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Examiner
  • Mavs coach suspended following wild weekend

  • A tumultuous season that has had more twists and turns than a Jason Bourne movie featured a weekend in which the Missouri Mavericks clinched their fourth consecutive playoff berth, then lost their coach to a one-game suspension.

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  • A tumultuous season that has had more twists and turns than a Jason Bourne movie featured a weekend in which the Missouri Mavericks clinched their fourth consecutive playoff berth, then lost their coach to a one-game suspension.
    Mike Clemente starred in the net and Kenton Miller, Brandon Smith and Sebastien Thinel scored goals in a 3-1 victory Saturday night at home against the Quad City Mallards.
    Less than 24 hours later, in Moline, Ill., Quad City blanked the Mavericks 6-0 and coach Scott Hillman was ejected from the game for arguing against a goal that replays clearly showed did not cross the line into the net.
    With all the dust cleared from the weekend, the Mavericks stand at 32-24-6 and are in fifth place in the CHL standings with four games left in the regular season. They are four points ahead of sixth-place Denver and Quad City and just two behind fourth-place Rapid City.
    The Mavericks, who travel to Bloomington for a 7:05 p.m. game tonight, have a game up on Rapid City.
    “It was a big weekend, that's for sure,” Hillman said Monday afternoon. “We clinch our fourth straight playoff berth with a great performance at home, then go up to Quad and don't play well at all.
    “This is the time of year where you want to go into the playoffs with some momentum. I thought we would have that momentum after the back-to-back wins last week over Denver and the win against Quad City (Saturday night).
    “We have to play better than we did Sunday. It was one of those games that just got out of hand.”
    Mallards goaltender John Murray stopped all 35 Mavericks shots for his second shutout of the season and Patrik Levesque scored two goals and added an assist for the Mallards.
    Mickey Lang scored the lone goal of the first period for the Mallards and Missouri was forced to kill three power-play opportunities in the opening period. In the second period, the Mallards scored a pair of goals just 54 seconds apart and they held a 3-0 lead.
    Hillman was ejected from the game for protesting the ruling of the Mallards' fourth goal. The puck looked to stay in front of the goal line on Levesque's shot, but it stood as a goal.
    Assistant director of hockey operations Simon Watson will be calling the shots from the bench tonight, although Hillman said he will make the trip to Bloomington.
    “The boys will be in good hands with Watty,” Hiilman said. “You could look on the big screen and clearly see that Clemmer (Clemente) made a great save.”
    An irate Hillman threw several water bottles out on the ice, which violates CHL Rule 39.1: “Any coach or non-playing club personnel who throws anything on the ice during a game will be subject to a bench minor penalty and a game misconduct. In addition, that person shall receive a $1,000 fine and an automatic one-game suspension for the next game of their team.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Levesque and Obi Aduba each added another goal to account for the final 6-0 score.
    Clemente picked up his league-best 24th win with the 3-2 victory Saturday night at home.
    “This is a big win,” Hillman said, Saturday night, “a real confidence builder. After what they did to us last weekend (winning two games by a combined score of 14-3), we needed to come back and prove to ourselves that we could play with them.”
    The Mavericks controlled the game and took a 3-0 lead through the first 25:41. Kenton Miller opened the scoring when he took a centering feed from Colt King and he wristed a shot past Mallards goaltender Neil Conway.
    His goal came at the 15:54 mark of the first period. Brandon Smith then toe-dragged around a defender and beat Conway with a backhand to give Missouri a two-goal lead.
    Thinel made it 3-0 on his team-leading 27th goal of the season and Eric Meland earned his first professional point on an assist.
    Missouri held that lead until the final six minutes of regulation when Matt Duffy scored the Mallards' lone goal.
    THINEL RECEIVES HONOR: Mavericks forward Sebastien Thinel was named to the All-CHL team Monday. Thinel and five other players were named to the team, which was selected through balloting of all CHL head coaches.
    Thinel leads the CHL in scoring with 89 points and 62 assists in 62 games played. The St. Jerome, Quebec, native has nine more points than the next closest scorer in the CHL. This is his third selection to the All-CHL team as he was named to the team with the Odessa Jackalopes in 2010-11 and 2008-09.
    The other players named to the All-CHL team are forwards A.J. Gale (Denver) and Mickey Lang (Quad City), defensemen Tyler Ludwig (Allen) and Kevin Young (Wichita) and goaltender Aaron Dell (Allen).
    Thinel joins former Mavericks goaltender Robby Nolan as the only two players in team history to be named to the All-CHL team. He is also a finalist for the league's Most Valuable Player award, which will be announced March 25.
    Mavericks playoff tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Thursday through all Ticketmaster outlets and at the Silverstein Eye Centers Box Office.
    Playoff schedules are to be determined and only playoff games A, B and C of the first round will go on sale. Visit www.MissouriMavericks.com for up-to-date information as it is released.
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     
     
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