MOLINE, IL — Kerry Toporowski. Mark McFarlane. Freddie Nasvall. Mallards greats returned to the iWireless Center for the twentieth anniversary of the franchise on Friday night. However, their greatness didn’t transfer to the Mallards of now.
Just over two minutes into the game Indy took the lead, Bryn Chyzyk scoring from Josh Shalla. The puck went bardown on just the second shot of the night for the Fuel. Thirteen minutes later Alex Petan tied the game unassisted after he carried the puck in and shot from the hashmarks to the left of Jake Hildebrand.
Indy scored three goals in rapid succession to open the second period, the first goal coming just 58 seconds after the face-off following the first bathroom break. Shalla wrapped around the net from right to left to find twine in a gaping net, the assists coming from Alex Wideman and Robin Press. Eighteen seconds later Alex Guptill extended the lead, Wideman earning another assist.
C.J. Motte did not agree with the Fuel’s fourth goal of the game, yelling at the referee as the official pointed at the net. It appeared Alex Gudbranson was shoved into Motte, hampering the goaltender’s movement and allowing Paul Zanette to score. The officials didn’t agree with Motte’s disagreement, letting the goal stand. Adam Phillips and Guptill assisted on Zanette’s goal. The Mallards didn’t let the four to one lead stand, however.
Three minutes after the visitors took a three goal lead, Andrew Panzarella scored from just past the blueline to answer back, Jack Nevins and Brady Brassart assisting. Twenty-three seconds later Chris Francis carried the puck into the offensive zone to pass to Pavel Jenys. The puck sailed between a defender’s legs on its way to Jenys, who taped the puck in. Justin Kovacs assisted on Jenys’ goal as well.
The Fuel almost struck back at the eight minutes, 35 seconds mark of the second period when Motte pulled a Ben Bishop a la Game Five of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals. Motte came out to the left dot to pokecheck and fell to the ice after losing an edge. No more goals would be scored in the middle frame, however.
Just under halfway through the final frame Patrick D’Amico scored an unassisted goal to make the score five to three. Motte got a piece o the puck as it grazed the top of his glove on its way in to the net. Motte was then pulled for the extra attacker with two minutes and ten seconds left in the game, Matt Rupert scoring seven seconds later. Rupert’s goal came from Guptill and Jonathan Carlsson.
Just before the game, the Mallards announced the signing of forward Sebastian Geoffrion. Geoffrion had last played for the Missouri Mavericks in the 2014-15 season.
The Mallards take on the Fort Wayne Komets to close out Alumni Weekend at 7:05 on Saturday. The alumni game starts at 4:30; tickets to the evening game are good for the afternoon’s game as well.