MOLINE, IL – The Quad City Mallards continued their exercise in futility Friday night, losing 7-4 to the Fort Wayne Komets in a gritty seesaw battle at the i-Wireless Center.
The Komets dominated the first period, the Mallards being held off the shot clock through the first fifteen minutes of the first period.
The aggressive play began from the opening face-off, Ryan Tesink boarding just 47 seconds into the game and receiving two minutes in the sin bin. Alex Belzile negated the Komets’ powerplay by being called for roughing 47 seconds into the powerplay. Belzile forced Brady Brassart into the stanchion between the two benches to earn the penalty.
Fort Wayne scored the game’s first two goals, Joe Perry scoring the first off a rebound while Jamie Schaafsma scored the second. Perry’s goal was assisted by another former Mallard, Kyle Thomas. Perry had been a top-scorer for the Mallards last season when he wasn’t called up to the Iowa Wild and has scored a goal in almost every game he has played against the Mallards. Perry also got an assist on Schaafsma’s goal.
The Mallards answered back in the form of Kevin Henderson, scoring his first goal of the season in his first game back after a concussion, at 19:16 of the first. Henderson missed 15 games while injured. Henderson was assisted by Tesink and Tanner Eberle. Eberle also made his return to action after missing seven games.
Mallards forward Austin Coldwell scored to even the game at 2 while on a carry-over powerplay on Will Weber’s roughing double minor. Guillaume Gelinas and Matt Neal received credit for assisting Coldwell’s tally. Almost as quickly as Coldwell’s goal announcement was complete, Perry scored again. Cody Sol received a ten minute game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct at the same time as Perry’s second goal.
Ryan Tesink and Jordon Southorn squared off at 5:13 of the second period, ending up in front of the penalty boxes before Southorn took Tesink down. Tesink only got a couple of punches in while Southorn pummeled him.
On the Mallards’ eighth shot on goal of the night, they scored their third goal. Matt Carey tipped in a pass from Coldwell and Kevin Gibson. Gibson made his return to the line up tonight after not playing the past ten games.
Shawn Szydlowski broke the 3-3 tie to give the Komets a 4-3 lead into the second intermission at 14:23 of the middle frame.
Perry got his first career hat-trick at 8:13 of the third period off a pass from Szydlowski and Southorn. This goal, more than others of the night, was greeted with booing from the fans. Garrett Thompson scored at 12:55 to make it 6-3 Komets, and many fans began to leave.
Sam Warning gave the Mallards another spark a minute after Thompson’s goal, scoring with help from Tesink and Mike Monfredo. However, it was for naught, as an empty net goal was scored with a minute and 31 seconds remaining in the game.
The Mallards and Komets face off again on Sunday at 4 PM. Monfredo will not be having tomorrow night off, as he will be at the i-Wireless Center again to be a guest opponent against the Harlem Globetrotters. After the game on Sunday, fans can join the Mallards on the ice in the Post game Skate presented by B100.