MOLINE, IL – The Quad City Mallards weren’t visited by Lady Luck on Saturday when they took on the Kansas City Mavericks for the second night of Affiliation Weekend. The game was close until the final period, when the Mavericks scored four goals in five minutes.
The first period was completely uneventful, but the Mavericks did tend to have possession of the puck for most of the 20 minutes. The Mallards’ defense managed to hold the Mavs to only 11 shots on goal for all their possession time, but the Mallards made Mason MacDonald face only five shots in the same time span. The home team was 10-for-15 on face-offs in the first period, however.
Jordan Kwas opened the scoring at 11:29 with help from Greg Betzold and Patch Alber. The Mavs had a long period of sustained pressure in front of the crease, Ivan Kulbakov losing his stick during the play. The puck went in over Kulbakov’s left shoulder as he was on his knees to try to cover the puck.
The chaos began at 6:09 of the final frame when Darren Nowick extended the Mavs’ lead, Alber with the lone assist on the power play tally. Kyle Novak was in the sin bin for tripping when Nowick streaked down the center of the ice to send the puck over Kulbakov’s right shoulder. One hundred and 18 seconds later Mark Cooper made it 3-0, Alber picking up another assist while Mike McMurtry made his way onto the scoresheet for the first time that night. Sixty-two seconds later Hunter Smith put the visiting team up 4-0, Alber not getting an assist on the goal – but Nowick did earn the assist. McMurty scored a goal of his own 90 seconds after Smith’s, giving the Mallards a 5-0 deficit out of which to climb.
Brayden Low ended MacDonald’s shut-out at 12:45, Sam Warning and Willie Raskob assisting. It was too little too late for the Mallards, however, as they were unable to climb out of the hole any further.
After the game, the specialty Vegas Golden Knights jerseys that the team had worn Friday and Saturday were auctioned off. Warning’s jersey had the highest bid at $2000, while Kulbakov’s came in second at $950.
The two teams will face off again on Sunday with a 4:05 pm faceoff. After the game fans will have the chance to skate with the players as long as they bring their skates.