Games: The Mallards visit Arizona tonight and Saturday at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Game time is 8:05 p.m. (Central) each night.|
Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV).
Storyline: The Mallards (16-18-4, 36 points) trail Arizona's Sundogs (18-19-4, 40 points) by four standings points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Central Hockey League. The Mallards dropped a Jan. 8 meeting at home, 3-2, and host Arizona again on Feb. 16. QC is 4-2-1 all-time against Arizona.
News: The Mallards will be missing Mickey Lang for at least this weekend, if not longer. QC's leading scorer received a Triple-A promotion Wednesday night from the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs. The call-up by the Chicago Blackhawks affiliate comes days after Lang was named the CHL's Player of the Week. The 26-year-old had a hat trick in a six-point explosion last Saturday in QC's season-best 7-1 stomping of Denver. Lang currently ranks third in goals (22) and fifth in points (47) in the CHL. The Mallards won't add to the roster this weekend, according to team officials. Rockford demoted center Byron Froese to ECHL Toledo on Wednesday, clearing the way for Lang for the foreseeable future.
News II: Former Mallard Adam Russo earned the CHL's Goaltender of the Week award Tuesday for Arizona. Russo turned away 71 of 76 shots last weekend in a split with league-leading Allen. The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the netminder. Russo sports a 2.81 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Did you know? Think the 14-point night by the line of Lang, Mike Stinziani and Mike Hellyer was impressive last weekend? QC's 2000 line of Patrick Nadeau, Hugo Proulx and Kevin Kerr enjoyed a 21-point night, according to former Mallards beat writer Jeff Wendland. Nadeau had a hat trick and two assists while Proulx and Kerr each had two goals and six assists in a 13-goal mauling of Missouri.
Notes: Besides ranking as the Mallards' largest crowd in 10 years, last Saturday's sellout (9,347) also stands as the best-attended contest in the CHL this season. ... Lang's six-point night was QC's first since Dec. 30, 2006, by Luke Stauffacher. ... Hellyer's four assists last weekend matched a CHL season high and moved him into a tie for the rookie lead at 20 on the season. ... Stinziani has 11 points (6 goals) in his last five games. ... Matt Duffy's four-game point streak has him ranked in the top 5 among defensemen in assists (19) and points (22).
Around the league: The CHL has signed a letter of intent with an ownership group starting an expansion team next season in Brampton, Ontario. The Canadian town between NHL hot beds Toronto and Detroit becomes the 12th market slated to play in the league in 2013-14 with the St. Louis-area St. Charles Chill already set to join. ... The CHL had a pair of former on-ice officials make their NHL debut in the past week. Referee Mark Lemelin and linesman John Grandt both graduated to the major league. Grandt made the jump from last season's CHL crew. Lemelin worked three seasons in the Double-A circuit from 2006-09. ... Wichita has lost forward Ryan Flanigan to a recall by the NHL's New York Rangers.
Next: The Mallards host neighboring rival Bloomington on Tuesday.
-- By Steve Tappa, email@example.com
Rock island, IL Details
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