MOLINE, IL – The Quad City Mallards were not a very well-oiled machine on Sunday against the Wichita Thunder, their play sloppy most of the night. The Thunder came out playing like they had nothing to lose, while the home team seemed unconcerned about the outcome of the game. On Friday against the Fort Wayne Komets the Mallards played like a playoff team, but on Sunday they looked like they were playing a bad game of shinny.
Just 97 seconds after the opening face-off Andrew Panzarella and Vincent Dunn dropped the gloves in a great kerfuffle to the right of Adam Vay. The fight lasted a long time, but it took a bit for any punched to connect because the combatants were tangled together. The fight traveled from the right dot back to Gretzky’s office, a linesman moving the net out of the way so the two players could continue the tussle. Neither combatant had a clear advantage in the match, both falling to the ice at the same time. Dunn retired to the locker room due to an injury, but entered the box with about a minute left in his penalty.
The referee began his annoyance of the fans early, as he called a holding penalty on Mike Wilson that seemed soft, but the situation was righted quickly when he whistled Macoy Erkamps for hooking nine seconds later. Another call that drew the fans’ ire was at 11:05 of the opening period, when Donnie Harris was thrown in the box after Dunn skated into Harris’ stick and fell to the ice.
Kevin Gibson and Darryl Lloyd were soon after both sent to the penalty boxes for roughing after a tussle that lasted from the goal-line to the center dot. The two began jawing at each other to Vay’s right, Lloyd grabbing Gibson’s stick as he skated by. Gibson tried getting his stick out of Lloyd’s grasp as he jawed at the Thunder player, hitting him a few times with the shaft as the latter continued to hold on. A few gloved punches were thrown as they reached center ice, the referees quickly breaking them up.
With exactly four minutes left in the first period Alex Petan put the Mallards on the board after receiving the pass from Sam Warning. Warning had streaked along the right boards with the puck, bringing it around behind the net before passing to Petan in the low slot. Panzarella also was credited with the assist on the power-play goal as former Mallard Ryan Tesink sat in the box for hooking.
The second period saw the Thunder tie the game 20 minutes and 44 seconds after the Mallards had opened the scoring. Jeremy Beaudry‘s first goal of the season was assisted by Jamie Doornbosch and David Friedmann. The puck went top shelf, Vay not seeing it as it rocketed past his right shoulder, a player screening him. The Thunder continued to dominate the second period, Vay facing 19 shots for the 10 Scott Greenham saw.
Halfway through the final frame the Mallards finally snapped out of their stupor, beginning to play like a team headed for playoffs. They couldn’t sneak the puck past Greenham, however, and more hockey was required. It was the second time in two games that the Mallards needed more time to get a victory.
Warning scored the game-winning goal at two minutes and 42 seconds, Grant Arnold and Adam Gilmour assisting.
The two teams travel to Wichita for a Tuesday game, with puck drop set for 7 PM CST.