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Examiner
  • Mavericks rout Tulsa in home finale

  • The Missouri Mavericks delivered a treasure chest full of prizes during Friday night’s regular-season finale, which was billed as Fan Appreciation Night, but the biggest reward for the sold out crowd was a dominating 5-1 victory over the Tulsa Oilers.

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  • The Missouri Mavericks delivered a treasure chest full of prizes during Friday night’s regular-season finale, which was billed as Fan Appreciation Night, but the biggest reward for the sold out crowd was a dominating 5-1 victory over the Tulsa Oilers.
    The win means Missouri remains in fifth place with 74 points entering the final weekend of the regular season as Rapid City (34-24-7) gained a point with a 6-5 overtime loss to Denver. That OT loss gives the Rush 75 points with one game remaining on its schedule.
    The Mavericks play Saturday night in Allen and Sunday afternoon in Wichita.
    “If we win out, we have home ice in the first round of the playoffs,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said after his team improved to 34-24-6. “We just have to take it a game at a time. We can't be concerned with what Rapid City is doing, although I'm sure there will be a lot of scoreboard watching tonight.”
    Mike Clemente stood tall in the net, winning his league-leading 25th game, while stopping 24 of 25 shots at the Independece Events Center.
    “Clemmer has been huge this season,” Hillman said. “He leads the league in the two stats that matter – wins and saves. No goalie that's played here has had forwards playing 'D,' and guys playing out of position all season long because of injuries. He's been our rock, and he was just outstanding tonight.”
    When asked about his league-high 25th win, Clemente just grinned.
    “I'm used to leading the league in losses – in college,” the Brown University grad said. “I don't pay much attention to all that. It's great to lead the league in wins because it helps the team. All any of us care about now is getting four more points this weekend to get home ice in the first round of the playoffs.”
    The top four teams start with home ice in the playoffs.
    The Mavericks are getting hot at the right time as they have won two in a row and five of their last six.
    “This is the time of year you want to be playing your best hockey,” said forward Andrew Courtney, who had a big night with two goals and an assist. “I personally feel like I'm playing much better.
    “I was out (11 games with a lower body injury) and I'm just now where I feel like I was before the injury. But tonight, everyone played well. This was a complete team win – from Clemmer and the defense to the forwards – everyone contributed.”
    The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Colt King's 18th goal of the season. Kyle Hood and Brandon Smith assisted on the scoring play. The Mavericks more than doubled the Oilers shots in the period at 15-7.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Mavericks continued their domination in the second period as they put up 21 shots and took a 4-0 lead.
     
    Rookie Kenton Miller scored his team-leading 28th goal of the season to give Missouri a 2-0 lead on assists by CHL points leader Sebastien Thinel and Evan Vossen.  
    Courtney scored the first of his two goals on a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Oilers goaltender Dan Clarke at 8:46.  Missouri scored its third goal of the period on Smith's ninth goal of the season. Through two periods, the Mavericks held a 4-0 lead and a 36-16 edge in shots.
    Courtney made it 5-0 early into the third period on a power play goal on assists from Thinel and Ryan Jardine. Tulsa finally beat goaltender Mike Clemente at the 7:59 mark of the third period and ended Clemente's bid at a shutout. Ryan Barlock scored the lone Tulsa goal.
    Thinel finished with two assists to raise his league-high point total to 92. Jardine added two assists.
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
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