Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
Wednesday, February 15, 6:35 p.m.
U.S. Bank Arena
Quad City Mallards vs. Cincinnati Cyclones
Friday, February 17, 7:05 p.m.
Cincinnati Cyclones vs. Quad City Mallards
Saturday, February 18, 7:05 p.m.
Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Quad City Mallards vs. Missouri Mavericks
28-18-2, 58 points
3rd place, Central Division
Coach: Phil Axtell
23-22-4, 50 points
5th place, South Division
Coach: Matt MacDonald
23-19-7, 53 points
6th place, Mountain Division
Coach: John-Scott Dickson
Friday, February 10
Quad City 4 Kalamazoo 0
Adam Vay made 31 saves on the way to his first career ECHL shutout and Chris Francis and Josh MacDonald delivered a goal and an assist apiece as the host Mallards blanked the Kalamazoo Wings 4-0.
Saturday, February 11
Quad City 3 Elmira 2 (OT)
Chris Francis scored at 1:41 of overtime- after picking up an assist in regulation- to give the host Mallards a 3-2 victory over the Elmira Jackals.
Sunday, February 12
Quad City 4 Elmira 3 (SO)
Justin Kovacs buried the only shootout goal after also scoring in regulation and the host Mallards edged the Elmira Jackals- who had forced overtime by twice rallying to tie the score- 4-3 in the shootout.
The Mallards have won seven straight games. That winning streak is the Mallards’ longest since they ripped off ten straight United Hockey League victories between March 20 and April 10, 2004. The Mallards’ streak is also the second longest active ECHL winning streak and is tied for the fifth longest winning streak in the league this season. The Mallards have not lost since falling 5-2 to the Nailers in Wheeling on January 27.
The Mallards are three points behind the second-place Fort Wayne Komets in the Central Division standings and five points ahead of the fourth-place Tulsa Oilers. The Mallards have played 48 games and the Komets have played 47 times while the Oilers have already played 53 games.
The Mallards have gone 9-2-0 in 11 games since Phil Axtell took over as head coach on January 20. It was announced last Thursday that Axtell will continue as Mallards head coach for at least the remainder of the season.
With yesterday’s win, the Mallards moved to ten games over .500 for the first time they finished the 2013-14 Central Hockey League season 33-23-10. On that occasion, the Mallards made it to ten games above break-even by defeating Missouri 5-3 on March 30, 2014 in their last ever CHL regular season game.
By going seven games without a regulation loss, the Mallards have put together their longest regulation unbeaten streak since they went 5-0-4 over nine games between November 6 and November 23, 2014.
The Mallards over the weekend made the most of their fifth stretch this season of three games in three days. The Mallards won three games in 48 hours for the first time since they defeated Kalamazoo 3-1 on November 27, 2015, overcame Cincinnati 2-1 the following night and capped off a banner Thanksgiving weekend with a 3-2 overtime victory over Indy on November 29, 2015.
Red Light District
The Mallards have scored 47 goals in their 11 games under Axtell- an average of 4.3 per game. By comparison, the Mallards overall this season have averaged 3.2 goals per game. The Mallards have maintained their season-long average of 3.0 goals allowed per game under Axtell by surrendering 33 goals in their last 11 outings. On the season, the Mallards rank ninth in the ECHL in goals against and eighteenth in goals scored. They have outscored opponents 154-146.
The Mallards have jumped out to a 2-0 lead in each of their last nine games. The Mallards have scored the first goal in each of their last 11 games. The Mallards last failed to take a 2-0 lead on January 21 in 5-2 loss at Missouri. The Mallards last gave up the first goal on January 16 in a 5-3 loss to Tulsa.
The Mallards have outscored opponents 9-1 in the first period over their last four games, 14-2 over their last six games, 18-1 over their last seven games and 22-4 over their last nine games. The first period has been the Mallards’ best on the season. They have outscored foes 52-42 in the opening period over their first 48 games.
