WHEELING, WV — The Mallards’ penalty kill unit has been a point of weakness in past seasons, and never was it more apparent than Friday night when the Quad City Mallards visited the Wheeling Nailers. Though the last defeat newly-minted Head Coach Phil Axtell suffered featured the same score, that bout against Missouri was much closer.
The first period began well for the visitors, as they doubled up in goals through 20 minutes. Nolan LaPorte gave the Mallards the 1-0 lead 14 seconds before the four minutes mark, Grant Arnold and Kevin Gibson assisting. Ten minutes later Gibson got a tally of his own, Sam Warning and Michael Parks helping.
Things then began to go downhill for the Mallards. Less than three minutes after Gibson’s goal Wheeling got on the board, Cody Wydo burying the puck. Kevin Schulze and Nick Sorkin earned the apples on that power-play tally to ruin C.J. Motte‘s shut-out. Then one minute into the middle frame Ross McMullan scored unassisted. Seven minutes after McMullan’s goal, Sorkin got on the scoresheet with his own goal, Wydo and Jarrett Burton helping the goal that came on the man advantage.
Just a hair over eight minutes into the final frame Darryl Lloyd added another power-play goal, the lone assist going to Jordan Kwas. Three minutes later Wydo added the final goal of the night, from the same two who helped him with his first goal of the night, while yet again being on the power-play.
The Mallards travel to Indianapolis to take on the Fuel for a pair of games to round out the weekend, beginning tonight at 6:30 CST. After the pair of games in Circle City, the Mallards will travel down I-70 to take on the Missouri Mavericks at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena on Tuesday evening.