Mallards Rally Late, Stun Wings in Shootout.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Quad City Mallards (10-23-3) rallied from a 4-1 deficit to the tie score w ith just one minute, three seconds left in regulation by ripping off three goals in one minute, 46 seconds and then went on to complete the stunning comeback when Chris Izmirlian gave them a 5-4 shootout victory over t he host Kalamazoo Wings (20-13-4) by burying the only goal of a seven round shootout Satur day night .
Izmirlian, who was making his ECHL debut, ended the contest after Mallard goaltender Jake Paterson- who made 39 saves in regulation and overtime- stopped all seven Kalamazoo shooters and Wings netminder Joel Martin denied the first six Mallard shootout chances.
The Mallards seemed to be on their way to a regulation defeat when Matt Pohlcamp triggered the late fireworks by reducing Kalamazoo's lead to 4-2 on a 2-on-1 rush with two minutes, 49 seconds left in the third period. The Mallards had just emptied their net by bringing Paterson to the bench for a sixth attacker when, w ith one minute, 29 seconds remaining, K eegan Kolesar cut into the slot to make it 4-3 with his second goal of the night. A mere 26 seconds later, just after the Mallards had again thrown on a sixth skater, Kyle Follmer's blue line blast evened the score and shocked the Wings.
The Mallards found themselves in need of that late turnaround after the Wings twice built three goal leads earlier in the evening. Kalamazoo's Tyler Heinonen tipped in the opening goal at 4:11 of the first period. The Wings then stretched their lead to three for the first time by scoring twice in just over two minutes in the second period. Charlie Vasaturo fired the second Kalamazoo goal home from the right point at 10:55 of second. At 13:10, Tyler Biggs' drive from the high slot made it 3-0.
It was during a power play that Kolesar first sparked the Mallards by reducing the gap to 3-1 at 2:29 of the third period with a wrist shot from the right wing circle. A t 5:52 of the third Aaron Irving's rising one timer from the left wing circle stalled Quad City comeback hopes- but only temporarily.
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.
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