MOLINE, ILL – Friday, the Toledo Walleye and Quad City Mallards faced off for the last time, and the two teams gave the nearly 4,500 fans quite the show. While Toledo has already punched its playoff card and Quad City was eliminated, the game was hard-fought and evenly matched. Both goaltenders looked very strong in net, and were aided by the posts immensely at times.
Quad City seemed to dominate the early minutes of the game, but Toledo took the momentum back shortly after. The shots were lopsided in Toledo’s favor 8-4 only six minutes into the game, but after this bout of momentum the home team returned to domination. Nick Bligh, who had previously failed to score on a breakaway, attempted to stuff the puck into the net from the right side roughly eight minutes into the game. The puck was bouncing wildly as he and others jockeyed for control, and the puck went wide of the net.
The first period was scoreless, but it did not take long for Toledo to get on the board in the second frame. The second period was completely Toledo’s game as they controlled the puck and managed to send 23 shots C.J. Motte’s way while Angus Redmond only faced seven. Tyler Barnes scored on a wraparound with the puck bouncing off a Quad City defender before making its way into the net.
Motte fell victim to being out of position five minutes later when he found himself sitting upon his breezers on the right side of the crease while the puck crossed in front of him from Colin Jacobs to Shane Berschbach. Berschbach then capitalized on the gaping net in front of him, lighting the lamp.
Willie Raskob attempted to break up a Kyle Bonis scoring chance by wrapping his arms around the Walleye player’s waist, but the maneuver misfired and instead Bonis was able to score as he fell with only 21 seconds remaining in the middle frame.
Roughly six minutes into the final frame the Mallards managed to end Redmond’s shut out when Jamie Tardif sent in a backhanded shot from the front of the crease.
Austen Brassard showed some aggression towards Alex Globke when he knocked him to the ice. Globke was slow to get up as play continued, but when he did return to his feet he went after Brassard along the right boards in the Mallards’ zone. The two dropped their gloves with Globke receiving the brunt of the fight. Jake Bolton and Ryan Obuchowski also seemed to want a piece of each other, as did Armstrong and Patrick McCarron. Brassard earned two minutes for cross-checking on top of his five for fighting, and the Mallards went on the last power play of the night.
One minute into Quad City’s power play Quentin Shore scored his first goal as a Mallard when he fired a rocket into the twine from the half boards at the blue line.
In the waning minutes of the game the Mallards fought hard to finish the comeback and tie the game, pulling Motte and working the diamond pattern in the offensive zone, but the bid failed and the Mallards dropped this one 3-2.
The Mallards begin a six game road trip on Sunday, starting in Kansas City and ending in Rapid City, S.D. Opening puck drop is set for 4 CST on Sunday. The Mallards return to the TaxSlayer Center for their final three home games beginning Wednesday April 4.
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