INDIANAPOLIS, IN — For the first time in franchise history, the Quad City Mallards beat the Indy Fuel in Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Eric Levine and CJ Motte faced off in the bluepaint, facing 30 and 40 shots respectively. The Mallards earned their way onto the scoreboard four times for Indy’s once on Saturday night.
The game began with hostilities, Grant Arnold and Matt Stanisz dropping the gloves four and a half minutes into the opening frame. Though it was a draw, both combatants got in several good hits before getting separated. Stanisz’s helmet was knocked off by a righthanded haymaker from Arnold.
Two minutes after the fight, Nathan Todd would take a two minute rest in the penalty box to serve a too many men penalty. Though the Fuel would have a 33.3% effective powerplay unit this game, this was not that powerplay. Two other minor penalties would be called in the first 20 minutes of play — one for each team — but neither would lead to a goal.
The first half of the second period was scoreless as well, though there were two minor and two major penalties called. Mike Monfredo and Brady Ramsay exchanged blows at 8:08 of the middle frame, earning five minutes each.
At 15:53 of the second, Alex Petan put the biscuit in the basket with help from Mike Wilson and Andrew Panzarella. Three minutes later, with just eight seconds and change before the horn would dismiss the fans to the first bathroom break, Kyle Lynch evened the score. Stanisz and Drew Schiestel also put themselves on the scoresheet with the apples on Lynch’s tally.
At exactly the halfway mark of the final stanza Alex Gudbranson would return the Mallards to the lead after sending the puck to the back of the net from just inside the blueline. Sam Warning and Justin Kovacs would assist on Gudbranson’s first goal of the season. Last season he scored five times, twice while on the powerplay unit.
Seven minutes later, a lucky bounce or incredible aim by Wilson would lead to a Mallards 3-1 lead. The puck shot by Wilson deflected off the skate of Petan and behind Levine; Kovacs earned his second assist of the night on that goal. With 75 seconds left in the game, Chris Francis scored an unassisted empty net goal to seal the victory for the Mallards.
The Mallards next take the ice on Sunday November 6 at home against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Puck drops at 4:05 CST, with the first of five post game skates to follow.