By: Mallards Communications Staff
10/13/2017 2:40 PM
Former Quad City Mallards greats Steve Gibson, Mark McFarlane, Glenn Stewart and Kerry Toporowski- the four players whose numbers have been retired by the team- will join inaugural inductee Howard Cornfield in the Quad City Mallards Hall of Fame and will have their achievements honored in a new Hall of Fame display that has been installed at the TaxSlayer Center, the Mallards announced today.
The Mallards introduced the Hall of Fame and announced former team president, general manager and co-owner Cornfield as its first inductee while celebrating the twentieth season of Mallards’ hockey in January.
“No one is more deserving of joining Howard as the first players inducted into the Mallards’ Hall of Fame than the four gentlemen whose numbers hang from the rafters at the TaxSlayer Center,” said Mallards president Bob McNamara. “Their achievements while playing for the Mallards are unparalleled and their impact on this community was just as significant, so we’re thrilled to be able to recognize them for all they have done both on and off the ice. We’re also looking forward to honoring in the years to come more of the players and other contributors who have done so much to make the Mallards one of the top franchises in minor league hockey.”
Gibson, a left wing and team captain, played seven seasons for the Mallards and helped them to two Colonial Cup championships and four Tarry Cup regular season crowns in the Colonial/United Hockey League. He scored 151 goals and totaled 359 points- third most in franchise history- in 320 games between 1997 and 2004. A native of Listowel, Ontario, Gibson still resides in the Quad Cities.
McFarlane was a member of all three Colonial Cup winning Mallards teams. The rugged right wing ranks behind only Toporowski in team history in penalty minutes with 1246. McFarlane was far from a one-dimensional player, however. He ranks third in team history in games played (393) and topped 100 goals while skating with the Mallards from 1996 through 2002.
Stewart is the top goal scorer in team history. He scored 218 times in 251 games for the Mallards. Stewart won two Colonial Cups and two Tarry Cups in his four seasons as a Mallard from 1996 to 2000. In 1996-97 he produced a season unparalleled in franchise history, scoring 66 goals and recording 69 assists to 135 points to earn the first of two Colonial Hockey League First Team All-Star selections. Stewart is now the associate head coach at his alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.
There have been few, if any, Mallards in team history more popular than Toporowski. His 1401 penalty minutes are unmatched in the Mallard record book. “Topper” piled up 413 penalty minutes in the 2000-01 season alone. His physical play and feats with his fists not only brought fans out of their seats but also made him a firm favorite of teammates whose ability to excel on the ice he enhanced greatly. His hard work and solid play on the blue line also earned him a pair of Colonial Cups and four Tarry Cup wins between 1998 and 2004. Originally from Paddockwood, Saskatchewan, Toporowski is another former Mallard who still makes his home in the Quad Cities.
Cornfield was honored last season for guiding the Mallards to unprecedented success while leading the club between 1996 and 2005. Cornfield was the architect of the team that won the Colonial Cup in 1997 and 1998 and would go on to make five straight finals appearances and claim a third title in 2001. Cornfield’s Mallards won 50 or more games in six consecutive seasons, an accomplishment unmatched in professional hockey. During his tenure, the Mallards went 451-175-50 and averaged better than 50 victories per season.
The Mallards open their twenty-first season- and their fourth in the ECHL- tonight at 7:05 p.m. against the Toledo Walleye on home ice. Mallards 2017-18 season tickets are still available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings off the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Single game tickets are also now on sale at the TaxSlayer Center box office, Ticketmaster toll free charge-by-phone (1-800-745-3000) and ticketmaster.com.