Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
ECHL KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS
Central Division Semifinals
Quad City Mallards vs. Fort Wayne Komets
Game One: Friday, April 14 @ Fort Wayne, 7:00 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, April 15 @ Fort Wayne, 6:30 p.m.
Game Three: Wednesday, April 19 @ Quad City, 6:35 p.m.
Game Four: Friday, April 21 @ Quad City, 7:05 p.m.
Game Five: Saturday, April 22 @ Quad City, 7:05 p.m.*
Game Six: Monday, April 24 @ Fort Wayne, 6:30 p.m.*
Game Seven: Wednesday, April 26 @ Fort Wayne, 6:30 p.m.*
*- if necessary
40-25-4, 84 points
3rd place, Central Division
Coach: Phil Axtell
45-28-4, 98 points
2nd place, Central Division
Coach: Gary Graham
Tuesday, April 4
Indy 6 Quad City 3
Nick Bligh's hat trick propelled the host Indy Fuel to a 6-3 victory over the Mallards.
Friday, April 7
Fort Wayne 5 Quad City 2
Mike Cazzola scored a hat trick as the Fort Wayne Komets defeated the host Mallards 5-2.
Saturday, April 8
Fort Wayne 6 Quad City 1
Mason Baptista scored twice as the host Fort Wayne Komets closed the regular season by defeating the Mallards 6-1.
The Mallards closed the regular season with three straight losses after clinching a third place finish in the Central Division and division semifinal match-up with Fort Wayne on April 1.
The Mallards last weekend lost both ends of a regular season-closing home-and-home with the Fort Wayne Komets.
If their first round series goes the full seven games after the two teams went head-to-head in the final two games of the regular season, the Mallards and Komets will play nine straight games against each other. They will meet a total of 19 times between the regular season and postseason in the event the division semifinals go the distance.
The Mallards this season won 40 games for the first time since they went 41-27-8 in the United Hockey League in 2005-06.
The Mallards this season totaled 84 points, the most since they had 85 in the UHL in 2006-07.
The Mallards finished 12 games over .500, the most since they finished 14 games over break-even in 2005-06.
The Mallards went 21-12-2 in 35 games after Phil Axtell took over as head coach on January 20.
The Mallards have qualified for the playoffs for the third time in as many seasons since entering the ECHL, for the fifth year in a row including their final two Central Hockey League campaigns and for the sixth time in the last seven years.
The Mallards and Komets are set for their fourth all-time playoff meeting and their first in 14 years. The two clubs last met in the postseason when the Komets defeated the Mallards four games to one in the 2003 United Hockey League Colonial Cup finals. The Mallards took back-to-back UHL semifinal series from Fort Wayne in 2000 and 2001. The Mallards swept the Komets in three games in 2001 after winning the first ever postseason match-up between the clubs four games to one the prior year.
The Mallards this season won 20 games at home (20-12-4) and on the road (20-16-0).
The Mallards went 22-10-4 in one-goal games and led the ECHL in one-goal wins.
Red Light District
The Mallards allowed 16 goals over their final three games. The Mallards finished eleventh in the ECHL in goals against (220, 3.1 per game) and sixteenth in goals scored (232, 3.2 per game).
The Mallards allowed the first goal in their final five regular season games. Despite their recent slow starts, the first period was the Mallards’ best this season. They scored 75 goals in the first and gave up 65.
The Mallards allowed 47 shots Friday, one shy of the season high 48 they gave up on November 19 in a 3-2 loss to the Wheeling Nailers.
Parks and Wreck
Michael Parks scored 29 goals this season, the most by a Mallard since Mickey Lang scored 41 times in 2012-13 in the CHL. Parks finished third among ECHL rookies in goals and fifth in points (56).
Justin Kovacs had 13 points (six goals and seven assists) in his final nine games and 24 points (eight goals and 16 assists) in his final 16 games.
Chris Francis recorded 15 points (six goals and nine assists) in his final 14 games. Francis and Kovacs finished tied for the team lead in points (60).
On the Plus Side
Kevin Gibson finished tied for fourth in the ECHL in plus/minus rating (plus-32).
Between the Pipes
C.J. Motte and Adam Vay both finished the regular season with 20 goaltending wins. Motte finished tied for third in the ECHL in save percentage (.917) and tied for eighth in goals against average (2.68). Vay was tied for sixth in shutouts (3).
Andrew Panzarella Saturday played his one hundredth career game.
The Mallards killed off their opponents’ final 14 power plays and 28 of their foes’ last 29 man advantages. The Mallards finished eighth in the ECHL in penalty killing (83.5 percent). The Mallards converted one of their final 17 power plays and finished twenty-sixth on the advantage (12.4 percent).
The Mallards went 4-8-0 against Fort Wayne this season: 2-4-0 at home and 2-4-0 on the road. All-time, the Mallards have gone 54-57-11 against Fort Wayne.
Ins and Outs
Forward Josh MacDonald returned to the Mallard lineup Friday night after missing five games (lower body injury)…Defenseman Dylan Labbe Thursday was reassigned to the Mallards by Iowa (AHL)…Forward Adam Gilmour, who missed the Mallards’ final three regular season games, Thursday was placed on 21-day injured reserve retroactive to April 2 (upper body injury)…Forward Pavel Jenys returned to the Mallards’ lineup Tuesday after missing 24 games (upper body injury)…Forward Alex Petan missed the Mallards’ final three games (lower body injury)…Forward Brady Brassart missed the Mallards’ final four games (lower body injury)…Forward Grant Arnold missed the Mallards’ final five games (lower body injury).
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
Wednesday, April 19, 6:35 p.m.- Game Three: Mallards vs. Fort Wayne Komets
Mallards Wednesday night home games face off at the special early start time of 6:35.
Friday, April 21, 7:05 p.m.- Game Four: Mallards vs. Fort Wayne Komets
$2 Dogs/$2 Beers presented by 97X
Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs and beers from iWireless Center concession stands during Friday home games.
MetroLINK College Night
The Mallards have partnered with Metro to provide transit service between Augustana College and downtown Moline during Friday home games. As part of Metro's unlimited ride program, Augustana Riders can use their Augustana ID as their fare.
Saturday, April 22, 7:05 p.m.- Game Five: Mallards vs. Fort Wayne Komets
If the division semifinal series goes to a fifth game, the Mallards will host that contest.
ON THE AIR
Fox Sports Radio 1230 is the radio home of Mallards Hockey Presented by Genesis Power Sports Performance. Mallards games broadcast on AM 1230 also stream live online at www.wfxn.net. A limited number of Mallards games will not air on Fox Sports Radio 1230 due to conflicts with University of Illinois basketball and football and Green Bay Packer football. ECHL-TV pay-per-view video webcasts and free audio webcasts of all Mallards games are also available at myqcmallards.net.
The Mallards’ official mobile app is now available free for both Apple and Android. The app features a wide array of exclusive content, including behind the scenes video, breaking news and scoring alerts, interviews and video messages from Mallards players, instant access to live scores, stats and standings and special offers from the team and from Mallards partners.
Single Game Tickets
Single game tickets for Mallards first round home games are now available. Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or email@example.com for more information about tickets. Single game tickets are also available at the iWireless Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.
Groups of ten or more receive savings off the walk-up price and a host of group benefits. Mallards group tickets are a great fit for youth organizations, friends, co-workers, family groups, religious groups, school functions and business events. For more group ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.