WICHITA, KS — The Quad City Mallards were unable to complete the two-game sweep of the Wichita Thunder Tuesday night, losing a defensive game, 1-0.
Before the game, it was announced that Zach Pochiro was suspended for one game after receiving a match penalty on Saturday night against former Mallard Paxton Leroux. Pochiro will return to the line-up tonight, when the Mallards play the Missouri Mavericks in Independence, MO.
From the opening face-off, Wichita came out buzzing Mallards goaltender Brody Hoffman’s net. He made several great saves and the Mallards defense did a great job of scrambling to keep the Thunder from getting on the scoreboard. But during another of the many net-mouth scrambles in the first period, Landon Oslanski jumped on a loose puck and scored the game’s only goal at the 13:35 mark of the opening period. Former Mallard Miles Koules and Kale Kerbashian assisted on the game’s lone tally.
The story of the night, however, was the Mallards inability to capitalize on any of their eight powerplay chances, half of which came during the final period. Wichita’s Martin Nemcik and Dan Milan were in the box at the 4:45 mark of the period, when head coach Terry Ruskowski called a timeout to diagram a play. The Mallards 5-on-3 chance only lasted only seven seconds before Jordan Knackstedt was sent to the penalty box for hooking. The Mallards had another 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity later in the period, but could not generate much offense.
Thunder goaltender David Shantz sealed his first shutout in a Thunder uniform with just under two minutes to go, stoning Sam Warning on a breakaway opportunity. Shantz made 37 stops on the night, compared to 29 for Hoffman.
Coupled with Tulsa’s loss to Colorado, the Mallards still retain the eighth playoff spot and a three-point lead on the Tulsa Oilers. Both teams are in action tonight.
The Mallards face the Mavericks on Wednesday before making the trip home to face the Oilers on Friday. Friday will feature another $1 Beer/ $1 Hot Dog Night presented by 97X.