Rural Missouri - February 2012 - (Page 18)

The Missouri Mavericks bring professional hockey back to Kansas City hen Bret and Beth Wright moved to Independence from their life in the northern United States, a void was created in their lives. They missed hockey. They missed the nonstop action that no other sport can deliver. Like much of Canada, most of our neighboring states to the north are addicted to hockey. During the winter months, lacing up the skates for a game of pond hockey or a trip to the rink is not just a routine. It’s a way of life. “When it’s hockey season, it was always on our TV,” says Beth. Missouri has the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League, but Kansas City hasn’t had a consistent professional hockey club for more than a decade. The Scouts lasted only two years in the NHL in the 1970s before the team moved. The Blades lasted for 11 seasons but folded in 2001. The ill-fated W by Kyle Spradley kspradley@ruralmissouri.coop Outlaws only made it through one season in 2004. the ice as players put their bodies to the challenge, Redemption finally came in June of 2009 when both physically and mentally. the Central Hockey League announced the “When you are on the ice, it’s a lot of instinct,” Cotton Kings from Lubbock, Texas, says Mavericks’ forward Ed McGrane. “But you were moving to Independence. also have to worry about the guy next to you “We are just so excited to see clocking you.” Independence hockey so close to home now,” says When a Mavericks’ player scores or drops • Bret. the gloves for a fight with an opposing The franchise got a fresh start in the player, be prepared for the crowd to pracShow-Me State with a new name — the tically blow the roof off the arena. Missouri Mavericks — logo, mascot and “When we are doing good, it gets a state-of-the-art arena ready for a fresh pretty rowdy,” says Beth, season-ticket fan base. holder. “The crowd goes nuts for these Five months later, the puck dropped guys.” for the start of the Mavericks’ first season against the Now in the middle of their third season, Rapid City Rush at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center the Mavericks are rapidly building a strong followArena in South Dakota on Oct. 15. The Mavericks ing with fans regularly packing the Independence finally held their first home game 10 games into the Events Center. season on Nov. 13. The game ended in thrilling fash“Our season-ticket base has really grown,” says ion in front of a sold-out crowd with a 3-2 overtime Patrick Armstrong, Mavericks vice president of comwin over the Wichita Thunder. munications. “We have sold more than 2,300 seats. Every game night, fans get to witness a battle on In a 5,800-seat arena, that is pretty impressive.” Above: Filly Spirit Squad members Laura Clark, left, and Katlin Andes cheer on the Mavericks during a game at the Independence Events Center. Right: Forward Andrew Courtney falls as he tries to put a shot on net against Quad City Mallard goaltender David McKee. The Mavericks tallied their third victory in a row with a 6-3 win on Jan. 7 while wearing Kansas City Royals-themed jerseys that were later auctioned for charity. 18 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2012

Rural Missouri - February 2012
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Better together
Outdoors
A plague of enmity
Out of the Way Eats
Rink redemption
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Radio revivalist
If the shoe fits
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Mr. Aviation
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - February 2012

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