MOLINE, IL — Three fights, two game misconducts, and one aggressive hug was just a taste of what the Quad City Mallards and Elmira Jackals match-up had to offer on Saturday night. Several roughing calls were also handed out, as the worst team in the league played like they were in a Paul Newman film.
The two teams seemed evenly matched through most of the first two periods, neither team having possession for very long. At 9:16 mark of the first, Sebastian Sylvestre face-washed Jack Nevins while the two were exchanging pleasantries. After a few punches, Sylvestre body-slammed Nevins to the ice to the right of Jason Kasdorf. After the two were pulled apart, Nevins continued to throw punches, earning himself a game misconduct. Nevins also earned two minutes for instigating the fight; Josh MacDonald served the two minute penalty.
10 minutes later, Alex Gudbranson took Luke Sandler hard into the boards to the left of C.J. Motte. Sandler took exception to the hit and dropped his gloves after standing up, but Gudbranson said “not in my house.” Sandler fell to the ice and lacked enough sense to accept the loss, and attempted to continue fighting. Gudbranson drew the ejection for pressing the point, while Sandler earned only two minutes for roughing.
With 15 seconds left in the first period, Brady Brassart broke the deadlock. Guillaume Gelinas and MacDonald assisted on the goal that came during the stretch of four on four hockey due to Gudbranson and Sandler’s coincidental penalties.
Chris Francis passed the puck to Michael Parks from the blueline 52 seconds into the second period, Parks sending the puck into the net and displacing the water bottle. Donnie Harris also assisted on the goal that helped extend the Mallards’ lead.
Andrew Panzarella and Kenton Miller dropped the gloves in front of the Mallards’ bench at the 8:23 mark of the sandwich stanza. Six minutes later, Miller scored to put the Jackals on the board with help from Sam Povorozniouk and Kyle Rankin. Miller bounced the puck off of Motte’s left pillow after wrapping around the net.
Panzarella and Rankin got into trouble 6:48 into the third, Panzarella having hit Rankin in the mouth with his stick. As both players skated to their respective benches, Rankin continued to check Panzarella and the two exchanged lashes. A whistle finally blew, slapping the Jackal with a roughing penalty and the Mallard with a double high-sticking penalty. A minute later Miller scored again, Povorozniouk and Greg Amlong assisting.
Francis scored the game-winning goal 1:41into the overtime period, MacDonald and Panzarella being credited with the assists. This was the Mallards’ sixth straight victory, and the Jackals’ twelveth straight loss.
The two teams face off again on Sunday at 4:05 CST.