MOLINE, IL — The Quad City Mallards and Elmira Jackals faced off again on Sunday to finish the Mallards’ three games in three days stretch. Sunday’s contest differed greatly from the previous night’s in one aspect: penalty minutes. There were no fights on Sunday, and the two teams split the 10 penalties evenly.
At 2:24 of the first period, Justin Kovacs had a chance to give the Mallards the early lead on a gaping net. Andy Iles left his net to play the puck almost at the blueline, but Kovacs intercepted the clearing attempt. His shot went just wide to the right, bouncing off the post to the sound of the simultaneous gasp of the crowd.
Sam Warning was hooked a few minutes later, sending Adam Vay to the bench. While a sixth Mallard player was on the ice during the delayed penalty, Warning buried the puck on the second Mallards shot of the night. Alex Gudbranson and Alex Petan made their ways onto the score sheet with the assists on that tally.
Two minutes later, Greg Betzold earned a double minor for high-sticking. With five seconds remaining in the first minor, Kovacs scored from the high slot to put the Mallards up two to nothing with help from Grant Arnold and Gudbranson.
Petan was shoved into Iles as he carried the puck, falling onto the goaltender. Petan was then charged with goaltender interference, and 23 seconds later Jack Nevins took a seat in the sin bin for hooking. Just over half a minute later, Matthew Lane scored his first tally of the night. Sebastian Sylvestre and Sam Povorozniouk assisted on the goal that ended Vay’s second attempt at a shutout in as many starts.
6:12 into the middle frame, Lane scored again to tie the game, Kenton Miller and Sylvestre assisting. Andrew Panzarella had been in the box for interference, making the goal yet another tally on the man advantage.
Sylvestre earned two goaltender interference penalties in quick succession halfway through the game, the second one coming just 46 seconds after he left the box from the first one. He also earned a ten-minute misconduct call after the second penalty, making Ian Young serve the time for him.
With 16.7 seconds left before the second intermission, Elmira believed they had scored again. They said the puck had crossed the line before the whistle blew, one player going so far as to tap the boards in front of the goal judge as he yelled, “It was in!” It was deemed no goal, but Vay earned two minutes of Guillaume Gelinas sitting in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct after the goaltender sprayed an opposing player in the face with his water bottle after taking a drink.
Roughly 11:30 into the final frame, the only even-strength goal of the game was scored. Brady Brassart took a pass from Gudbranson and Josh MacDonald to put the Mallards ahead by one yet again. Six minutes later, Miller tied the game with help from Sylvestre and Povorozniouk. This was yet another power-play goal, as Warning was in the sin bin for hooking.
Overtime settled nothing, and onto the shootout the game went. Vay retired all three Elmira shooters in order, the last one with a poke check. Kovacs was the first Mallards shooter, his goal the only one of the one-on-one action as Chris Francis was prevented from scoring.
The Mallards visit Cincinnati for the final time on Wednesday when they attempt to secure their eighth straight victory. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 CST against the Cyclones.
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