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Examiner
  • Tochkin's big weekend boosts Mavs

  • Kellan Tochkin wrapped up the biggest two-day span of his rookie career.

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  • Kellan Tochkin wrapped up the biggest two-day span of his rookie career.
    The forward notched eight points as he helped the Missouri Mavericks claim two weekend victories as the Missouri Mavericks topped Tulsa 5-2 Saturday at the Independence Events Center and then Sunday afternoon traveled to Bloomington, Ill., to stop the Blaze 6-3.
    Tochkin, who also had a goal and an assist in last Tuesday's 4-3 road win at Quad City, was named the Central Hockey League’s Oakley Player of the Week on Monday.
    “The line of Tochkin, (Kenton) Miller and (Sebastien) Thinel has been outstanding,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “We’re getting a lot of production from a line that has not played that many games together. Tochkin has really played well, and he’d the be the first to tell you that his linemates have a lot to do with that.”
    Tochkin had two goals and two assists to make sure his roommate, goalkeeper Mike Clemente, got his league-leading 18th win Saturday night against the Oilers.
    “It’s about time I helped get Mike a win,” Tochkin said. “When you play with a veteran like Sebbie (Thinel), you just feel more comfortable and confident out there. This was a team effort, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
    The Mavericks suffered a 5-1 loss Friday night at first-place Allen, but bounced back to earn four points with the wins over the Oilers and the Blaze.
    The Mavericks, who have tied a franchise record with 10 sellouts in a row, go for No. 11 when they play host to the Denver Cutthroats at 7:05 p.m. tonight at the Events Center. The two teams are tied for fourth place with 52 points.
    The Mavericks scored the final four goals of the game Sunday to get past the Blaze at US Cellular Coliseum.
    Colt King, who scored the first goal in Saturday night’s 5-2 victory, added a pair of goals Sunday.
    “Getting Kinger back is huge,” Hillman said. “He’s really playing well now, and is becoming a force offensively. He’s always a presence on the ice, but coming back from the (hand) injury, he has really contributed offensively.”
    The Mavericks have won two in a row and three of their last four, which is even more impressive because they played at Allen, Texas, on Friday, home Saturday and at Bloomington, Ill., Sunday.
    “That was a great team effort,” Hillman said following the win Sunday. “Everyone in the lineup had a big game for us, and it was a good four-point weekend. Unless you’re on the bus, you don’t know what it’s like to play three in three and have two on the road. We wanted a four-point weekend, and that becomes more difficult when you lose the first game.”
    Page 2 of 3 - For the second game in a row, King got the Mavericks on the scoreboard first Sunday at Bloomington.
    The Blaze responded with a pair of power-play goals just 24 seconds apart, but Missouri scored 23 seconds later on Tochkin’s 11th goal of the season. He was assisted by Miller and Blake Forsyth.
    Brett Lutes gave the Blaze a 3-2 lead on Bloomington’s third power-play goal just 1:54 into the period. The Mavericks responded again quickly, regaining the lead on goals by Miller and Trevor Kell. Miller deflected a shot by Dave Pszenyczny for a power-play goal, and just 34 seconds later Kell scored on assists from Thinel and Tochkin. The three goals were scored in the first 3:14 of the period, and the Mavericks held the 4-3 lead for the final 17 minutes of the second.
    Missouri opened it up in the third period by adding two more goals. Tochkin notched his second of the game on a feed from Thinel. King then scored his second of the game on assists from Tochkin and Kell. The Mavericks defense and goaltender Mathieu Corbeil did the rest.
    “We need to do some work on our PK (penalty kill) unit, but other than that, a big win Sunday,” Hillman said. “Now, the boys have a day to rest before Colorado comes to town.”
    The Tochkin-Miller-Thinel line did most of the damage Saturday night as Tochkin had four points and Thinel and Miller added three each.
    “I feel so comfortable playing with Miller and Tochkin,” said Thinel, who leads the CHL in scoring with 64 points. “Tonight, everything was working. It looked like we have been playing together for a long time – like the old days in Odessa (where Thinel was a scoring champion and league MVP).”
    The Mavericks controlled Saturday night from the opening faceoff, putting up eight shots and a goal before the Oilers had their first shot on goal. King ripped a slap shot home at the 4:17 mark to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead.
    Missouri extended its lead to 3-0 in the second period on goals from Tochkin and Miller.
    Tulsa battled in the third period and made it 3-1 on a goal by Jason Weeks just 3:38 into the period. Missouri answered on Tochkin’s second goal of the night at the 5:06 mark.
    Sean Erickson scored for the Oilers on the power play to make it a 4-2 game at 7:01, but that would be as close as the Oilers would get. Miller missed on a penalty shot at 9:32, but he made up for it just 12 seconds later on his second goal of the evening.
    “Miller’s goal was huge,” Clemente said. “They cut it to 4-2 and we didn’t want them to get any closer. This was a big win, a team win, and the fans were incredible tonight, but they’re incredible every night.”
    Page 3 of 3 - TURNBULL LEAVES TEAM: The Mavericks have placed forward Podge Turnbull on team suspension after he left the team to play in England. The Mavericks also placed forward Andrew Courtney on the 14-day disabled list with a lower body injury.
    “We’re missing Courts and Jards (Ryan Jardine), and Podge leaves – without any warning – and the boys find a way to come up with some big wins,” Hillman said. “We hope to have Jards back Tuesday, and then we have a few days until we play again Friday. If we have to bring in some new players, that’s what we’ll do.”
     
     
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