MOLINE, IL – The Missouri Mavericks needed three 3rd period goals and some luck to push the Quad City Mallards to the brink of elimination Wednesday night.
The Mavericks took the lead for good at 15:47 of the final period when David de Kastrozza came in on Mallards goaltender Brody Hoffman, shorthanded, fired a wrist shot which leaked through Hoffman’s glove and into the net.
“The third one was a bad goal on me and worst-case scenario we’re probably in overtime right now had I just caught the puck,” Hoffman told Bobby Metcalf of the Quad City Times. “It just went off my thumb. They came down kind of on a 2-on-1, he quick released me, and I should have caught it.”
“It’s a game we needed to play a full sixty minutes of,” said head coach Richard Matvichuk following the Game 3 win. “The guys battled hard through the whole game, we stuck to our system, and it paid off in the end.”
The Mallards made the first mark on the scoreboard at 4:05 of the opening period when Matt Neal slipped the puck past Josh Robinson in a short-handed situation. The Mavericks answered back to tie the game 1-1 when defenseman Bryce Aneloski knocked in a rebound past Quad City net-minder Brody Hoffman at 7:15 of the first period. Carter Verhaeghe collected the lone assist on Aneloski’s first goal and point of the post-season.
Olivier Archambault regained the lead for the Mallards at 5:38 of the second frame, scoring the only tally of the period.
The Mavericks made quick work of tying up the game at the top of the third period when leading goal-scorer Tyler Barnes notched an equalizer tally just 47 seconds into the final frame of regulation. Verhaeghe and Rocco Carzo assisted on the play.
Reed Seckel drove to the net with the puck late in the frame only to be interfered with from behind by a Mallards player, drawing a penalty shot, which Seckel, tickled the twine for a 4-2 Mavericks lead at 17:11 of the third period.
Quad City pulled Hoffman for a sixth skater and regrouped with a timeout in the final minutes of the game, but were unable to fight their way back into the contest. Mallards head coach Terry Ruskowski told Metcalf that P.J. Musico will get the start in game four for the Mallards, who hope to stave off elimination for one more day.
Game four will be at the iWireless Center on Friday night. Faceoff is set for 7:05 pm.