CINCINNATI, OH – The Quad City Mallards’ quest for a road win continues after a strong showing by the Cincinnati Cyclones on a school day game. Eric Knodel completed a hat-trick in the game which started at 10:30 local time, his three goals being the difference in the 5-2 match-up between the teams. Cincinnati went one for two in power-plays, while Quad City went two for five.
The score remained at zero until 17:56 of the first period when Knodel ended Ivan Kulbakov’s shutout bid. Winston Day Chief got the puck in the Cincinnati corner, passing it up to Brandon McNally. McNally then dropped the pass to the left of Kulbakov to Andrew Radjenovic, who then passed to Knodel at the right dot. The puck sailed over Kulbakov’s right elbow. The score then was brought to 2-0 after a Shawn O’Donnell break-away towards the middle of the second frame. O’Donnell sent in a backhand shot from the right side, Jesse Schultz earning an assist on the tally.
Two minutes later Knodel netted his second of the morning with help from Justin Danforth. Sam Warning had attempted a short-handed wrap-around goal as Dmitry Osipov was in the sin bin for interference. The puck couldn’t quite wrap-around, sailing wide to the crease. Knodel grabbed the puck, streaking along the half-boards and saucing the puck back and forth with Danforth. Knodel tried to split the defense in the low slot, taking a hit from Alexander Kuqali. Though Knodel was knocked down, he managed to stand back up and recapture the puck that had continued without him only a few feet. Knodel sent the puck towards the net from the far edge of the right circle, the puck kissing twine over Kulbakov’s left shoulder.
Tyler Wong scored his first goal as a Mallard just a few minutes later to end Anthony Peters’ shut-out, this time Danforth being in the box for roughing as well as Dominic Zombo for slashing. Warning passed the puck from the near edge of the left circle to Wong at the right dot. Tristan King also earned an apple on that goal.
Arvin Atwal returned the Cyclones to a three-goal lead just one second before the eight-minute mark of the final frame after taking a pass from Radjenovic. Radjenovic carried the puck up the boards, centering the pass at the level of the dots to Atwal. McNally made his way onto the scoresheet with his second assist of the night on that mark, which was Atwal’s first of the season. Kyle Follmer also scored his first goal of the season just five seconds into another Mallards power-play. Brayden Low won the face-off to Peters’ right, sending it back to King. King then took a shot, which was tapped in by Follmer as he was screening the Cincinnati goalie.
Knodel finished out his hat-trick with just six seconds remaining on the clock, sending the puck from the high slot of the Cincinnati defensive zone into the empty net. This goal was unassisted.
The Mallards return home for a three games in three days series, taking on the Tulsa Oilers on Friday before seeing the Kansas City Mavericks on Saturday and Sunday for the first time since the re-branding of the team. Friday and Saturday’s match-ups will start at 7:05 CST, while Sunday’s will start at 4:05.