Ryan Berard scored two goals- including the game winner- and Robbie Moss made 33 saves as the St. Charles Chill rallied from a 3-1 third period deficit to defeat the host Quad City Mallards 4-3 Friday night, halt the Mallards’ five game winning streak and end their own seven-game losing streak.
Berard broke a 3-3 tie while toppling in the slot with 4:20 left in the third. That goal capped off a St. Charles comeback that started when, with the Chill shorthanded, a pair of Mallards combined to turn the puck over to Nicklas Lindberg beside the empty Quad City net and Lindberg duly snapped it into the gaping cage to trim the gap to 3-1 at the 6:39 mark of the third. St. Charles was on the power play when John Snowden scored the tying goal from the left wing circle at 13:03.
The Mallards had seemingly taken control with second period goals from Gergo Nagy and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel. Nagy fired a loose puck home from the low slot to snap a 1-1 deadlock at 8:18 of the second. With just 50 seconds left in the period and each team down a man, Dieude-Fauvel widened the margin to a pair with a wrist shot from the high slot.
It was the Mallards who initially came from behind after Berard opened the scoring from the side of the net at 3:37 of the first period. Jim McKenzie’s point-blank power play strike knotted the score just under five minutes later and proved to be the first of three straight Mallard goals, but, backstopped by a 16-save third period from Moss, the Chill would respond in kind in the final frame to claim the dramatic victory.
The Mallards’ defeat dampened celebrations on what was a milestone evening for the man behind their bench. Tonight’s game was Quad City boss Terry Ruskowski’s twelve hundredth as a head coach in professional hockey.
The Mallards and Chill meet again tomorrow night in St. Charles. The Mallards return to action on home ice next Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Brampton Beast. That game is the Mallards’ first Winning Wednesday presented by T.G.I. Friday’s. If the Mallards win a Wednesday night home game all in attendance win free tickets for the next Wednesday game. In addition, $2 beer and hot dogs will be available during Wednesday night tilts. After each Wednesday night game, fans can join the Mallards for a postgame party at T.G.I. Friday's next to the iWireless Center.
Tickets for next Wednesday night’s game and all Mallards regular season home games can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000. The ticket 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.