BLOOMINGTON -- The Quad City Mallards were held to their lowest scoring total in a road game on Saturday night against the Bloomington Blaze, but it wasn't from the lack of trying.|
The Mallards took 42 shots to the Blaze's 30, but couldn't forge a second straight road victory, falling 3-2.
It was the Mallards' lowest-scoring road game among four trips.
Quad City got a three-goal road win against Wichita on Friday night and were hoping to come home to the i wireless Center trying to build a modest winning streak when they take on the Rapid City Rush with a 4 p.m. puck drop today.
The Mallards are now 1-2-1 against the Blaze through a 4-4-2 record. Being 3-2-1 against the rest of the CHL (and 0-1-1 vs. league leaguer Allen), that means they've got to get that thorn out of their side by next Sunday when they return to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. That will mark the end of a rugged stretch, playing four games in five days, and three of those on the road.
On Saturday night, the Mallards couldn't get to Blaze goalie Dan Dunn as he stopped all 17 shots he faced. And the first shot taken against replacement Gerry Festa hit the back of the net, a power-play goal by Jeremy Boyer with assists from Mickey Lang and Matt Duffy with 7:04 left in the first.
Dunn came out after suffering an apparent injury in the second period, according to Mallards broadcaster Brian Lavelle.
From there, Festa was festive, allowing just one of QC's 24 shots to get past him the rest of the way.
Bloomington tied the score with five minutes left in the second period.
That's when the game hit a pitch level to end the frame. With 30 seconds left, the Blaze took their first lead of the game on a goal by Matthew Larke. Then, just 15 seconds later and with 15 seconds left in the period, Lang tied it up with a goal off the sticks of Mike Hellyer and Boyer.
With the Mallards dominating the shot chart, it looked as if QC would have a chance at the weekend road sweep, or at worse head to a shootout. That, though, is when the Bloomington took advantage of just their second power-play of the night. Niklaus Lindberg scored the game-deciding goal with 11:20 left in the game, with Larke and Booras getting the assists.
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