MOLINE, IL – What do you get when you mix the Indy Fuel, the Quad City Mallards, and Sunday hockey?
Bad blood, apparently.
The Mallards managed to beat the Fuel in overtime 2-1 after 46 and a half minutes of hockey without a change in score.
The Mallards struck first just over eight minutes into the first period when Brayden Low redirected a Justin Kovacs shot for his second tally of the weekend and third in as many games. Willie Raskob earned an apple on the tally, having picked up two the day prior as well. The goal came just five seconds into the first power-play of the game as Reed Seckel was in the sin bin for slashing. The face-off was to Collin Delia’s right, Matt Pohlkamp winning the face-off. Raskob got the puck from Pohlkamp, shooting it from the half-boards to Kovacs. Kovacs shot it towards the net, Low putting his stick in just the right spot to send the puck to meet the back of the net.
Five and a half minutes later, Indy tied the game with a Zach Miskovic goal. Alex Wideman was at the left dot in the Mallards’ defensive zone when he passed to Miskovic in the low slot. Andrew Schmidt was also credited with an assist on the tying goal.
Ivan Kulbakov and Ryan Rupert exchanged pleasantries at just over two minutes into the second period after Rupert crashed into the Mallards goaltender. Kulbakov gave him a friendly shove out of his crease, and then Rupert tackled him and began punching. Tristan King broke the fight up, putting Rupert into a choke-hold to pull him off. Both Rupert and Kulbakov earned matching roughing minors for their antics, displeasing the crowd.
Twelve minutes later the same Rupert brother charging at Kovacs and giving him a forearm shiver just before the Mallards’ blue-line. Kovacs was laid out on the ice, causing a kerfuffle along the line between all nine of the other players on the ice. Sam Warning then tried to fight Rupert, but the officials held him off from actually dropping the gloves, but earned two minutes for roughing. Kovacs played one more shift in the second period, not returning for the final frame. Rupert was awarded a five-minute major for charging as well as a game misconduct for the same penalty.
The third period was uneventful save for a roughing call against Alex Globke when he got tangled up with a Fuel player in front of the benches. Globke had fallen to the ice, the Fuel player almost stepping on him. The opponent seemed hesitant to move away, Globke finally managing to stand up and give the player a shove. The officials appeared to only see the shove and not what precipitated it, giving the Fuel their only power-play of the night, which didn’t amount to much.
Warning ended things quickly in over-time, King assisting on the breakaway at 28 seconds of extra hockey. The third-year forward now has a team-leading ten goals on the season. His next closest competitors are Matt Pohlkamp, Brayden Low, and Josh MacDonald who have lit the lamp three times each.
The Mallards seemed off throughout the entire night with Saturday’s contest more significant showing of the home team’s abilities. Passes were always just a smidge too far away, the skater always just half a step behind where they should be. Whether it was the increased physicality that Indy brought or playing a second night in a row, the Mallards looked like the lesser team for most of the game.
The Mallards will travel to Cincinnati for a school-day game on Tuesday, taking on the Cyclones at 9:30 am CST. They will then return to the TaxSlayer Center for a Friday match-up against the Tulsa Oilers before a Saturday and Sunday series against the Kansas City Mavericks.
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