Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2012, 12:13 am
Mallards comeback falls short
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TULSA, Okla. -- Once again, the Quad City Mallards found themselves in an almost predictable early hole in Central Hockey League action on Friday night.
Once again, the Mallards battled their way back into the game before running out of steam in a5-3 loss to the Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center.
Trailing 3-0, the Mallards charged back into the game by scoring all of their goals in just 61 seconds in the third period. Mike Stinziani put the Mallards on the board just a minute and a half into the period.Jason Dixon and Mike Hellyer scored the final two Quad City goals, Hellyer's goal coming just 17 seconds after Dixon's.
"We made good passes and we worked hard," Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski said. "Guys were in position and the shots went in the net. We were fine and then it just stopped."
In the third period alone, the Mallards (12-13-3) fired 17 shots at the net, after only having 15 in the game in the first two stanzas. In fact, QC out-shot the Oilers 32-23.
"We had some great chances to score and didn't," Ruskowski said. "We got three shots on net in a five-minute power play. You can't score unless you shoot. You know, bad passes, we're standing still at the end, no shots to the net for the guys to scramble to get at.
"We got to find a quarterback on the power play," he added. "Instead the same old quick plays maybe get a quick pass in front of the net or to the side to make a difference to keep the other team guessing."
Quad City found itself behind after Tulsa (9-18-2) marked a 3-0 lead through the first two periods. When the Mallards tied the game, it stayed even for seven minutes. That was until Oilers forward Ryan Menei scored with 10:32 left in the game.
That goal ultimately was the decisive score as the Mallards failed to find the net the rest of the way. Tulsa scored again with 30 seconds remaining in the game on an empty-netter.
"It's disheartening because I thought we were turning the corner and going in the right direction," said Ruskowski, whose Mallards are at Wichita tonight. "When you get out-hit and out-scored on lackadaisical play from some of the players, it's disheartening. We had some great chances to score there at the end, we just couldn't find the fourth one to tie it up."