MOLINE, IL – It’s one step forward, two steps back for the Quad City Mallards.
After an impressive offensive showing Friday night, the Quad City Mallards saw a reversal last night, losing the contest 5-3 to the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Cincinnati came out more aggressive from the opening puck drop, taking an early 3-1 lead 10 minutes into the game. Cincinnati’s first two goals came from Jack Downing less than two minutes apart, while their third was from Joe Pendenza. Downing’s second goal was scored while Zach Pochiro was serving a two minute boarding penalty.
The Mallards were unable to get a shot on goal until almost nine minutes into the game. Matt Carey scored on the second shot of the night to cut the lead to 2-1. Raphael Bussieres passed the puck to Carey in the high slot, who managed to rifle the puck to find twine. Mike Monfredo also earned a tally for the assist.
Pendenza’s goal came 20 seconds after Carey’s goal, before the first score could be announced.
The second period the Mallards were much better overall, getting 13 shots on net while limiting Cincinnati to only four.
Jared Knight answered back for the Mallards while on a powerplay with help from Pochiro and Alex Gudbranson. Andy Iles had attempted to make the post to post save but overcompensated and landed on his back on the ice, leaving a gaping net on which to score.
After Knight’s goal, the Mallards and their fans seemed to have renewed energy, but a comeback win wasn’t in the books for the team. Zach Budish scored on the powerplay as the net came off its moorings. The referee called it a good goal as the net had not been loosed until after the puck had crossed the line.
Kyle Follmer scored his third goal in two nights to bring the score to 4-3 in favor of Cincinnati. Austin Coldwell and Knight assisted on Follmer’s goal.
With just over a minute remaining in the game the Mallards pulled Brody Hoffman. An eleven man scrum broke out behind the Cincinnati goal with 73 seconds left on the clock after Bussieres boarded a Cyclone player. Pochiro threw several punches, earning a roughing call. Seth Ambroz and Pendenza also received two minutes for roughing, squaring the penalties up for offsetting minors.
Tommy Mele scored off the face-off with 22 seconds remaining, ending any chance of a victory for the Mallards.
Hoffman was shaky in the first period, letting in three goals on six shots. He went on to make 21 saves on the night. Iles faced 29 shots. Hoffman had not participated in the morning skate, electing instead to ride the exercise bike. Coach Terry Ruskowski said that that would not happen again.
With the loss, the Mallards fall back to ninth place in the western conference (24-22-3-2; 53 pts) and are one point behind the Indy Fuel, with three games-in-hand on the team from Indiana. Next up, the Mallards will face the Rapid City Rush on Friday, another $1 Beer/Hot Dog Night presented by 97X. Puck drop is at 7:05.
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