Originally Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2012, 10:51 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 17, 2012, 12:11 am
Mallards get first win in Wichita
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Not only did the Quad City Mallards end a two-game losing streak on Friday night, they also made it an historic one in Wichita against the Thunder.
The Mallards defeated Wichita 3-1, winning in Wichita for the first time ever in Mallards history. Quad City had entered the evening 0-4-0 on the road against the Thunder since re-entering the Central Hockey League in 2010.
"The guys told me that after the game," Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski said. "I had no idea that that was a scenario. A win is a win; we'll take it against anybody. Especially Wichita, they're such a good hockey team."
Right winger Brett Robinson scored a pair of goals, including the game-decider in the second period.
"Brett played well tonight, and the line played well tonight," Ruskowski said. "If I can get three lines scoring and checking, it could be a huge advantage for us."
After Greger Hanson's wrist shot from the high slot tied the game at 1 for Wichita at 9:40 of the second period, the Mallards regained the lead when Robinson snuck in alone and backhanded Mike Stinziani's centering pass home for his second goal of the night at 16:12 of the second.
Goalie John Murray then shut the door on the Thunder in the third. Murray made 31 saves, including 17 in the third period alone. That set the stage for Mike Hellyer to provide a crucial late insurance goal off of Mickey Lang's feed with four minutes and 41 seconds left in the game.
"Murray didn't make a whole lot of great saves, but when he needed to make them, he made them," Ruskowski said. "He plays really well. When he has confidence, he's a dynamite goalie."
Robinson had gotten the Mallards off to a superb start by burying a rebound to give Quad City a lead at 3:27 of the opening period.
"Brett scored 20 goals in the East Coast League last year, so I know he's got a scoring touch," Ruskowski said. "He needed to get his confidence and get comfortable with the guys he's playing with now."
The Mallards return to action tonight when they visit the Bloomington Blaze, who are 2-1 against the Mallards this season.