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Mallards Drop Bloomington 5-3

March 15, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Quad City Mallards News Release

MOLINE, Ill. - Darren McMillan's power play goal broke a 3-3 tie with 1:27 left in the third period and the host Quad City Mallards, who got two goals from Mike Monfredo, bounced back after squandering 3-0 lead to defeat the Bloomington Blaze 5-3 Friday night.

With the win, the Mallards climbed into a tie for sixth place in the Central Hockey League, opened up an eight-point lead over the ninth place Blaze and reduced their magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five. Any combination of points picked up by the Mallards or available points not secured by the Blaze totaling five will result in Quad City locking up a post-season berth.

After McMillan broke the deadlock with a blue line blast, Monfredo clinched the victory by scoring an empty net goal with just 14 seconds left.

Earlier in the evening, it seemed the Mallards would have no need for late heroics as Quad City scored the game's first three goals- only for the Blaze to respond with three straight goals of their own in a span of just over eight minutes. Exactly one minute after Matt Boyd scored the Mallards' second shorthanded goal and third overall from the right wing circle at 7:18 of the second period, Steve Makway kick-started the Blaze rally by burying a power play goal from the slot. At 13:19, Sean O'Connor jammed in a rebound to cut the gap to 3-2. Brett Lutes then tipped in the equalizer at 16:27.

The Mallards were shorthanded when Mickey Lang scored the game's opening goal on a penalty shot at 15:06 of the first period. Just under three minutes later, Monfredo's drive from the left wing circle stretched the Mallard lead to 2-0.

The night would provide more than a few more twists before the Mallards finally secured victory on a historic evening for Quad City coach Terry Ruskowski, who became just the third man in CHL history to reach 700 career regular season games coached. Ruskowski is 60 games into his first season with the Mallards. He spent last year- and 66 games- behind the bench of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees after piloting the Laredo Bucks for 574 games over nine years from 2002 to 2011. Ruskowski earlier this season topped 600 career professional coaching wins and 400 career CHL coaching victories.

The Mallards next play on the road tomorrow night against the Missouri Mavericks before returning home for a rematch with the Mavericks Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. Sunday is a Family Skate Day presented by Genesis Health System. Fans can bring their skates and join the Mallards on the ice after the game. After Sunday's contest, fans will also have a chance to meet all of their favorite Mallards at a post-game event at the Doc's Inn Bar & Grill. The Doc's Inn is located at 985 Avenue of the Cities in Silvis.

Tickets for Sunday's game- as well as seats for all remaining Mallards regular season home games- can be purchased in person at the i wireless Center ticket office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.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.

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