MOLINE, IL – The Quad City Mallards and Indy Fuel put on quite the show for fans at the TaxSlayer Center before the All-Star break kicked into effect following the game, but it was not the result the home team wanted. After losing 13 straight games, the Mallards sought to begin a winning streak, but one game does not a streak make. The Mallards tried to mount a comeback in the final frame, but fell just one goal short of tying it to send the game to overtime.
Throughout the game, the Mallards played physically, a recent departure from the season-long trend that showed a team apparently lacking in the chutzpah to toe the line of earning calls. Sam Warning started out the scoring roughly three and a half minutes into the game, scoring a highlight reel worthy goal. After receiving a pass from Tristan King, Warning spin-o-rama-ed from left to right and on the back-hand, sent the puck flying into the net. Ten minutes later, the visitors would get on the board after having a man in front of the net to screen Jake Paterson. Paterson made his debut in net on Saturday after being assigned to the Mallards from the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday. Jack Burton found a hole through the screen with help from Josh Shalla and Michael Neal, knotting the score.
Through the first 30 minutes of play, the Mallards seemed like the dominant team, but a three minutes and four seconds stretch in the middle of the second frame would spell doom for the Flock. Once again, the screen proved difficult for Paterson to see through, Robin Press this time finding an opening to give the Fuel the lead which they would hold for the rest of the night. Stephen Collins and Matt Rupert assisted on the power play goal that came 36 seconds into Warning’s slashing penalty. Press slid the puck between not only Matt Pohlkamp’s legs, and not only John McInnis’ legs, but also Paterson’s legs to meet twine.
Just a smidge under two minutes later, McInnis scored a goal of his own after he picked up the garbage in front of the blue paint. He tapped in a Collins shot that came from the far edge of the right circle, the puck finding the five-hole. 73 seconds later, Matt Rupert sent in a rebound from Cam Reid that was also right at the goalmouth. Paterson stretched out with both hands as he dove to try to make the save on his left, but his arms were just a hair too short to touch the puck.
Only 57 seconds into the final frame, Ryan McGrath took a hooking penalty, but it was not a problem for the Mallards’ penalty kill unit. Alex Globke streaked down the ice on an uncontested breakaway to rifle the puck in unassisted to put the Mallards back in the game. Seven minutes later, Globke scored again on a bounce no one could have predicted. Kyle Bigos chipped the puck into Indy’s defensive zone to head for a line change, and the puck bounced off of the glass behind Marcoux. The goaltender went out to play the puck while it was flying, but the puck bounced straight out to Globke in front of the net. Marcoux, not being the flash, couldn’t get in position quickly enough to prevent the goal.
The Mallards were unable to capitalize on a power play that came with just under four minutes left in the game, and even after pulling Paterson for the extra attacker, they were unable to score. Though the Mallards did have great pressure in the final minute of the game, Willie Raskob elected to pass rather than shoot before the buzzer sounded. Raskob will head to Indianapolis for the All-Star Game, though probably not with the Fuel on their bus. Don’t forget to tune in to The Sin Bin for All-Star Coverage and exclusive content!
After the three day All-Star Break, the Mallards will resume action at home on Friday January 19th for Marvel Superhero Night. The Mallards – wearing Captain America jerseys – will take on the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:05pm CST, with not only $2 Beer and $2 Hot Dogs, but also appearances by Captain America and Iron Man in store for Mallards and Wings fans alike at the TaxSlayer Center.
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