With Saturday’s sudden death victory, the Mallards improved to 3-0 this season in games decided in overtime. The Mallards then improved to 5-2 in the shootout with yesterday’s win; thus, they are now 8-2 in games that are tied at the end of regulation.
With one-goal wins Saturday and yesterday, the Mallards improved to 17-6-2 in one-goal games. The Mallards lead the ECHL in one-goal victories.
The Mallards have won each of the last three times they have played a third game in as many days.
Friday’s 4-0 win over of Kalamazoo ended a run during which the Mallards scored five or more goals in four straight games for the first time in ten years. They last did so while winning four consecutive UHL games between February 2 and February 10, 2007. Before Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win, the Mallards had scored at least four times in five straight games for the first time since they did so in five consecutive International Hockey League contests between April 7 and April 16, 2010.
In the Box
The Mallards Saturday set a season high by taking 47 minutes in penalties. They surpassed the previous team season high of 38 penalty minutes established on December 3 in a 3-0 loss to the Walleye in Toledo. Saturday’s penalty count was boosted by first period game misconducts issued to Jack Nevins and Alex Gudbranson. Nevins piled up 17 minutes in penalties in that game to become the first Mallard to top 100 minutes in the box this season. Nevins lifted his penalty minute total to 107 by taking a minor yesterday.
Home Sweet Home
The Mallards’ five-game home winning streak is their longest since they rolled to eight consecutive home wins between November 6 and November 29, 2015.
On the Road
The Mallards have won three straight away games. Wednesday night’s game in Cincinnati will be the Mallards’ first road tilt since they defeated the Mavericks in Independence 6-5 on January 31.
Michael Parks’ twelve-game point-scoring streak (6-9-15) ended yesterday. Parks is the first Mallard to collect points in a dozen games in a row since Mickey Lang recorded points in 12 straight CHL contests (10-13-23) between January 2 and February 8, 2013. Parks’ streak is tied for fifth longest in the ECHL this season.
Parks leads the Mallards and is tied for third among ECHL rookies in goals (19).
Francis produced at least a goal and an assist in six straight games (7-6-13) before going pointless yesterday. In the process, he equaled the longest goal-scoring streak in the ECHL this season. Francis had never in his career recorded multiple points in more than three straight games- most recently between March 24 and March 28, 2015 with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers- before that hot streak.
Saturday’s overtime goal was the third of Francis’ career and his first since he scored at 2:12 of sudden death to give the Alaska Aces a 4-3 win over the Utah Grizzlies on February 20, 2015 in Anchorage. He scored his first overtime goal against Alaska on February 2, 2013 in Las Vegas to give the Wranglers a 3-2 victory at 4:51 of the extra period. Francis ended Saturday’s game after starting the scoring each of the Mallards’ prior two games and three of their previous four and scoring in the first period in each of their prior five contests.
Josh MacDonald has recorded five points (one goal and four assists) in his first three games with the Mallards after being acquired last Monday in a trade with Rapid City that sent Mike Monfredo and future considerations to the Rush. MacDonald scored and added an assist in his Mallard debut Friday against Kalamazoo and picked up a pair of assists- including one on Francis’ game winner- Saturday against Elmira before collecting another assist yesterday.
On the Plus Side
Kevin Gibson has taken over the ECHL lead in plus/minus rating (plus-31) by posting a plus-14 over his last nine games. After seeing his six-game point-scoring streak (1-7-8) end Saturday, Gibson registered a plus-2 yesterday to move past Michael Kirkpatrick (+30) of the Florida Everblades and into the top spot.
Gudbranson set career highs for assists and points by assisting on all three Mallard regulation goals yesterday. Gudbranson has turned in a plus/minus rating of +12 over just his last nine games.
Last Friday’s whitewashing of Kalamazoo was Vay’s first ECHL shutout and the first for the Mallards since Steve Michalek stopped 37 Rapid City shots in the Mallards’ 4-0 blanking of the Rush on February 3, 2016 at the iWireless Center.
