Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2012, 1:34 pm

QC Mallards at Allen

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By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
Quad City Mallards rookie Mike Hellyer, right, fights for control of the puck earlier this season against Allen's Anthony Maiani. The Flock lost a pair of meetings earlier this season with the Central Hockey League leaders, but have won six of their last eight, and just knocked Wichita out of the top spot with a road win Saturday.
Tonight: 7:05 p.m. at the Allen Events Center in Texas.

Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV).

Storyline: Two nights after knocking Wichita out of the top spot, the Quad City Mallards (13-13-3, 29 points) visit the new Central Hockey League leaders. Allen (20-5-2, 42 points) has won three straight and boasts the circuit's stingiest defense (68 goals). The Mallards have won six of their last eight including Saturday's 3-1 victory at Wichita, which still owns the CHL's best home record. The Flock is 0-2 against Allen this season, losing back-to-back home games in early November.

News: Since returning from the Injured Reserve list, Scotty Howes has keyed Allen's Americans. Howes has 10 points (6 goals) in four games back, and leads the Americans with 35 points and 21 goals despite missing six games. Howes also leads the league in power play goals (10) for the CHL's most-lethal man-advantage attack (40 power play goals for a 25.64 success rate). By comparison, QC has scored only 10 power play goals and ranks last in the league with a 9.52 success rate.

Notes: QC's Brett Robinson, who reached 100-career assists last Wednesday, has points in his last three games, and five of the last six. ... After scoring a goal Saturday, QC's Patrik Levesque is three away from 100 for his career. ... Matt Boyd boasts the Flock's longest current point-scoring streak at five straight games. ... Since joining the Mallards, rookie goalie Neil Conway is 3-0-0 with four goals allowed (1.30 goals-against average) and a .949 save percentage. Both marks would lead the league if Conway had the mimimum games needed to be ranked. ... QC's penalty killing unit ranks second with an 85.84 success rate against the power play, just behind Allen's league-best 88.49.

Around the league: Rapid City has activated former Mallard Jared Brown from the Injured Reserve list. ... Denver veteran Brad Smyth had his CHL season-long point streak snapped at 16 straight games over the weekend. That's one short of last season's best of 17 games by Evansville's Todd Robinson. Denver was 11-3-2 during the streak. ... Missouri's Sebastien Thinel, the CHL's scoring leader in 2009 and 2011, became the sixth CHL player to reach the 500-assist career plateau last weekend. ... Rapid City's Scott Wray became the sixth CHL player to reach 650 career CHL games played last week. Wray is 14th on the league's all-time points list with 582.

Next: The Mallards host Wichita on Wednesday.

-- By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com