Mallards Fly Into Winning Column
November 30, 2009 - International Hockey League 2 (IHL 2) News Release
ROCHESTER, MI--- After starting the season 1-6-1-0, recording just three points in their first eight contests in their inaugural season in the IHL, the Quad City Mallards have began to fly into the winning column. The Mallards have earned points in five of their last six games played, posting a 3-1-1-1 record in their last six games. Goaltender Kyle Jones has been stellar between the pipes going unbeaten in his last four starts (3-0-1-0). Quad City forward Patrick Levesque is riding a four game point streak (2g, 3a) while Mike Zbriger (2g, 2a) and Chris Lipsett (3g, 3a) are both riding three game point streaks, helping push the Mallards to their current two-game winning streak.
Dayton goaltender Derek MacIntyre recorded his first shutout of the season Sunday in Bloomington. He turned aside all 31 shots he faced from the PrairieThunder, giving him his third win so far this season. Dayton is the only team to have both goaltenders record shutouts so far, as Ryan Mior shut out the Flint Generals back on November 7th. Bloomington's Paulo Colaiacovo is the only other IHL goaltender with a shutout this season.
Muskegon had their league-high nine-game winning streak snapped Saturday after losing to the Dayton Gems 4-2. It was Muskegon' s first loss in regulation during the month of November, with the same Gems defeating the ' Jacks in a shootout back on November 6th. The Lumberjacks completed the month of November with a stellar 9-1-0-2 record after dropping Sunday's contest 4-3 in a shootout in Flint.
It remains a close race in the standings through the first seven weeks of the season. Just five points separate the first place Muskegon Lumberjacks (26 points) from the fourth place Bloomington PrairieThunder and Dayton Gems, who each have 21 points. Sitting in second is the Port Huron Icehawks with 23 points and close behind is the Fort Wayne Komets with 22 points.
AROUND THE "I"
Bloomington PrairieThunder (1-2-1-0)- The PrairieThunder completed the month of November with a winning record (5- 4-1-2) for the first time in the franchise' s four-year history. Goaltender Paulo Colaiacovo had a five-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Dayton on Sunday. Craig Macdonald scored two goals at Dayton on November 25th, it marked the fourth time in five games. Ryan Finnerty is expected to return to action Friday when the PrairieThunder travels to Flint. Finnerty missed the last four games with a cracked orbital bone. For the first time this season, the PrairieThunder had back-to-back games (its last two) where it failed to score a point in the standings. The PrairieThunder currently have three of the top 10 scoring leaders in the IHL in Craig MacDonald (fourth), Jon Booras (fifth) and Bill Bagron (tied for ninth).
Flint Generals (2-1-0-0)- The Generals had their best week thus far, escaping with a 2-1-0-0 record. With great outings all week, the Generals were able to string two wins together for the first time this season. The win in Dayton Friday put an end to a seven game skid. Nate Ward scored his 50th career goal Thursday in Fort Wayne. Tyler Willis needs three points to reach 400 regular season points and is four games away from 700 regular season games played. Veteran Greg Bullock needs five goals to reach his 50th with the Generals. Rookie netminder Rob Nolan has been outstanding, getting his first and second wins this week. Generals players will be bell ringers for the Salvation Army at Genesee Valley Mall from 1-5pm. Players will be stationed inside the mall, just outside the entrances of Macy's and Sears tomorrow.
Fort Wayne Komets (2-1-0-0)- The Komets started week seven with their 48th straight Thanksgiving night game. A record Fort Wayne Thanksgiving night crowd of 8,243 fans watched as the Komets registered their 30th Thanksgiving night home win 5-4 over Flint. The Komets are ahead of last year's pace after 16 games. Last season the Komets were 9- 6-1-0 for 19 points and a .594 winning percentage compared to this year's mark of 11-5-0-0, 22 points and .688 winning percentage after 16. Justin Chwedoruk has an IHL-high five-game goal scoring streak (5 goals). Goalie Tim Haun has started 10 straight games (7-3-0) for the most consecutive starts by a Fort Wayne goaltender since Kevin Reiter started 16 straight during 2007-08. David Hukalo skated his 300th Fort Wayne career game Saturday vs. Port Huron.
Muskegon Lumberjacks (1-1-0-1)- For the month of November, the Lumberjacks were undefeated on the road (3-0-0-2) with an IHL season best three-game win streak. Muskegon's IHL season's best eight-game home ice win streak was also halted by Dayton 11/28 with a 4-2 final outcome. The Lumberjacks have posted a dynamic home record of 9-2-0-0 with both setbacks inflicted by Dayton. Muskegon has yet to sustain back-to-back defeats through the first two months consisting of 18 games so far this season. Center Todd Robinson is currently on a nine-game point streak (6g, 14a). In his last 11 games, Robin Bouchard has recorded 22 points (11g, 11a). Also in his last 11 games, John DiPace has recorded 22 points (8g, 14a). The 'Jacks are 8-0-0-0-2 when entering the third period with the lead.
Port Huron Icehawks (1-1-0-1)- The Icehawks erased two-goal deficits in every game they played last week. They had seven total goals in three games, with all those goals coming in the second period or later. The Icehawks continue to excel on the penalty kill, not allowing a power play goal in their last four consecutive games. They have the highest penalty kill percentage in the league at 88.7% and they are the only IHL team to remain in single digits in power play goals allowed, with eight goals against in 71 chances. Rookie defenseman Steven Oleksy scored his first point as a professional last week, with an assist on Friday against Bloomington. Right wing Jason Kostadine played in his 300th career game on Wednesday in Quad City and Nick Lindberg earned his 400th career point on Friday in Bloomington.
Quad City Mallards (2-0-0-0)- The Mallards have won back-to-back games for the first time this season by defeating Port Huron 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday and scoring a 5-3 win over Bloomington on Saturday. The Mallards are unbeaten in regulation (2-0-1-1) in their last four games and have suffered just one regulation loss in their last six games (2-1-1-2). The Flock is also unbeaten in regulation (3-0-1-1) in its last five home games. Chris Lipsett has scored three goals and totaled five points in his last three games after scoring just once in his first 11 games. The Mallards set a season high by scoring five times in last Saturday night's win. Goaltender Kyle Jones was between the pipes for the Mallards' back-to- back wins last week and has gone unbeaten in regulation (3-0-1-0) in his last four games after losing his first four starts.
Dayton Gems (2-2-0-0)- After four consecutive losses, the Dayton Gems finally beat the Bloomington PrairieThunder. The Gems had a hard time starting their offense against the Thunder until Sunday. Rookie goaltender Derek MacIntyre recorded his first shutout of the season Sunday, closing the door on all 31 shots he faced from Bloomington. This weekend the Gems face two teams who they have not beaten yet this season; Port Huron and Fort Wayne. The Gems are 0-3-2-0 in five games against those two teams. The Gems have played Fort Wayne twice and taken them to overtime both times. During December, the Gems will spend three of the four Sundays playing the Icehawks. Rookie forward Jonathon Ornelas is currently second among IHL rookies in scoring with four goals and nine assists for 13 points.
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