MOLINE, IL – The Quad City Mallards used a familiar formula to defeat the Cincinnati Cyclones 2-1. They got great defense and goaltending, and had the advantage on special teams.
The Mallards dominated play early, creating several great scoring chances, however, Cyclones goaltender Brad Thiessen was solid and did not let any past. The Mallards did break through after six minutes of controlling play when Matt Neal tipped a shot by Alex Gudbranson past Thiessen. That would be all the scoring for the first period. The Cyclones had to feel fortunate getting out of the period down by only one.
The Mallards continued controlling play early in the second period. They got a break when Garrick Perry accidentally put a puck out of play to draw a delay of game penalty. On the ensuing power play, Olivier Archambault was set up nicely in the slot by Zach Pochiro and buried the chance to make the score 2-0.
After that, the Cyclones started to control the puck a bit more, with the help of a couple penalties on the Mallards. Anthony Collins was called for hooking 5:41 into the period, and Pochiro was called for slashing late in the period. On the second penalty, the Cyclones had several great chances but were unable to score. Mallards goaltender Brody Hoffman deserves a lot of credit for that penalty kill. The Mallards’ penalty kill did well and killed all three penalties in this game.
In the third period, the Mallards did get another chance on the power play but failed to create many chances and did not score. The Cyclones finally got on the scoreboard with a goal by Zach Budish with under 8 minutes left. It was a close range shot off a rebound from a shot by Joe Wilson. Later in the period, the Cyclones came within inches of tying the game when a shot got under Hoffman’s pad and hit the post. Referee Mike Sheehan immediately signaled that it was not a goal and the score remained 2-1.
Hoffman provided drama late in the game. With about 1:30 to play the Cyclones pulled Thiessen for an extra attacker. An errant pass came right down the crease towards Hoffman. Rather than cover the puck, he shot it high and the length of the ice towards the Cyclones’ net. He missed it by inches and instead of a goal it was icing. Hoffman made a few more saves in the final seconds as the Mallards held on for the win.
The win pulled the Mallards into a tie with the Cyclones for first place in the Midwest Division, but the Cyclones have three games in hand.
This was a big test for the Mallards. It is early in the season but the Cyclones have been the best team so far in the Midwest Division. This was the Mallards’ first win over the Cyclones. They are going to have to get more if they are going to compete for the division title.
The Mallards take on the Indy Fuel this afternoon at the i -Wireless Center. The Mallards are 1-2-0-0 against the Fuel, with the win coming against them last Sunday by a score of 2-1.
The Mallards wore special black jerseys Friday and Saturday and auctioned them off after Saturday’s game to benefit the Genesis Health Services Foundation.
Baseball great Kirk Gibson bought his son Kevin Gibson’s jersey for $575. Brody Hoffman’s jersey sparked a bidding war. It ended up selling for $2,600. In total the auction raised $16,800.
There will be another jersey auction on March 5. For that game the Mallards are wearing special Star Wars themed jerseys.