Jamie Tardif provided the shootout game winner after also scoring in regulation as the host Quad City Mallards (20-33-4) outlasted the Utah Grizzlies (23-23-11) to claim a 7-6 shootout victory Friday night.
Tardif ended a shootout during which the Mallards outscored Utah 3-2. Tristan King and Gergo Nagy delivered in shootout for the Mallards while Sam Babintsev and Ryan Walters converted for Utah before Tardif buried the decider in round four
The Grizzlies forced the game to overtime and the shootout after rallying to tie the score four times in regulation, including twice in the third period. A wild start to the third saw the Grizzlies score twice in 23 seconds to erase a 5-3 deficit. Walter's second regulation goal narrowed the margin to 5-4 from the slot just 55 seconds into the period. Ryan Misiak roofed the equalizer from close range at 1:18 but there were ample fireworks to follow in the third. Brayden Low's solo rush put the Mallards in front one minute, 20 seconds after Misiak knotted the contest. At 11:17, the Grizzlies responded yet again when Brad Navin squared the tussle at six from the crease with Utah's third power play goal.
The Mallards could not shake the Grizzlies despite twice taking two goal leads in the second period. King broke a 2-2 deadlock with a power play blast from the right wing circle at 1:44 of the second. Matt Pohlkamp doubled the Mallard advantage from point blank range at 3:29. It was during a Utah power play that Walters shoveled in a rebound to reduce the gap to 4-3 at 5:05 but Tardif would jam in the fifth Mallard goal just one minute, 27 seconds later.
The game got off to a suitably explosive start when Alex Globke gave the Mallards the lead just 43 seconds in with a blast from the high slot. The Grizzlies were on the power play when Austin Ortega tied the score at one from the doorstep at 5:14 of the first period. Kyle Bigos' blue line blast gave the Mallards a 2-1 lead at 11:27 but Jake Marchment would race down the left wing toward the Mallard goalmouth to even it up at two with two minutes remaining in the opening period.
The Mallards return to action on the road tomorrow night against the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Mallards next play at home Sunday at 4:05 p.m. against the Fort Wayne Komets. The Mallards will welcome dogs- and their humans- to Pucks 'n' Paws Sunday. A special area inside the TaxSlayer Center will be set aside for dogs and their owners during the game. Dog owners can get tickets for both themselves ($15) and their dog ($5) for just $20 by calling the Mallards at 309-277-1364. All proceeds from dog tickets will benefit Quad Cities area animal shelters and rescue organizations. Fans will also have the chance to enjoy $1 sodas from TaxSlayer Center concession stands during Sunday's game. After the game, fans who bring their skates can join players on the ice and skate with the Mallards.
Tickets for Sunday game- and all Mallards regular season home games- are also now on sale at the TaxSlayer Center box office, Ticketmaster toll free charge-by-phone (1-800-745-3000) and ticketmaster.com. 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.