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Examiner
  • Friendly competition for Mavs goalies

  • The Missouri Mavericks were blessed the past three seasons with two goaltenders who knew their standing on the team.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks were blessed the past three seasons with two goaltenders who knew their standing on the team.
    Whether it was Charlie Effinger and backup Gerry Festa the first and third seasons, or Robbie Nolan and Festa in year No. 2, the goalies worked in harmony and were best friends.
    While those goalies are no longer with the Mavericks, the peace and harmony still exists this season as rookies Mike Clemente and Mathieu Corbeil are learning the ins and outs of the Central Hockey League and counting on each other’s support through a rough start that is improving with each passing game.
    The Mavericks are 6-7-2 and tied with Tulsa and Fort Worth for last place in the CHL, but coach Scott Hillman’s team is on a two-game winning streak and hopes to win its second consecutive game at home at 7 p.m. Friday, when the team plays host to the Quad City Mallards.
    Two reasons for the team’s recent success has been the play of Corbeil and Clemente.
    Corbeil was named the Oakley CHL Goaltender of the Week for the period ending Nov. 25.
    The Montreal native won back-to-back starts, stopping 50 of 52 shots (.962 save percentage). Corbeil held both the Fort Worth Brahmas and the Bloomington Blaze to only one goal each – in 4-1 and 6-1 wins, respectively – and lowered his goals against average to 2.89.
    He is the second Mavs goalie to receive an honor this season, as Clemente was named the CHL Rookie of the Month for October.
    “The two goalies we have are special, “ team captain Sebastien Thinel said. “Mike and Mathieu are young goalies who are going to get better and better as the season goes on. You know that Scott would not bring in young guys like Mike and Mathieu unless he had complete faith in them. And when the coach has complete faith in a player, we all have complete faith in those players.”
    Clemente, who was in the net for the Mavericks’ first two wins this season, is 3-2-1 with a 3.73 goals against average. Corbeil, who has been the hot goalie in recent weeks, is 3-5-1 with a 2.89 goals against average.
    “These guys have so much potential, it’s really exciting to think about,” Hillman said. “Everyone has to realize that they are rookies, and they are still learning about the league, let alone the individual players and teams in the league.
    “A veteran goalie like Charlie knew what to expect, what to anticipate from the players in the league, and Clemer and Corbeil are still learning. They have improved game by game, week by week, practice by practice. I have a great deal of faith in each one of them. If we didn’t believe they could get the job done, they wouldn’t be here.”
    Page 2 of 2 - When asked about the competitive nature of his position, Corbeil simply said he wants the best goalie on the ice – and whoever that is, he will have the complete support of his teammates.
    “Do I want to start every game?” Corbeil asked. “Of course I want to start. And so does Mike. We are great friends and we are friendly competitors. I have been on teams where the goalies weren’t that friendly. But that’s not the case here.
    “I know I have great support from Mike and he has my support when he is in the net.”
    Clemente is in full agreement with Corbeil.
    “We have a great relationship and really do support each other,” Clemente said. “We’re both young and kind of going through the growing pains of learning about this league together. We’re both competitive, but it is a great type of competition that will make each of us that much better.”
    WALKING WOUNDED: The Mavericks have four players on the injured reserve list with forwards Ryan Jardine (30 days), Trevor Kell (14 days), Matt Krug (14 days) and Jeff Pierce (7 days) all sidelined for Friday’s game against Quad City.
    “We’re missing a lot of bodies, and they all happen to be forwards,” Hillman said. “That’s four pretty good players we don’t have out on the ice, but that’s hockey. We’ll get by. The other guys have been stepping up their game, and we’ve managed to win a couple in a row without those guys.”
     
     
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