KALAMAZOO, MI – After receiving two new players and seeing the return of a third while missing a few regulars, some growing pains could be expected for the Quad City Mallards. Chase Lang has now played two games this season – months apart – after being sidelined with an injury in Iowa early in the season. The team needs time to readjust to the additions, and this is best exemplified by the game against the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday. Surprisingly, there were no fights to be had, even after the physicality of Friday’s game. There was a roughing call in the first period, however, as well as double minors for roughing in the third period.
Jack Nevins scored the Mallards’ only goal a little before the midway point of the first frame. Adam Gilmour passed the puck in between the dots to Nevins, who backhanded it in from just left of the crease. Josh MacDonald also earned an assist on the goal that ended Nick Riopel‘s shut-out bid.
The K-Wings’ offense dominated in the second period, getting 23 shots on goal to the Mallards’ six. Three of the Wings’ shots slipped past Adam Vay, the first of which came off Tyler Biggs‘ stick. Biggs got the pass from Kyle Bushee before shooting from the high slot to tie the game. Five minutes later Sean O’Rourke scored his first career goal with help from Peter Schneider and Lane Scheidl, the puck going where Momma keeps the cookie jar.
Justin Taylor deflected the puck into the net at the 17:26 mark, just a few seconds after a face-off to Vay’s right. Eric Kattelus was credited with the lone assist, as it was his shot that Taylor deflected in.
Andrew Panzarella and Scheidl earned double roughing minors with just a few minutes remaining in the game. They had a go at each other in the Mallards’ zone, but the officials deemed it wasn’t quite enough to be considered a fight.
Taylor scored on the empty net with just 31 seconds left in the game to seal the deal, Cameron Darcy and Josh Pitt assisting.
With their loss and the Fort Wayne Komets’ 6-0 win, the Mallards are now nine points behind the Komets. The Mallards return home on Sunday to face the Wichita Thunder at 4:05 CST.