The Quad City Mallards will open their 66-game 2014-15 Central Hockey League season at home on Friday, October 24 at 7:05 p.m. against the Rapid City Rush and go on to play their first four games on home ice, the Mallards announced today in conjunction with the CHL.
The Mallards will play 25 of their 33 home games on fan friendly weekend dates. The Flock will take the ice at the i wireless Center for ten Friday night games, ten Saturday evening tilts, five Sunday contests and eight Wednesday night outings. Each of the Mallards’ Sunday home games will face off at 4:05 p.m. while all other home games will start at 7:05 p.m.
"We are excited to offer so many weekend dates for our fans to attend games and to continue building up our rivalries with Brampton, Missouri and Rapid City," said Mallards president Bob McNamara. “After winning a playoff series and reaching the semi-finals for the first time in over a decade last year, we’re looking forward to the start of this season and the opportunity to build on that success.”
The Mallards’ home slate is weighted toward weekends from the outset. The season opener is the first of two games in two nights between the Mallards and Rapid City at the i wireless Center. Those two clashes will reunite the Mallards and Rush for the first time since the Mallards stoked the budding rivalry between the clubs by dramatically knocking off Rapid City in the opening round of last spring’s President’s Cup playoffs.
After their duo of duels with Rapid City, the Mallards will welcome the Brampton Beast to the Quad Cities for a pair of tilts. The Mallards will host the Beast on Halloween- Friday, October 31- and Saturday, November 1.
The CHL will, for a third straight season, forgo a geographical split into conferences but still play an unbalanced schedule. The Mallards will meet the Beast 16 times- more than they play any of their other five foes. The season series between the two clubs will start with five consecutive meetings between October 31 and November 9. The Mallards will travel to Brampton for a trio of games after hosting their first two match-ups with the Beast.
The Mallards’ already strong rivalry with the Missouri Mavericks will only intensify over the course of 13 regular season clashes. The Mallards and Mavs first renew acquaintances on Sunday, November 23 in Independence; Missouri travels to Moline for the first time six days later.
Similarly, the Mallards and Rush will no doubt crank up the heat on their rivalry during a dozen regular season meetings. The Mallards will face the Wichita Thunder nine times and the Allen Americans and Tulsa Oilers eight times apiece.
The Mallards will meet two-time defending champion Allen for the first time since falling to the Americans in the seventh game of April’s semi-finals on Sunday, November 16 at the Allen Event Center. The Americans visit the Quad Cities for the first time on Friday, February 6.
The Mallards will begin December with six straight away games- their longest road trip of the season. The Mallards travel to Missouri, Rapid City (for two games), Allen, Wichita and Tulsa between December 2 and December 13.
The Mallards kick off March with their longest homestand. The Flock will play seven home games between March 1 and March 18, welcoming Missouri (three times), Allen (twice), Wichita and Tulsa to the Quad Cities.
Upon completing that home ice septet, the Mallards will play six of their final eight games on the road. After playing their last home game on Wednesday, April 1 against Brampton, Coach Terry Ruskwowski’s troops will close out the regular season with a two-game set in Rapid City Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4.
Other schedule highlights include:
· The Mallards will endure their two busiest stretches of the campaign during the holiday season. They will play seven games in 11 days between November 19 and November 29 before hitting the ice six times in eight days between December 27 and January 3.
· The Mallards will play a total of 14 times in December, their busiest month of the season. They will play 13 games in November, 12 in March, 11 in February, ten in January and three in both October and April.
· The Mallards will play three games in three nights on two occasions: November 21, 22 and 23 and December 20, 21 and 22.
· The Mallards will see ample holiday action beginning with their Halloween night tussle with Brampton. While the Mallards will be idle on Thanksgiving itself, they will play three games in four nights over Thanksgiving week: Wednesday, November 26 at Wichita; Friday, November 28 at Tulsa; and Saturday, November 29 at home against Missouri. The Mallards will close out 2014 north of the border. The Flock will battle the Beast in Brampton on Wednesday afternoon, December 31. Love is unlikely to be in the air when the Mallards collide with the Oilers in Tulsa on Valentine’s Day- Saturday, February 14. The Mallards will hope the joke is on the Beast when they host Brampton on April 1.
· The Mallards’ season series against Brampton, Rapid City and Tulsa will be evenly split between home and away games. In contrast, the Mallards will play six homes and seven road games against Missouri; four homes games alongside five away tilts against Wichita; and five home games but only three on the road against Allen.
2014-15 Mallards season tickets are now on sale. Ticket packages are available to meet almost any budget. A limited edition season ticket holder Mallard jersey, 12 additional ticket vouchers per seat and free parking are among a host of exclusive benefits available to season ticket holders. For more season ticket information fans can call the Mallards’ business office at 309-277-1364. Single game seats will go on sale in September on a date to be announced.