MOLINE, IL — The Kalamazoo Wings seemed to outplay the Quad City Mallards in every aspect of the game Wednesday night, but somehow, the Mallards were able to force the Wings to a shootout. Justin Taylor scored the lone goal in penalty shots, as the K-Wings defeated the Quad City Mallards 3-2 in a shootout.
The Mallards had good puck possession the first few minutes of the game, but after a bench minor on the Wings for having too many skaters on the ice, the momentum seemed to shift. The Mallards began to be outshot and outhustled for the rest of the game. Adam Vay allowed the game’s first goal at 11:36 of the first, the puck slipping through his five-hole as he went down in the butterfly next to the right post. Eric Kettelus got credit for the goal, with assists going to Ben Wilson and Kyle Blaney.
Five minutes after Vay’s shutout attempt was ruined, Dylan Labbe netted his first Mallard goal, assisted by Sam Warning and Nolan LaPorte. LaPorte attempted to put the Mallards ahead with two minutes left in the first frame, but unfortunately, it was himself and not the puck that went into the net, and therefore the score remained tied at one apiece after 20 minutes of play.
The Wings went on their first powerplay of the night just 53 seconds into the sandwich stanza after Labbe was called for slashing. Fifty seconds later the Wings would score their lone powerplay goal of the night from Justin Taylor. Taylor tapped a pass from Tyler Shattock into a gaping net on the right side as Vay was unable to go coast to coast. Tanner Sorenson also earned an assist on that goal.
Warning would have a great chance to even the score halfway through the final period, but was unable to find twine on his shorthanded breakaway. He received the puck just shy of the Wings’ blueline, racing in all alone against Joel Martin, but his effort proved in vain. Labbe would score the game-tying goal just a few minutes later from the high slot, Kevin Gibson making his way onto the scoresheet next to LaPorte.
The overtime period would be scoreless, though the Mallards did get another useless powerplay 33 seconds into extra hockey from a hooking call on Kyle Bushee. The Mallards were unable to score in the shootout, not even the top-scorers Alex Petan or Warning. Taylor was the only Wing to score, sealing the win with the last shot of the night.
One of the biggest errors I saw the Mallards make was not having their sticks on the ice. Often times they’d be sent a pass, but the puck would breeze beneath the wood and continue down the ice. Several times the puck would sail to an opposing player, resulting in a very good scoring chance.
The Mallards travel to Cincinnati to take on the Cyclones on Friday night at 6:30 CST.