Mallards Playoff Update
ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs, Central Division Semi-Finals
Quad City Mallards vs. Rapid City Rush
Game One: Friday, April 17 @ Rapid City, 8:05 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, April 18 @ Rapid City, 8:05 p.m.
Game Three: Wednesday, April 22 @ Quad City, 6:05 p.m.
Game Four: Friday, April 24 @ Quad City, 7:05 p.m.
Game Five*: Saturday, April 25 @ Quad City, 7:05 p.m.
Game Six*: Tuesday, April 28 @ Rapid City, 7:35 p.m.
Game Seven*: Wednesday, April 29 @ Rapid City, 7:35 p.m.
*- if necessary
Saturday, April 11
Quad City 2 Tulsa 1 (OT)
37-28-7, 81 points
tied 2nd place, Central Division
Coach: Terry Ruskowski
37-28-7, 81 points
tied 2nd place, Central Division
Coach: Joe Ferras
The Mallards clinched a tie for second place in the ECHL's Central Division and an opening round playoff match-up with Rapid City by defeating the Tulsa Oilers 2-1 in overtime last Saturday night in the Mallards' regular season finale. With that victory, the Mallards finished one point ahead of fourth place Tulsa.
While the Mallards and Rush both finished the regular season 37-28-7, Rapid City won the tiebreaker between the two clubs by securing more non-shootout wins (33) than the Mallards (31) and thus will enjoy home ice advantage in the first round playoff match-up between the two clubs.
The Mallards won their final three regular season games to match their longest winning streak of the season. The Mallards enjoyed six three-game winning streaks this season. They also won six of their final seven tilts.
With last Saturday night's win the Mallards finished the regular season 3-4 in games decided in overtime. Matt Duffy scored the winning goal last Saturday on the power play. Each of the Mallards' three sudden death goals this season came on the man advantage. Overtime power play goals from Mario Lamoureux in a January 7 4-3 win over Wichita and from Nicholas Rioux in a March 11 3-2 victory over Missouri preceded Duffy's winner in the regular season finale.
Each of the Mallards' final five regular season games was decided by one goal. Three of those five games went to overtime; two continued to the shootout. The Mallards went 4-1-0 in their final five outings and earned three of those four wins after the end of regulation.
Home and Away
With Saturday's win the Mallards finished the regular season one game over .500 (17-16-3) on home ice. The Mallards' road record (20-12-4) was superior to their home record. The Mallards won their final four away games to reach 20 road victories for the season.
The Mallards have now reached the playoffs in each of Terry Ruskowski's three seasons behind the club's bench. The have qualified for the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs in their first season in the league after reaching the Central Hockey League postseason in 2013 and against last year.
This marks the second straight spring the Mallards and Rush will meet in the opening round of the playoffs. The Mallards last year defeated Rapid City in seven games in round one of the CHL postseason. That win was the Mallards' first playoff series victory in 11 years. Prior to vanquishing the Rush last April, the Mallards had last won a playoff series when they downed the Muskegon Fury in six games in the 2003 United Hockey League Colonial Cup semi-finals. As is the case this year, the Rush had home ice advantage in last spring's match-up with the Mallards.
Red Light District
The Mallards allowed a total of just four goals over their final three regular season games and allowed three goals or fewer in 18 of their final 19 games. The Mallards surrendered just 186 regular season goals- an average of 2.6 per game- the fourth lowest total in the league. The Mallards were one of just five teams to give up fewer than 200 goals. The Mallards scored 205 goals (2.9 per game), the nineteenth highest total in the ECHL.
Duffy's overtime goal Saturday night ended a 0-for-11 Mallard power play drought. The Mallards finished ninth in the ECHL in power play efficiency (18.1 percent). They boast the league's fifth best success rate on the road (20.4 percent). The Mallards finished fifth in penalty killing (85.7 percent) after surviving their opponents' final 12 man advantages.
Jeff Lee, Darren McMillan and Mike Monfredo each played in all 72 regular season games for the Mallards this season. Monfredo has played in 204 consecutive games with the Mallards since the start of his rookie season in 2012-13. Lee has played in each of the Mallards' 138 games over the last two seasons.
While Mario Lamoureux's five-game point and assist streak (2-7-9) ended last Saturday, Lamoureux still finished fifth in the ECHL in assists (51) and tied for eleventh in points (71) and led the Mallards in both of those categories while also finishing tied for the team lead in plus/minus (+15).
Kevin Baker finished the regular season on a five-game point streak (5-3-8) and also scored 12 goals and totaled 20 points in over the final 15 games.
Not Your Average Joe
Joe Perry led the Mallards with 26 goals despite playing just 54 games and finished tied for the team lead in plus/minus (+15). Perry scored five times (and added an assist) in the Mallards' final seven regular season games.
Michael Clarke recorded his first career point- an assist- while making his professional debut last Saturday night after signing with the Mallards last Friday. Clarke arrived from the Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes.
Between the Pipes
Parker Milner made 35 saves in last Saturday's season ending win. Milner, who won five of his final six starts and allowed three goals or fewer in 13 of his final 14 outings, finished second in the ECHL in goals against average (2.28), tied for fourth in save percentage (.920), ninth in minutes played (2497) and tied for ninth in wins (24). Evan Mosher finished tied for tenth in save percentage (.914).
Head to Head
The Mallards went 8-4-1 overall against the Rush and 4-3-0 in Rapid City this season. The Mallards are 21-11-3 all-time against the Rush overall in the regular season and 9-7-2 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center...The Mallards played four games in Rapid City in 16 days late in the regular season. The Mallards fell to the Rush 3-1 on both March 20 and 21 before rebounding to return the favor by sweeping their hosts two weeks later. The Mallards won 2-1 in a shootout on April 3 in Rapid City and one night later clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 victory over the Rush...Last year's four-games-to-three Mallard victory over the Rush was the first ever playoff meeting between the two clubs.
Ins and Outs
The Mallards signed rookie forward Liam Stewart today...The Mallards signed rookie forward Michael Clarke last Friday...The Mallards released forwards Alex Grieve and Antti Pusa last Wednesday...Forward Logan Nelson missed the Mallards final 12 games (lower body).
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
Wednesday, April 22 7:05 p.m. - Mallards vs. Rapid City
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game Three
The third game of the series will be the Mallards first ECHL Kelly Cup playoff home game.
Friday, April 24, 7:05 p.m. - Mallards vs. Rapid City
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game Four
The Mallards and Rush will clash in the second of the Mallards' two guaranteed home playoff games.
Saturday, April 25, 7:05 p.m. - Mallards vs. Rapid City (if necessary)
Central Division Semi-Finals, Game Five
The Mallards will host the fifth game of the opening round should it prove necessary.
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 . ECHL-TV pay-per-view video webcasts and free audio webcasts of all Mallards games are also available at myqcmallards.net.
Single Game Tickets
Tickets for Mallards first round home playoff games are now available. Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or [email protected] 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 at least ten 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 [email protected] .
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