MOLINE, IL — Quad City came out firing on all cylinders putting Rapid City in a deep hole early but the late Rush rally wasn’t enough as the Mallards took a 5-3 victory Saturday night.
Quad City got on the board quick, scoring in the first 75 seconds of the opening period. Chris Francis was able to power his way through traffic before blasting a shot by Rush netminder, Austin Lotz at 1:14 to put the Mallards up 1-0. Sam Warning would then add his first of three goals in the period at 5:23 when he deflected a shot by Lotz to double Quad City’s lead. Nolan LaPorte got in on the offensive surge at 12:01 when he scored on an odd-man rush to put Quad City up 3-0. Warning scored his second of the night at 13:10 when he was able to sneak the puck by a diving Lotz and extend Quad City’s lead to 4-0. Lotz was pulled at this point for Adam Morrison as he had allowed 4 goals on 9 shots in the opening frame. Warning was able to beat Morrison, however, at 15:40 to complete his hat trick on the night and give the Mallards a 5-0 lead before the 1st period had come to an end.
Morrison was able to stonewall the Mallards for the rest of the evening, including a scoreless middle frame by both teams where he stopped all five shots faced to give the Rush another opportunity for a late-game comeback.
Terrance Wallin got the rally started early in the final frame when he was able to drive a rebound attempt by Mallard netminder, C.J. Motte just 36 seconds in to put the Rush on the board. Rapid City’s special teams contributed to the stat sheet late to keep the rally hopes alive when Triston Grant fired a shot by Motte at 13:41 for a power play goal on Andrew Panzarella‘s high-sticking double minor that pulled the Rush within three at 5-2. Lindsay Sparks continued the pressure in the Mallards zone with a deflected shot at 16:37 to make it a 5-3 contest.
Rapid City pulled Morrison for the extra attacker shortly after the Sparks goal but Motte was able to shutdown every scoring opportunity that followed allowing Quad City to come away with the 5-3 victory.
Motte takes the win stopping 26-of-29 Rapid City shots faced while Austin Lotz takes the loss stopping 5-of-9 Mallards shots faced. Adam Morrison stopped 14-of-15 shots faced in relief for Lotz.
Rapid City ended their six game road trip with a 1-5 record and now return home to face the defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans for a three-game stretch. Puck drops for the first game on Wednesday at 6:35pm MT with the annual “Pink at the Rink” contest on Friday.
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