Mallards Halt Winless Streak
MOLINE, Ill. - Sam Warning scored two goals- including the third period game winner- and added two assists and C.J. Motte made 40 saves as the host Quad City Mallards (9-21-3) rallied to end a 13-game winless streak by defeating the Indy Fuel (13-17-3) 5-3 Friday night.
It was on the power play that Warning broke a 3-3 deadlock and gave the Mallards their first lead of the night from the high slot at 5:56 of the third period. Warning then raced most of the length of the ice to set up Tristan King, who provided vital insurance with the Mallards' third straight goal in the third at 16:32. Gergo Nagy started the Mallards' late charge by blasting the puck home from the left wing and knotting the score at three at 2:04 of the final frame- exactly one minute after Josh Shalla had scored his second goal and produced his third point from the slot to put Indy on top 3-2.
A comeback from an earlier 2-0 deficit set the stage for the Mallards' decisive third period effort. The Fuel drew first blood when Shalla swooped into the goalmouth unchecked at 5:40 of the first period. At 17:54 of the first Darian Dziurzynski tipped in the second Indy goal, but just over a minute later- and with only 57 seconds remaining the period- Ryan McGrath sparked the Mallards by snapping the puck in from the left wing circle.
Warning tied the game at two on a solo rush at 11:26 of the second period before providing even more dramatic heroics later in the evening.
Motte was at his busiest while turning away 16 Indy shots in the third.
The victory ended a drought that had seen the Mallards go 0-11-2 since last winning on December 2. That skid was the longest winless streak in Mallards history and the longest in the ECHL this season.
The Mallards meet the Fuel again tomorrow night on home ice at 7:05 p.m. Tomorrow evening will also see the Mallards join forces with WLLR-FM The Quad Cities' #1 Country for Country Night.
About the Quad City Mallards: One of the winningest teams in all of minor league hockey, the Mallards competed in the United Hockey League from 1995 through 2007; in the International Hockey League in 2009-10; and in the Central Hockey League from 2010 through 2014. The Mallards' proud history has seen them capture the UHL's Colonial Cup Championship three times (1997, 1998, 2001) and secure that league's Tarry Cup four times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002) for the best overall regular season record. In 2001, the Mallards made professional hockey history, recording their sixth consecutive season with 50 or more wins, a feat that has yet to be matched. The TaxSlayer Center provides a unique environment for hockey and features one-of-a-kind seating areas such as the Nest for groups and functions and the exclusive Drake Club.
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