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Examiner
  • Momentum shifts as Mavs gain series lead

  • For one period, Missouri Mavericks forward Colt King was a non-factor in his team's dramatic 5-2 victory over the Rapid City Rush Saturday night at the Independence Events Center.

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  • For one period, Missouri Mavericks forward Colt King was a non-factor in his team's dramatic 5-2 victory over the Rapid City Rush Saturday night at the Independence Events Center.
    He was called for back-to-back tripping penalties then received a 10-minute misconduct that sent him to the locker room.
    Without their inspirational leader on the ice, the Mavericks trailed 1-0 and showed none of the physicality that helped them even the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 victory Friday night win at home.
    “Colt knew he let his teammates down early in the game, and you just knew he was going to do something special after that,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said outside the joyous home locker room.
    “After that, he was on a mission. That's why we signed him, to do what he has done in this series. He is such a physical presence on the ice, and tonight, he dug down deep and played the game of his life. It was amazing to watch.”
    Trailing 1-0 at the midway point of the game, the Mavericks finally struck when Kellan Tochkin lifted a backhanded shot behind Rush goaltender Danny Battochio.
    The goal finished a two-on-one breakaway and CHL MVP Sebastien Thinel made a perfect feed to Tochkin to give the Mavericks new life.
    But it was short-lived as Rusty Masters gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at 17:53 of the period when he batted a backhand over the shoulder of goaltender Mike Clemente. But that was all the offense the Rush would produce as the Mavericks took over the game in the third period.
    Veteran forward Ryan Jardine took a perfect pass from Blake Forsyth to knot the score at 2-all at 12:47.
    “It was big to tie the game,” Jardine said. “It didn't matter who did it, we needed to get back into the game and tie it up. Then, we just took off.”
    Less than two minutes later, King found a loose puck and shoveled it past Battochio from the doorstep to give the Mavericks their first lead of the night.
    “Just doing my job,” King said. “There were some soft penalties early in the game. I got fired up – too fired up – and I know I can't help the team when I'm in the locker room.
    “I was dumb in that first period. After the misconduct, I came out with a new attitude. I was going to do anything I could to help this team win. Toch got the first goal, which was huge, and Jards tied it up. We were a different team in the third period. We wanted it more than they did.”
    King added another goal on an odd-man rush following a pinpoint pass from Andrew Courtney at the 18:18 mark, which gave the Mavericks a 4-2 lead.
    Page 2 of 2 - Kenton Miller found the back of an empty net in the closing minute to account for the final 5-2 score.
    “We still need a win to clinch it, and it's tough to win at Rapid City's barn,” said King, who starred for the CHL championship Rush team that won the Cup in 2010. “We can't get too high, or too low, we have to stay calm. We have a great blend of veterans and rookies on this team who know what we need to do.”
    The Mavericks have killed 15 straight penalties and 25 of 26 overall in the series, which played a big role in the team's last three home wins.
    “We're doing all the things you need to do to win playoff series,” Hillman said. “Clemmer was big in the net and we shut them down at the end.”
    The Mavericks now hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, which shifts back to Rapid City for Game Six tonight.
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     

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