MOLINE, IL – Two streaks ended on Friday night in rather dramatic fashion, the Quad City Mallards defeating the Utah Grizzlies 7-6 in a shootout that went to a fourth round. Four goals were scored in each of the three periods, the Mallards the only one to hold a lead into any intermission throughout the night. Jamie Tardif scored the game-winning shootout goal after both Tristan King and Gergo Nagy had also scored in the shootout in front of one of the largest crowds the TaxSlayer Center has held this season for a Mallards game.
The game began well for the Mallards, Alex Globke scoring the first goal just 43 seconds after the opening faceoff. A few minutes later the Mallards went onto the penalty kill, and Utah tied the game up after an Austin Ortega goal. Just 12 seconds after the power-play had begun, Ortega got the puck at the right corner of the crease, the puck finding the corner of the twine to set off the red light. The Grizzlies’ power play unit would prove to almost be the Mallards’ undoing, as the visitors would be effective on the man advantage three out of the four chances they had.
Kyle Bigos scored from the point at roughly the 11 and a half minutes mark of the first period right after another quality scoring chance by the defenseman that failed to tickle the twine. Jake Marchment then tied the game at two apiece with just over two minutes to play in the opening frame, beating Ivan Kulbakov on the glove side from the right.
The Mallards scored their lone power-play goal of the night just under two minutes into the middle frame. Seconds after a five-on-three power play for the Mallards ended, Ryan McGrath passed from the right blue line over to the King at the left circle. The Mallards took their first two-goal lead of the night two minutes later, Pohlkamp making his way onto the scoresheet again. This time, however, it was Pohlkamp who had scored the goal with a backhand shot after receiving the puck from Greg Amlong from Gretzky’s office. This goal chased Sean Maguire from the net, Joel Rumpel replacing him to try to earn his second win in as many games against the Mallards. The two-goal lead did not last long, however.
Six seconds after going on their second power play of the night, Utah drew within one goal. Ryan Walters, who had scored two goals in Wednesday’s contest, cleaned up the garbage to Kulbakov’s right after the puck bounced loose from the goaltender’s elbow while he attempted to make the save. The Mallards took back the two-goal lead 90 seconds later, another back-hand shot finding the netting between the uprights. Tardif was assisted by Brayden Low for his first goal of the game, and Low would appear on the scoresheet again five minutes later.
Tardif was screening Rumpel when Rob Mann decided he didn’t like the alternate captain so close to the net. Mann shoved Tardif down to the ice, bringing over Low. Low and Mann exchanged blows, but it was called not a fight because the scrum was too close to the two players to get much momentum in their swings. Mann earned a double minor for roughing with his antics, forcing Ortega to keep him company in the sin bin for the following two minutes.
Fifty-five seconds into the final regulation frame Walters scored again, this time with no help from anyone. Willie Raskob attempted to clear the puck, but Walters intercepted the puck at the blue line to fire it in. Ryan Misiak tied the game at five goals 23 seconds later, shooting it from just past the goal line to Kulbakov’s right over the goaltender’s back as he was down.
Low returned to the scoresheet, this time with a goal, 80 seconds later to bring the Mallards back on top of the game. Low got the puck at the blue line after Dmitry Osipov passed it from center ice, Low lighting the lamp after a backhand shot on the left side. Brad Navin scored the goal to take the game to overtime while on the power play, the puck going five-hole as Kulbakov was screened by a couple players.
Both teams had three shots in the period of extra hockey, but neither team could find the back of the net. In the shootout, Sam Babintsev, Walters, Navin, and Ortega shot for the Grizzlies, while King, Nagy, Kyle Novak, and Tardif were the ones to get the call for the Mallards. Ortega and Walters failed to beat Kulbakov in the one-on-one exchange, while Novak was the only Mallard to miss twine in the shootout.
The Mallards will be in Cincinnati on Saturday to take on the Cyclones before returning home on Sunday to face the Fort Wayne Komets. Puck drop on Saturday is at 6:30 CST, while Sunday’s contest begins at 4:05 CST.
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