. To be strong on the defensive side of the puck, like the Mavericks want to be, a team needs defensemen like Lavender.
Runner Up: #20 Derek Pallardy
Performance of the year - #28 Karl Sellan’s hattrick against the Mississippi Riverkings
Not only did Sellan tally the first hattrick in team history, he also helped his team take down a tough rival in the Riverkings. In front of a sellout crowd, the 6-1 victory was one of the best moments of the season.
Runner Up: Jeff Christian, Nick Sirota, and Simon Watson combining for 9 points in a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Eagles on February 2nd.
Special Teams Player of the Year - #12 Jeff MacDermid
MacDermid led the team with 14 powerplay goals, and was second on the team, trailing only Jeff Christian, in powerplay points with 20. His ability to set up camp in front of the opposing team’s goalie and stuff home rebounds has made him one of the top powerplay forwards in the league.
Runner Up: #72 Jeff Christian
Defensive Player of the Year - #22 Mike Burgoyne
When the Mavericks traded their captain and team leader Tyler Fleck to the Tulsa Oilers early in the season, it came as a shock to everyone. The Mavericks then turned around and signed Burgoyne to a contract, and the rest is history. Burgoyne has become one of the leaders on the ice, as well as the team’s best defenseman. He has also made incredible offensive contributions as well. He fifth on the team in total points with 32 (10 goals & 22 assists) and third in powerplay points with 18 (6 PPG & 12 PPA).
Runner Up: #6 Jared Lavender
Offensive Player of the Year - #72 Jeff Christian
The numbers speak for themselves. Christian leads the Mavericks in goals (29), assists (49), points (78), powerplay assists (24), and powerplay points (31). Not only does he have great scoring ability, but he also has the uncanny ability to put his teammates in the best possible scoring position as well. It’s easy to see why he’s played at the highest level, the NHL.
Runner Up: #15 Nick Sirota
Most Valuable Player - #72 Jeff Christian
Christian deserves this award for his numbers alone. However, his impact on this team and community has been overwhelming. He has been the heart and soul of the Mavericks since coming to Independence. The development of the younger players on the roster is a direct result of the guidance and tutelage that Christian provides, which makes him irreplaceable.
Runner Up: #22 Mike Burgoyne, #31 Charlie Effinger
Follow Joe on Twitter at Twitter.com/MavsHockeyGuy