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Examiner
  • Mavs like chances against top seed

  • Fresh off a 4-2 series win over Rapid City, the Missouri Mavericks boarded a plane for Allen, Texas, early Saturday morning to begin their best-of-seven semifinal series against the No. 1-seeded Americans.

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  • Fresh off a 4-2 series win over Rapid City, the Missouri Mavericks boarded a plane for Allen, Texas, early Saturday morning to begin their best-of-seven semifinal series against the No. 1-seeded Americans.
    The No. 5-seeded Mavericks meet the Americans at 5:05 p.m. Sunday and 7:05 p.m. Monday before the series returns the Independence Events Center for 7:05 p.m. games Wednesday and Friday. If necessary, Game 5 will be at the Events Center at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
    The Mavericks trailed the Rush 2-0 before winning four in a row, including the series-deciding 5-1 win Wednesday.
    “I haven’t played as much as I would like, and I understand because Clemmer (Mike Clemente) has done a great job in the net,” rookie goaltender Mathieu Corbeil said, “but I have had a lot of success at all levels of play in the postseason.
    “I feel like whoever is in goal, we have a good chance of winning. The boys have been playing great hockey, and we are a confident team right now.”
    With the team down 2-0, Corbeil won a 3-2 overtime game at the Events Center then won the clincher in Rapid City.
    “We have so much faith in Corbeil and Clemmer,” defenseman Dave Pszenyczny said. “I knew when we went back to their place with the 3-2 lead we were going to take it one game. This team has turned it up a notch in the playoffs. We’re getting the big goals, we’re more physical and we’re playing the best hockey of the season, and that’s how you win championships.”
    Veteran forward Ryan Jardine left his headphones in Rapid City following the opening series, but he was not concerned.
    “I called them and told them we’d be back,” Jardine said as he got in a workout on an exercise bike in the middle of the dressing room. “They wanted to send them to me, but I told them I’d just get them when we came back. And when we went back, I absolutely knew we were going to win that first game. We all did.”
    Andrew Courtney agreed with his linemate.
    “I think we all knew we were going to win the first game in Rapid City,” Courtney said. “Coach has a great game plan, and all we have to do is follow it. We were so much more physical than they were in the playoffs and when we went up there, we were playing a team that was pretty beat up.”
    Much of those bumps and bruises came courtesy of Mavericks bad boy Colt King, who has starred in every phase of the game.
    “When you’re in the playoffs, you play hard for 60 minutes,” said King, who had two goals in Saturday night’s 5-2 victory. “You don’t take a minute off, or a shift off. If you do, you let everyone down.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Because of a youth wrestling tournament that has taken over the Events Center, the Mavericks did not have any ice once they returned from Rapid City.
    Coach Scott Hillman gave the team Friday off, but did schedule an afternoon strategy session.
    “I like the mood in the locker room,” Hillman said, “confident, but not overconfident. They know they’re the underdog in this series, with Allen being the top seed. But we’ve had success in their building and we’re going to do everything we can to go down there and sneak back home with a win or two.”
    The Mavericks were 3-3 against Allen this past season, holding a 2-1 record on the road and a 1-1 mark at the Events Center.
    “Their building is quite similar to ours,” Hillman said. “They have great fans, so there should be a lot of excitement Sunday and Monday.”
    Tickets in all price ranges remain for the games Wednesday, Friday and possibly Saturday.
    “We want to encourage our fans to come out and support us,” Pszenyczny said. “We’re so used to sellouts, and I know that group sales have a lot to do with the regular-season sellouts, but it would be great to come out of the locker room Wednesday and see a full barn.
    “We get so much energy from our fans, and we want them to know how important they are to us.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     

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