The Quad City Mallards lost in overtime to the Missouri Mavericks 4-3 tonight. This is the Mallards’ fourth straight loss. Their last win was against the Wichita Thunder on October 25. They won that game 5-2. They have been unable to replicate that kind of offensive pressure since then.
The Mallards did not play well early in the game, giving up a few good scoring chances and getting outshot. The Mallards were fortunate to get an early power play goal by Olivier Archambault. It looked like the puck may have been deflected by a skate to trickle under the pads of Josh Robinson. Guillaume Gelinas got the assist. Gelinas is now in a four-way tie for second in points among ECHL defensemen with seven points in nine games.
Jesse Root got the Mavericks on the board about two and a half minutes later. He beat Steve Michalek high on a tough angle shot. The rest of the first period the Mallards picked up their play and ended up outshooting the Mavericks 10-9 for the period. The Mallards retook the lead on a goal by Zach Pochiro with 3:50 to go in the first period. The score would stay at 2-1 until late in the second period.
There’s no way to say it nicely: the Mallards had a very bad second period. They were outshot 15-9, and took four penalties, including their second Too Many Men penalty of the game. The Too Many Men penalties are an indication as to how out of sync they appeared at times. The Mavericks finally tied the game on a goal by Tyler Barnes with 2:27 left in the period. The goal that probably cost the Mallards the game though was scored by Kellen Jones with just two tenths of a second left in the period. It was a power play goal to give the Mavericks a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
It was a very back and forth third period. The only goal scored in it was a power play goal by Jake Baker to tie game 3-3 with 6:10 to play. A shot was deflected out to him in the high slot, and he was able to shoot the puck just inside the right goal post. In the final six minutes both teams produced great scoring chances but were unable to put any in the net. So the game headed to overtime.
The Mavericks scored 37 seconds into overtime to win the game in a strange turn of events. The play started out looking harmless, as the Mavericks brought the puck slowly into the zone with the Mallards defense in position. They took it to the left of Michalek. Root shot the puck under pressure and it was deflected over the head of Michalek and came down just inside the opposite post. Mallards defenseman Austin Coldwell quickly got the puck out of the net. Referee Stephen Thompson immediately signaled that it was a goal, but the goal light did not come on right away. There was a long delay as Thompson wanted to discuss the play with the goal judge. He ultimately ruled that the goal stood.
The Mallards were frankly outplayed in this game. Their power play went two for four and is what allowed them to get the game to overtime. Michalek was good in net and did not allow any soft goals. The defense simply allowed the Mavericks too many good chances. The Mallards young set of forwards could help the defense out by keeping offensive pressure going at the other end of the ice more often. The offense has struggled during this losing streak, with only eight goals over the four games.
Next the Mallards play the Thunder on Friday before traveling to Indianapolis to play the Indy Fuel on Saturday. The game against the Fuel will be the Mallards’ first game against a Midwest Division opponent.