MOLINE, IL – It was indeed a very Good Friday for the Quad City Mallards, beating the Evansville Icemen 3-1 and raising over $24,500 dollars for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1303 with their sweater auction post-game.
Former Vancouver Giants forward Trevor Cox made his professional debut tonight, appearing in the starting line-up alongside Jordan Knackstadt and Matt Carey. Cox had picked up the Mallards’ systems quickly, and showed a willingness to go hard into the boards from the very start of the game.
The Mallards dominated play during the first period, having many quality shots on net. Scott Greenham was excellent in net, denying the Mallards on many opportunities that a lesser goalie would have let through. The Mallards’ passes connected much more often then in some of the recent games, leading to those quality shots.
Towards the middle of the first period, Olivier Archambault had a fantastic breakaway opportunity that he failed to capitalize on by waiting too long to shoot or pass the puck. He almost scored later in the period on a wraparound, but Greenham was able to get his glove to the puck before it crossed the line.
Matt Carey also had a good breakaway chance shortly after that, but the puck sailed a little high of the net and instead found the protective netting around the glass. Carey was able to find twine within the last minute of the period, however, sending it from the left dot with help from Jared Knight and Austin Coldwell. The Mallards had been on the powerplay at the time of Carey’s goal.
Zach Pochiro’s shot slid past Greenham less than two minutes into the second period. Knight and Vladimir Nikiforov assisted on the goal to put the Mallards up 2-0.
During the second period the Mallards believed they were making cakes, not playing hockey, as they were repeatedly icing the puck after Pochiro’s goal.
During the third period, the Icemen were able to put themselves on the board when Alex Widemen put the puck into the gaping net. Brody Hoffman had become tangled up on the left side of the net, and was unable to free himself to make the save on Wideman’s shot. Wideman was assisted by Scott Morongell and Nathan Moon at 6:48 of the final period.
Archambault once again went on a breakaway late in the third period, this time scoring on the empty net to seal a much-needed Mallards victory. Archambault’s goal was unassisted after he took received the net in the defensive zone and streaked down the ice to score.
With the Mallards’ victory tonight and the Tulsa Oliers’ loss, the Mallards are now in eighth place in the Western Conference with one point ahead of Tulsa.
The Mallards face the Wichita Thunder Saturday night at 7 PM CST. The two teams will face off again on Tuesday as well before the Mallards travel to Independence, MO for a Wednesday game. The Mallards will return to the iWireless Center on April Fool’s Day against the Oilers.