By: Mallards Communications Staff
Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards

Sam Warning scored two goals- including the game winner- and added an assist and Brody Hoffman made 37 saves as the host Quad City Mallards (34-28-6) defeated the Tulsa Oilers (32-30-5) 5-3 Friday night to open a five point lead over the ninth place Oilers in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the ECHL's Western Conference.

The Mallards took a commanding 4-1 lead when Matt Carey and Warning responded with back-to-back goals after Ben Murphy got the Oilers on the scoreboard for the first time at 8:36 of the second period. Murphy's wrist shot from the high slot cut what had been a 2-0 Mallard lead in half. Carey's low drive from the high slot reestablished the two goal advantage at 11:31 of the second. With just over a minute remaining in the period Warning's tip-in widened the gap to 4-1.

Just 54 seconds into the third period Christophe Lanlancette broke in alone to trim the deficit to 4-2 and spark Oiler comeback hopes. Olivier Archambault deflected home the fifth Mallard goal at 15:47 of the third. Eric Drapluck's wrist shot from the right wing circle brought Tulsa back within a pair with two minutes and 18 seconds remaining but the Oilers would get no closer in the dying moments.

It was Warning who gave the Mallards a lead they would not relinquish when he opened the scoring on a breakaway at 16:46 of the first period. Just 30 seconds later Tanner Eberle doubled the lead by burying Jared Knight's centering pass.

The Mallards have four regular season games remaining while the Oilers have five left.

The Mallards return to action on home ice Sunday at 4:05 p.m. against the Indy Fuel. Sunday will see the Mallards thank the fans of the Quad Cities for their support all season long with Fan Appreciation Day, featuring an array of giveaways and other surprises. Sunday also brings the season’s final Skate with the Mallards presented by B100. Fans can bring their skates to the game and join the Mallards on the ice after that contest.  After Sunday’s postgame skate fans will have another chance to meet Mallards players at Governor’s Bar & Grill. Mallards will be on hand after the game at both Governor’s locations: 2180 53rd Street in Moline and 3470 Middle Road in Bettendorf.

Single game tickets for all Mallards regular season home games- including Sunday’s tilt- are on sale now 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. Tickets are available for $10, $16, $20 and $24.    

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