Jared Brown was sick Tuesday night.|
But the Quad City Mallards rookie forward played through the flu to leave visiting Dayton feeling rather ill.
Despite suffering through cold sweats on the bench, Brown scored a pair of second-period goals, plus added an assist in the third frame, to rally the Mallards from a 2-0 mid-point deficit for a 5-2 victory at Moline's i wireless Center.
Veteran linemate John Snowden also had three points, all on assists, and the shift's center, Eric Giosa, added a power play goal and a helper in QC's seventh win in nine tries against Dayton this season.
"It felt good to play with `Snowie' and `Gio,''' said Brown, the Central Hockey League's new rookie scoring leader with 46 points. "We worked the puck down low great and had a great night playing together. It kept my mind off the sickness a lot.''
Even while shivering through the chills, Brown never approached QC coach David Bell about being a pre-game scratch.
"I wasn't really sure how to do that,'' Brown joked. "I felt good enough to go. I wanted to make sure I had energy out there, so I pumped myself up and kept my head in the game instead of thinking about being sick.
"I was tired out there, though. I took a lot of short shifts. I wanted to keep going up the ice with (Giosa and Snowden), but I had to get off, because I was getting tired.''
However, Brown had enough in the tank to factor in three big scores for the Mallards.
Two at the end of the second period tied the game and regained the momentum for the hometown team. The second of those two came with 52 seconds remaining in the frame, off a sweet pass from defenseman Jared Lavender, who had two helpers on the night.
Brown has found the net 18 times now this season.
"That was a humongous goal for us,'' Bell said. "It's an easy sell for me then to say it's a 20-minute hockey game so let's see who's willing to work harder. If we don't get that goal we have to cheat and take chances we don't want to take.''
Back even, the Mallards seized control, with Taylor Vichorek raking a slap shot into the net 109 seconds into the third frame.
The CHL's top power-play team then added two more scores on the man-advantage, with Giosa getting his 21st goal of the season off a Brown feed. Rookie Sean Flanagan completed the scoring with 2:37 left with helpers from Snowden and fellow vet Obi Aduba.
"I thought territorially we were good, even at the start,'' Bell said. "We were in their end. We took the play to them. But to come out of the (first) period with no goals and no power plays told me we were just being a perimeter team. We didn't accomplish anything. We needed to take the puck to the net or have somebody haul us down doing it. So we just got more aggressive after that and it paid off.''
Despite the victory over Dayton (15-21-8, 38 points), the Mallards (25-18-1, 51) remained in fifth place and just outside of the final playoff spot in the tightly-packed Turner Conference.
All of the teams in front of QC earned points Tuesday with Evansville winning 5-4 in a shootout over Bloomington, and Missouri pulling out a 2-1 overtime decision over Rapid City.
QC opens a 3-game weekend at Fort Wayne on Friday before hosting Arizona on Saturday and Sunday.
"We just have to keep doing what we're doing,'' Lavender said. "This race looks like it's going to come down to the last game, so we need all of the points we can get.''
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