• King crowns Mavs' sudden-death win

  • Colt King knew that every eye in the sold-out Independence Events Center was on him Saturday night, as he opened the eighth round of an overtime shootout against Denver.

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  • Colt King knew that every eye in the sold-out Independence Events Center was on him Saturday night, as he opened the eighth round of an overtime shootout against Denver.
    “The pressure is there, because you know that everyone is looking for you to get the winning goal,” said King, whose shootout goal proved to be the game-winner as the Mavericks downed the Cutthroats 2-1. “All the attention is on you, and I went out on the ice with a plan.
    “But I saw (Denver goaltender Kent Patterson) leave the side open and I took the shot and it went in. But that goal doesn’t mean anything if Clemmer (Mavericks goaltender Mike Clemente) doesn’t stop (Sean Zimmerman, who took the final shot for Denver). Clemmer has been a rock, and a big, big reason – if not the reason – we have had so much success the last month of so.”
    Clemente stopped 20 of 21 shots in regulation and overtime and five of the eight shots in the shootout.
    The Mavericks improved to 18-14-4 to move into third place with 40 points. They defeated No. 2 Wichita and No. 3 Denver over the weekend to pick up four key points.
    “We just keep climbing the ladder, getting higher and higher in the standings, until we reach our goal of being the top team in the league,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “That is a very good, solid Denver team and they gave us all we could handle.
    “Again, what can you say about Clemmer? He was great again tonight. It would have been a crime if he would have lost this game in a shootout – but Kinger made sure that didn’t happen.”
    King assisted on Trevor Kell’s first-period goal, giving him 200 career CHL points.
    “I didn’t even know about the 200 career points until someone mentioned it after the game,” said King, who signed a game puck and gave it to an ill Mavericks fan after the game. “Right now, all we’re focused on is getting better every game – and so far, we’ve been doing that.
    “Clemmer is a rock in goal and we’re all playing better each game because we’re more familiar with everyone out on the ice. We started slowly – and believe me, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. But the chemistry is there, we’re all on the same page and we’re playing some winning hockey.”
    The Mavericks have won four in a row and are on a six-game point streak (4-0-2).
    “Every time we go out, we feel like we are going to win,” said team captain Sebastien Thinel, who leads the CHL with 51 points, said. “You can see Clemente’s confidence growing every time he goes out. And after allowing 51 shots on goal Friday (in a 4-2 victory over Wichita), we just give up 21 tonight.
    Page 2 of 2 - “That’s a big improvement. Mike didn’t have to work quite as hard tonight – although he always works hard and gives us a chance to win when he’s in the net.”
    Missouri controlled much of the first period and finally broke the scoreless tie at the 15:21 mark when John-Scott Dickson made a crossing pass to Kell, who one-timed the puck past Patterson.
    The second period was filled with penalties, but no scoring. Nearly 13 minutes into third period the Cutthroats scored the equalizer when Mike Towns notched his first goal of the season.
    “I wasn’t very happy after I let that goal in,” said Clemente, whose family came in from Virginia to attend the game. “The guys were amazing tonight. They really played well, and when a defense is playing as well as we did tonight, you don’t want to let anyone score.”
    Clemente leads the CHL with 15 victories.
    Denver scored on three of their first four tries in the shootout, but Andrew Courtney, Kyle Hood and Kell connected on consecutive attempts to tie it and send the shootout into sudden death. Clemente stopped four in a row before King scored the winner.

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