FORT WAYNE, IN – The Quad City Mallards’ three-game win streak was broken in dramatic fashion on Saturday as they faced the Fort Wayne Komets for the first time since the opening round of the 2017 playoffs. Eight total goals were scored, but only one was scored by the Mallards. Alex Sakellaropoulos made his Mallards debut midway through the second period, relieving Ivan Kulbakov.
The Mallards gave up a goal within the first four minutes of the game once more, this time the tally coming at 1:46 off a face-off. Marc-Olivier Roy won the face-off to Kulbakov’s left after an icing call, Jason Binkley sending a wrister to end Kulbakov’s shut-out bid extremely early. The Komets didn’t hold onto the 1-0 lead for very long, however, as Sam Warning netted the lone Mallards’ goal at 2:09. Ryan McGrath brought the puck up the center, shooting at Garrett Bartus who made the initial save. Warning grabbed the puck as it bounced to Bartus’ left, wrapping around the net and letting the puck kiss twine on a backhand shot. Willie Raskob earned an apple on Warning’s seventh goal of the season.
The Komets began their six unanswered goal streak just under 90 seconds later, Cody Sol marking an assist after his shot from the right-side blue-line was deflected by Garrett Thompson. The home team then had a 31 second 5-on-3 power-play after both Josh MacDonald and Dmitry Osipov entered the sin bin. The Mallards were able to kill off both penalties, eventually killing off four out of five of their penalty kills for the night. Daniel Maggio scored his first goal of the season ten minutes after Thompson’s tally, Sol assisting once again. Sol passed the puck from the right boards to Binkley at the left far circle edge; Maggio was at the right dot when he got the puck. Kulbakov couldn’t go coast to coast fast enough to make the save, Maggio having a wide-open night in which to score.
Almost immediately after another Mallards penalty kill, the Komets made the score 4-1 off a Roy goal. Roy was standing just outside the blue paint, sending the puck to the back of the net during a scramble on the doorstep. Ralph Cuddemi and Taylor Crunk made their ways onto the scoresheet with the assists on Roy’s marker.
The Mallards were outshot 23-9 in the first period, and 43-27 by the end of the night.
Roy scored his second goal of the night just twenty seconds before the midway point of the game, causing Head Coach Phil Axtell to pull Kulbakov in favor of Sakellaropoulos. Binkley passed the puck from the Komet’s defensive zone up diagonally to Artur Tyanulin along the boards at the Mallards’ blue-line. Tyanulin then passed to Roy in the low slot, lighting the lamp again. Two minutes later Maggio also netted his second tally of the night, putting two Komets players onto the hat trick watch list. Greg Amlong had a bad clearing attempt directly in front of Sakellaropoulos, the puck going to Zac Larraza less than five feet away. Larraza brought the puck over to the right dot, passing it to Maggio. Mason Baptista also earned an assist on that goal. The Mallards outshot the Komets 10-7 in the sandwich stanza, but none of those shots managed to make it where it would count.
The Komets then scored their lone power-play goal of the night just two seconds before the five minute mark of the final frame, Thompson making his way onto the scoresheet again. Tyanulin passed the puck down the center to Thompson who was all alone against Sakellaropoulos. The puck managed to slide five-hole, Binkley also getting an apple on the mark.
The Mallards return home for a Wednesday game against the Adirondack Thunder, the lone meeting between the two teams. As always, Wednesday games feature the early start time of 6:35 CST and $1 10 oz. beers.
Please consider becoming a Patron as a way to say thanks and support us for what we do! https://www.patreon.com/thesinbinhockey