MOLINE, IL – The Missouri Mavericks and Quad City Mallards got off to a fast start on Friday night, the first goal coming just 37 seconds into the game. Friday wasn’t the only time the two teams would square-off this weekend, as they traveled to Independence on Saturday to finish the weekend series.
Rocco Carzo capitalized on the power play early, scoring just eight seconds after Brady Brassart was called for slashing. Matt Finn and Dane Fox assisted on Carzo’s goal, which came on Missouri’s first shot of the night. The puck slipped past Adam Vay after it came from the left corner of the crease just outside the blue paint.
The Mallards seemed dazed and lifeless for much of the first period, forgetting the puck and missing passes. But after Grant Arnold scored at the 13 minutes 34 seconds mark, the Flock came to life. Arnold scored from just in front of the goal line to the right of Josh Robinson, taking the pass from Jack Nevins and Brassart.
The Mavericks came out of their locker room fired up for the second period, while the Mallards appeared to not be present for a few minutes. That didn’t last long, however, a spark lighting under the Mallards early in the second. The Mallards quickly began to dominate, firing 18 shots at Robinson before the horn to end the second period sounded. In contrast, Missouri only had five shots on goal in the middle frame.
Fox gave the Mavericks their second lead of the night with just four minutes and 42 seconds remaining before the second break. Dan Correale and Tommy Vannelli assisted on the goal, Vay not being able to go coast-to-coast in time to cover the gaping net. The lead by the visitors didn’t last as long as the first one, as Brassart connected on a breakaway a little under three minutes later. Defensemen Kevin Gibson and Alex Gudbranson earned the apples on that tally.
Just under three minutes into the final frame Brassart checked Tyler Elbrecht into the left corner boards behind Robinson. Fox took exception to the hit, dropping his gloves and tackling Brassart to the ice. Fox earned a double minor for roughing penalty, while Brassart earned two minutes for roughing after also dropping his gloves.
Forty-four seconds later, Alex Petan scored the game-winning power play goal with help from Sam Warning and Justin Kovacs. Kovacs passed the puck to Warning, who was to the left of the crease. Warning then passed the puck between his legs to Petan, who was behind him on the other side of the crease.
The two teams face off again on Saturday in Independence to finish the home-and-home series at 7 PM.