• Mavs goalie celebrates birthday with award

  • The Missouri Mavericks locker room was empty, with the exception of rookie goaltender Mike Clemente.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks locker room was empty, with the exception of rookie goaltender Mike Clemente.
    He was stretching in the training room and mentally preparing a list for a Wednesday afternoon grocery shopping trip with teammate Kellan Tochkin.
    Quite an exciting way to celebrate your 23rd birthday.
    “We have a crock pot of pulled pork cooking at home and are going to watch a movie, or do something like that,” said the low-key Clemente, who was just named the CHL’s Goaltender of the Week for the period ending Jan. 6. “I’m not really thinking about the award, although it’s nice because I can talk about how well the entire team is playing right now. You don’t win an award like that unless everyone contributes.”
    This past weekend, Clemente’s family was in town to see a dramatic 49-save, 4-2 win over Wichita and a 2-1 overtime eight-round shootout victory over Denver.
    Clemente started the week with a 35-save shutout over the Tulsa Oilers on New Year's Eve. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound native of Virginia finished the week with a 3-0 record, a goals-against average of just 0.97 and a save percentage of .972.
    “What a week for Clemmer, and his family was here to see the two games this past weekend,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said. “I don’t know where we’d be without him. He is very talented and you see his confidence grow game by game.”
    Team captain Sebastien Thinel backs that comment, adding, “Mike is much more confident now than he was early in the season. And we have so much confidence in him, we believe we are going to win every time we go out on the ice.”
    While Clemente downplays his weekly award, he does admit that it came at a special time.
    “It was great to have my family in town this past weekend to see the two wins against Wichita and Denver,” said Clemente, who was joined by his mother and father, Chris and Tracy, and his 5-year-old sister Haley, 13-year-old sister Maddy, 14-year-old brother Noah, 19-year-old brother Dylan and his No. 1 fan, grandma Jan Schar.
    “This has been the most incredible weekend,” Schar said after Saturday night’s win as the entire family convened outside the Mavericks locker room. “This is an exciting time in Mike’s life and we are all so thrilled to be able to be a part of it this weekend. And we were able to celebrate an early birthday with him, too.”
    Clemente leads the CHL with 15 wins and played a big role in the team’s 10-3-2 December. The 18-11-4 Mavericks are 2-0 in 2013 and are on a six-game point streak (4-0-2).
    Clemente was named the 50/50 CHL Rookie of the Month for October. Overall, he is 15-4-3 with a 3.01 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
    Page 2 of 2 - The first-year goalie has been a workhorse for the Mavs playing in 17 games since Dec. 1, helping him amass a league-leading 612 saves.
    HAYES LEAVES FOR ECHL: Missouri Mavericks announced Wednesday they have placed defenseman Colten Hayes on team suspension. He has left the team to play for the Stockton Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League. The Mavericks will retain the rights to Hayes in the CHL.
    Hayes had nine points on one goal and eight assists, 29 penalty minutes and a plus-3 plus/minus rating in 18 games this season for the Mavericks. He played 10 games with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets this season before coming to the Mavericks. He played 39 games with Stockton and nine games with the Reading Royals in the ECHL last season, totaling 23 points.

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