Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
The Quad City Mallards (37-28-7) defeated the Tulsa Oilers (37-29-6) 2-1 in overtime Saturday night to finish the regular season in third place in the ECHL's Central Division and set up a first round Kelly Cup playoff match-up with the second place Rapid City Rush beginning next Friday night in Rapid City.
ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs, Central Division Semi-Finals
Quad City Mallards vs. Rapid City Rush (all times Central)
Game One: Friday, April 17 @ Rapid City, 8:05 p.m.
Game Two: Saturday, April 18 @ Rapid City, 8:05 p.m.
Game Three: Wednesday, April 22 @ Quad City, 6:05 p.m.
Game Four: Friday, April 24 @ Quad City, 7:05 p.m.
Game Five*: Saturday, April 25 @ Quad City, 7:05 p.m.
Game Six*: Tuesday, April 28 @ Rapid City, 7:35 p.m.
Game Seven*: Wednesday, April 29 @ Rapid City, 7:35 p.m.
*- if necessary
The best-of-seven Central Division Semi-Finals will start with games one and two next Friday and Saturday at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center before the Mallards return home for game three on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:05 p.m. and game four on Friday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. If a fifth game is necessary, it will be played on Saturday night, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. at the iWireless Center. Should a sixth game be required, the series will shift back to Rapid City on Tuesday, April 28. If the series goes to a seventh game, the Rush would host the deciding contest on Wednesday, April 29.
Matt Duffy blasted the power play game winner from the blue line at 2:20 of sudden death. The Mallards and Oilers battled through a scoreless third period after swapping goals over the first two periods. Kevin Baker gave the Mallards a 1-0 lead from the slot at 16:49 of the first period. Tulsa's Adam Pleskach evened the score from a tight angle at 3:32 of the second. Mallard goaltender Parker Milner kept the Oilers off the scoreboard the rest of the way and finished the night with 35 saves.
This is the second postseason meeting in as many years between the Mallards and Rush. Last spring the Mallards defeated Rapid City in seven games in the opening round of the Central Hockey League playoffs.
Tickets for Mallards first round home games are on sale now at the iWireless Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com 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., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.