MOLINE, IL — The Quad City Mallards’ four-game win streak has come to an end after facing the Cincinnati Cyclones on Thursday night. The orange sweaters made another appearance for the Mallards, which occurs often on nights when the Illinois-based team loses. The Cyclones managed to score four times in the first battle between the two teams this season, two of those goals coming from Andrew Yogan. The Mallards only found twine once behind Mark Visentin.
Looking at the scoreboard alone, a person might think the Cyclones dominated the first period. After 20 minutes, the home team was up 2-0 with one powerplay goal. However, the scoreboard was lying. The Mallards seemed the dominant team through most of the first period, outshooting the Cyclones 15-5. The puck was in the Cyclones’ zone for much of the first period, yet the few shots that Cincinnati had were high quality. By the end of the game, the Mallards had out-shot the Cyclones 31-15 but had barely anything to show for it.
Gabryel Boudreau opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game. The play began in the Cyclones’ own zone, Jordan Sims passing the puck to Eric Knodel who then passed to Boudreau. Boudreau then finished streaking down the ice to the Mallards’ zone to put the puck in the net.
Ten minutes later, Brady Brassart would take a seat in the penalty box for tripping. His rest didn’t last long however, the Cyclones earning a powerplay goal just four seconds later. Chris O’Donnell just outside the crease deflected a pass from Yogan on the blueline to double Cincinnati’s lead. In previous games, the Cyclones had been having trouble scoring while on the man advantage; they seem to have corrected whatever errors they had on the powerplay unit, scoring on the powerplay twice in one night. Peter Leblanc would also earn a point on O’Donnell’s goal.
Captain Chris Francis would end Visentin’s shut-out bid just under three minutes into the sandwich stanza. Kenny Ryan had taken a slashing penalty at just over a minute into the period, giving the Mallards their first powerplay of the night. Only nine seconds remained in the powerplay when Francis received the puck from Nolan LaPorte and Mike Monfredo.
Andrew Panzarella made his return to the line-up after being out since opening weekend, and it was not a quiet return. At the 8:40 mark he and Boudreau dropped the gloves after Panzarella took exception to the hit Boudreau kneeing Nelson Gadoury. The fight would end in a draw, but the Mallards were granted a man advantage after Boudreau was penalized for the knee he gave Gadoury. Michael Parks and Jack Nevins are both out of action with lower body injuries. Parks had missed a few games after opening night but had played well after returning from injury. Unfortunately, Parks re-injured himself in the Mallards’ 3-2 victory over Tulsa last Saturday.
Yogan would score his first of the night while on another powerplay for the Cyclones, this time on a two-man advantage. Pavel Jenys was first to the box for a slash, but was quickly joined by Donnie Harris for cross-checking. O’Donnell and Craig Dalrymple assisted on the goal that returned Cincinnati to a two-goal lead.
The Flock was forced to kill a four-minute long penalty after LaPorte earned a double-minor for high-sticking early in the final frame. However, the first 49 seconds of the double-minor was a four-on-four span due to Dominic Zombo serving a delay of game call. Though the Mallards were successful in killing the long penalty, they could not pull off a comeback win to continue their streak. Yogan scored to give the Cyclones a 4-1 lead at 13:35 of the third period, just squeezing it past Adam Vay‘s left shoulder as he traversed the crease right to left. Ryan and Zombo assisted on the game-winning goal.
After a whistle with just two seconds remaining on the board, LaPorte and Jonathan Diaby dropped the gloves, but the linesmen stopped the fight before it could begin. They were both penalized for slashing. At the final horn, several members of both teams met on the ice and began to jaw at each other. Keep your eyes peeled for the rematch on Sunday at 4:05 CST in the Marsh for any continuations of the aggressive play seen tonight.
The Mallards will travel to the Indy Fuel for a Saturday night game this week before returning home on Sunday. Saturday’s game will begin at 6:35 CST.