The Quad City Mallards lost to the Evansville Icemen Wednesday night by a score of 3-2 to register their fourth straight loss.
There were some positives in this game for the Mallards, although the game started out looking a lot like their last game versus the Indy Fuel. The Mallards’ passing was sloppy and resulted in a lot of turnovers early. The Icemen took advantage and scored at the 8:51 mark on a three on two break. Jordan Sims buried a pass from Justin MacDonald to put the Icemen on the board.
The Mallards were outshot 15-10 in the period but did tie the game late in the period. Olivier Archambault passed the puck from behind the net to Miles Koules in the slot and he was able to beat Icemen goalie Cristoffer Bengtsberg.
Early in the second period the Mallards drew a penalty and pulled goaltender Brody Hoffman for an extra attacker. They were able to control the puck for a good stretch with Hoffman pulled. Vladimir Nikiforov finally found Kyle Follmer with a cross-ice pass that he one-timed past Bengtsberg to give the Mallards a 2-1 lead. It was Follmer’s first goal of the season.
The lead was short-lived. The Icemen came out very hard after hard every goal in this game and immediately created great chances. It paid off here as they tied the game 2-2 only 1:18 after Koules’ goal. The Icemen then took the lead 3-2 only 1:01 after that. Mike Duco and Nathan Moon were the goal-scorers for the Icemen.
At this point, the Icemen were outshooting the Mallards 23-12 for the game. Over the next several minutes the Mallards played their best hockey they have played during this losing steak. The Mallards held the Icemen without a shot and took 15 shots of their own. During this time they created several great chances. One shot hit a post and Bengtsberg made some spectacular saves. In one instance, he robbed a wide open Raphael Bussieres with a diving glove save across the crease.
The fact the Icemen were able to weather that storm ended up being the difference in the game. The play the rest of the way was fairly even. Both teams created some good chances but both Hoffman and Bengtsberg were able to keep the score the same.
Ryan Tesink had a tough game. In the first period he tangled with Michael Trebish. Trebish was going to be called for a penalty and the Mallards would have had a chance to pull Hoffman for an extra attacker. Instead, Trebish and Tesink were talking and other players started to gather and shove. Mallards’ defenseman Jake Baker was called for roughing, which negated half of the double-minor called on Trebish.
Tesink was called for roughing late in the second period, and had some words for referee Peter Tarnaris on his way to the penalty box. This proved to be unwise. Late in the game, Tesink seemingly drew a hooking penalty on Spencer Humphries. Tarnaris though decided to call Tesink for diving to negate the power play. The two teams skated 4-on-4 instead.
That one call was not the difference in the game though. The Mallards just made too many mistakes in this game, especially early. A bright spot was the line of Matt Neal, Bussieres and Archambault. They were out there for a lot of that stretch in the second period where the Mallards dominated. Bussieres played especially well, going +2 in the loss. This was Bussieres’ first game back since being injured on December 6.
- Linesman Mike Anderson was cut on the face during the first period and had to leave the ice. The rest of the period was played with one linesman. Anderson returned to start the second period to some applause.
- A full busload of Mallards fans will be at tomorrow night’s game in Evansville. The trip was organized by the Mallards Booster Club.