Mallards squander late chances in road loss


Share
Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2013, 11:04 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Staff report, sports@qconline.com
BLOOMINGTON -- The Quad City Mallards had a chance to move from eighth to sixth Friday night in the CHL standings.

Instead, the Flock failed to win for the second straight night at rival Bloomington, squandering a late power-play opportunity and having another shot hit the goalpost in a 3-2 setback at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

As a result, the Mallards (15-16-4, 34 points) backslid into ninth, a point away from the final CHL playoff spot just past midseason heading into tonight's visit to third-place Missouri (18-12-4, 40 points).

"We just can't seem to get over the hump,'' QC coach Terry Ruskowski lamented. "If we beat them, we jump ahead of them by a (standings) point. We had our chances. We just couldn't put the biscuit in the basket.''

QC rookie Mike Hellyer scored with 15 seconds left, after QC pulled goalie Neil Conway for the extra attacker. However, the Flock failed to cap the last-minute comeback with the overtime-forcing equalizer.

Just before opting for that 6-on-5 skating situation, the Mallards failed to find the net in a five-minute, extended power-play chance when Bloomington's Sebastien Trudeau was whistled for a spearing major and game misconduct with 6:53 remaining in the third period.

"I told the guys I screwed up,'' said Ruskowski, one of the CHL's all-time winningest coaches. "Looking back, I should have pulled the goalie then for a 6-on-4 (situation).

"Down one (goal), you can't pull the goalie, but down two (scores), you should, because you just have to get a goal there. Instead, I wanted to see our power play (unit) get some shots on net, get some more traffic in front of their goalie, and get another one. So that was my mistake, because the tic-tac-toe just didn't work for us.''

The Mallards' league-worst power play improved to an 11.38-percent success rate, though, by cashing in 1-of-3 man-advantage chances for a 1-0 lead.

Scoring leader Mickey Lang netted a goal for the fourth time in five games since New Year's Day, tallying his 19th of the season, only 4:01 into the first period.

"I wish I'd done it now,'' Ruskowski said about pulling Conway. "I should have known better. I just don't have a guy back there that can quarterback the power play like you'd like, to fake a shot and find the free guy.''

Also unfortunate for QC? Jason Dixon also had a third-period shot hit the post.

"I have to look at the (video) tape because I thought that was in,'' Ruskowski said. "Usually you hear something when it hits the post, but I never did. That was the game-tier as it would have turned out.''

Instead, league-scoring leader Bloomington (18-15-1, 37 points) bounced back from QC's early edge, taking the lead with a pair of second-period scores, before going up 3-1 with 12:07 gone in the third on Tyler Gron's second goal of the game.

Matt Duffy had a pair of assists, setting up both Mallards goals. Rookie Conway turned away 21-of-24 shots in his second start in as many nights for QC.

















 




Local events heading








  Today is Wednesday, April 16, the 106th day of 2014. There are 259 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Yesterday some bold thief stole a full bolt of calico from a box in front of Wadsworth's store, where it was on exhibition.
1889 -- 125 years ago: A team belonging to Peter Priese got away from its driver and made a mad run across the Rock Island Bridge. The driver was thrown from his seat but not hurt.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Carlton Taylor was appointed district deputy grand master for the 14th
Masonic District of Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Moline's million dollar municipal airport was dedicated to air transportation and the national defense by Lt. Gov. John Stelle.
1964 -- 50 years ago: THE ARGUS will be election headquarters for Rock Island County tomorrow night, and the public is invited to watch the operation. The closing of the polls at 6 p.m. will mark the start of open house in the newsroom. Visitors will see staff members receiving, tabulating and posting returns.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Few bricks actually tumbled, but no one seemed to mind as about 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the formal start of demolition at the site of a downtown civic center.




(More History)