EVANSVILLE, IN – The Quad City Mallards offense came to life in Wednesday night’s game against the Evansville IceMen. The Mallards sit one point out of the final playoff spot currently occupied by the Tulsa Oilers. Tanner Eberle returned to the line-up after being out since February 5 with an injury. Jake Baker also returned to the line-up after missing Saturday’s game after being hit in the face with a puck during the contest against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday.
The Icemen took an early lead at 6:08 of the opening period, as Matthew Zay found the twine behind Brody Hoffman. The puck appeared to bounce off of Baker’s skate and into the net. Chris Rumble and Alex Wideman got helpers on the goal.
The Mallards quickly evened the score when Olivier Archambault scored three minutes later, Jordan Knackstedt and Sam Warning assisting. This was Knackstedt’s second point in three games as a Mallard.
Matt Neal gave the Mallards their first lead of the night with three minutes left in the first period, Matt Carey collecting the assist. Vladimir Nikiforov extended the lead on the powerplay while Jordan Sims served a slashing penalty. Nikiforov’s goal came with assistance from Zach Pochiro and Mike Monfredo.
The Icemen were able to come back to tie the game, first with their own powerplay goal from Mike Duco and then with Nathan Moon’s tally. Wideman and Troy Rutkowski put their names on the scoresheet on Duco’s goal, while Sims and Ryan Penny did the same on Moon’s.
Carey returned the Mallards to the lead with his penalty shot goal halfway through the third period. Rutkowski scored shortly after Carey’s penalty shot goal to tie the game once more, Wideman and Zay assisting.
Pochiro scored his first goal since December 6 to seal the win for the Mallards at 13:23 of the final period, sliding it behind Christoffer Bengtsberg unassisted.
The Mallards will play back-to-back games in Cincinnati on Friday and Saturday. Puck drop is set for 6:30 PM CST for both games.