By: Mallards Communications Staff
Photo: Blake Sebring/News-Sentinel

Mason Baptista scored twice as the host Fort Wayne Komets (45-19-8) closed the regular season by defeating the Quad City Mallards (40-28-4) 6-1 Saturday night.

The Komets built a 6-0 lead before Mike Wilson scored the lone Mallard goal late in the third period. Mike Embach scored the first of the night from a narrow angle just one minute and 40 seconds into the first period. Kyle Thomas' breakaway goal gave Fort Wayne a 2-0 lead at 12:14 of the first. Shawn Szydlowski's wrist shot from the left wing circle stretched the gap to three at 13:04 of the second period.

The Komets put the game away with three third period goals. Baptista scored his first at the seven minute mark of the third and Garrett Thompson piled on the fifth Fort Wayne goal from close range just 22 seconds later. Baptista struck again by burying rebound at 15:32. The Mallards avoided a shutout when Wilson snapped the puck past Komet goaltender Pat Nagle from the right circle with three minutes and 22 seconds remaining.

The Mallards will open their best-of-seven first round ECHL Kelly Cup playoff series against the Komets on the road next Friday night and will play game two at Allen Country War Memorial Coliseum next Saturday evening before returning home for game three on Wednesday, April 19 at 6:35 p.m. and game four on Friday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. If a fifth game is necessary, it will be played on Saturday night, April 22 at 7:05 p.m. at the iWireless Center. Should a sixth game be required, the series will shift back to Fort Wayne on Monday, April 24. If the series goes to a seventh game, the Komets would host the deciding contest on Wednesday, April 26.

Tickets to Mallards home playoff games are now on sale at the iWireless Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, and Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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