Vay is on a Mallard season-best seven game winning streak during which he has posted a 2.80 goals against average, a .913 save percentage and one shutout. Vay has not lost since January 11 when he made 25 saves in a 3-2 Mallard setback at the hands of the Cyclones in Cincinnati.
C.J. Motte ranks second in the ECHL in save percentage (.920), ranks fifth in goals against average (2.54) and is- along with Vay- among a group of goaltenders tied for tenth in the league in wins (14).
Mike Wilson has 198 career regular season assists…Brady Brassart has played 195 career games…Chris Francis has scored 94 career ECHL goals
The Mallards went 1-for-11 on the power play against Elmira over the last two days after matching a season high by scoring two power play goals (on five chances) Friday against Kalamazoo. The Mallards rank twenty-third in the ECHL on the power play (13.2 percent).
The Jackals scored all three of their goals on the power play yesterday (on five opportunities) and went 4-for-10 over two games at the iWireless Center. The Mallards rank nineteenth in the league in penalty killing (80.4 percent).
This week’s home-and-home between the Mallards and Cyclones will close out the season series between the two clubs. The Mallards have gone 3-3-1 against Cincinnati this season. The Mallards have gone 3-2-0 at U.S. Bank Arena and 0-1-1 on home ice against the Cyclones. All time, the Mallards have gone 8-10-2 overall against Cincinnati: 5-4-0 on the road and 3-6-2 at home…The Mallards have gone 5-2-0 against Mavericks this season. The Mallards have gone 2-2-0 on the road against the Mavs and on Saturday make their final trip of the campaign to Missouri. The Mallards have won the last two times they have played in Independence after dropping their prior six regular season games and their previous eight games overall (regular season and playoffs) at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The Mallards and Mavericks will complete their ten-game season series with a pair of games at the iWireless Center March 17 and March 18. All-time, the Mallards have gone 28-30-7 against Missouri. The Mallards have gone 16-19-2 in Independence.
Ins and Outs
Forward Alex Petan returned to the Mallards Saturday after being released from a professional tryout agreement by Iowa (AHL). Petan signed a PTO with Iowa on February 1…Forward Pavel Jenys has missed the Mallards’ last three games (upper body injury)…Defenseman Mike Wilson has missed the Mallards’ last 25 games (upper body injury)…The Mallards released forward Ned Lukacevic Tuesday.
NEXT HOME GAME
Friday, February 17, 7:05 p.m.- Mallards vs. Cincinnati Cyclones
Doland Jewelers Wedding On Ice
For the second year in a row, the Mallards will host an on-ice wedding. The knot will be tied during the first intermission of their match-up with the Cyclones.
$2 Dogs/$2 Beers presented by 97X
Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs and beers from iWireless Center concession stands during every Friday home game.
MetroLINK College Night
The Mallards have partnered with Metro to provide transit service between Augustana College and downtown Moline during all Friday home games. As part of Metro's unlimited ride program, Augustana Riders can use their Augustana ID as their fare.
ON THE AIR
Fox Sports Radio 1230 is the radio home of Mallards Hockey Presented by Genesis Power Sports Performance. Mallards games broadcast on AM 1230 also stream live online at www.wfxn.net. A limited number of Mallards games will not air on Fox Sports Radio 1230 due to conflicts with University of Illinois basketball and football and Green Bay Packer football. ECHL-TV pay-per-view video webcasts and free audio webcasts of all Mallards games are also available at myqcmallards.net.
The Mallards’ official mobile app is now available free for both Apple and Android. The app features a wide array of exclusive content, including behind the scenes video, breaking news and scoring alerts, interviews and video messages from Mallards players, instant access to live scores, stats and standings and special offers from the team and from Mallards partners.
Single Game Tickets
Single game tickets for all Mallards regular season contests are now available. Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 email@example.com for more information about tickets. Single game tickets are also available at the iWireless Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.
Groups of ten or more receive savings off the walk-up price and a host of group benefits. Mallards group tickets are a great fit for youth organizations, friends, co-workers, family groups, religious groups, school functions and business events. For more group ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.