The Quad City Mallards used an offensive outburst to defeat the Alaska Aces 7-4 tonight. Three different players scored two goals for the Mallards. The Mallards recent defensive problems did not seem to be completely solved but the offense was able to overcome that tonight.
Zach Pochiro got the Mallards on the board 1:15 into the first period. The Mallards continued to control play for much of the first period. Matt Neal scored the second goal for the Mallards about ten minutes later. Former Mallards forward Joe Perry scored two minutes later to get the Aces on the board and cut the lead to 2-1.
The Mallards took a 3-1 lead early in the second period on Matt Neal’s second goal. Just a few seconds after the ensuing faceoff a couple fights broke out. First, Geret Hunt and Anthony Collins fought in a bout that Collins probably won. Then as the teams were lining up for the faceoff, Mike Monfredo fought Patrick Wellar. Wellar probably had the edge in that fight and it seemed to give the Aces life and change momentum. The Aces scored twice in the next five minutes to tie the score 3-3. The goals were scored by Ben Lake and Tyler Maxwell.
The Mallards reasserted themselves after that. After getting outshot badly in the first half of the second period, the Mallards nearly evened up the shots on goal in the period. Raphael Bussieres got his first goal to give the Mallards a 4-3 lead. The momentum carried over into the third period. Bussieres got his second goal on a rebound during a power play early in the third period.
Tommaso Traversa scored to pull the Aces to within 5-4. Shortly after that the Mallards went on a power play. Tanner Eberle sniped one into the top corner of the net to give the Mallards a two goal lead again. Pochiro, who started the scoring early int he first period game ended the scoring with an empty net goal with 5 seconds left.
There were several other bright spots. The Mallards went two for five on the power play. Several other players had good games tonight. Olivier Archambault had three assists and was +3 on the night. In addition to the fight, Mike Monfredo also had three assists and was +2. Darren McMillan and Guillaume Gelinas each had two assists. However, there were a handful of players that ended up on the minus side of the scoresheet. I’m sure the Mallards are happy about the offensive outburst but there is still probably some work to be done on defense.
A crowd of 3,625 was on hand for Veteran’s Day and saw the Mallards wear special jerseys for the occasion. A crowd that size may not seem like much but it was the second biggest of the five ECHL games going tonight and the Mallards’ biggest crowd on a Wednesday night since at least the 2011-12 season, perhaps longer.
With the win the Mallards improved to 5-4-1-2 and have scored the same number of goals as their opponents on the season (37-37).
Next, the Mallards travel to play the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday night before coming home to play the Fort Wayne Komets on Sunday.