Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
Friday, October 16, 7:05 p.m.
Allen Event Center
Quad City Mallards vs. Allen Americans
Saturday, October 17, 7:05 p.m.
INTRUST Bank Arena, Wichita
Quad City Mallards vs. Wichita Thunder
LAST WEEK (PRESEASON)
Sunday, October 11
Indy 3 Quad City 0
2014-15: 37-28-7, 81 points
tied 2nd place, Central Division
Coach: Terry Ruskowski
2014-15: 48-14-10, 106 points
1st place, Central Division
Coach: Steve Martinson
2014-15: 32-21-9, 73 points
5th place, Central Division
Coach: Kevin McCelland
The Mallards begin their second ECHL season with a two-game road trip. The Mallards will open the season Friday night against the defending Kelly Cup champion Allen Americans before travelling to Wichita to meet the Thunder Saturday evening. Each of those games will be the home opener for the Mallards’ foe.
The 2015-16 season will be the Mallards’ third as an affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild but the Flock’s first as the organization’s lone ECHL farm club. The Mallards acted as the Wild’s Central Hockey League affiliate in 2013-14 and were a secondary ECHL affiliate last season.
Nine Mallards currently on the club’s roster return from last season’s squad, including five defensemen: Jake Baker, Austin Coldwell, Nick Grasso (who also plays forward), Darren McMillan and Mike Monfredo. That quintet is joined by forwards Anthony Collins, Pearce Eviston, Matt Neal and Logan Nelson. Monfredo and Nelson are the Mallards’ top returning point scorers. Both recorded 28 points last season.
McMillan returns for his seventh season with the Mallards and his sixth as team captain. Should he, as expected, take the ice this Friday, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, native will become the only player who has skated for the team in each of the seven seasons since the Mallards returned to the ice in 2009. McMillan, 35, has played in 345 games for the Mallards, the fourth highest total in club history. He will pass Mark McFarlane- who played 393 games for the team between 1996 and 2002- and move into third place all-time in career games played as a Mallard if he skates in at least 49 games during the coming campaign. McMillan has played in all but three of the Mallards’ 336 regular season games over the last five campaigns. Last year he skated in all 72 games.
Vladimir Nikiforov, who first skated for the Mallards in 2013-14, has returned after spending last season in Europe playing for 1. EV Weiden in Germany, Orlik Opole in Poland and Coventry Blaze in the United Kingdom.
Neal last Saturday made his AHL debut for Iowa against the Charlotte Checkers and skated against the same opposition the following afternoon after signing a professional tryout agreement with the Wild last Friday. This season is Neal’s first full professional campaign. He originally joined the Mallards in March after completing his college career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Between the Pipes
The three goaltenders on the Mallards’ roster are new to the team this season. Rookie Steve Michalek turns pro after completing his college career at Harvard last season. Adam Morrison joins the Mallards after enjoying a standout season with the South Carolina Stingrays last year- he finished tied for third in the ECHL in shutouts (4)- and also playing one game for the AHL’s Providence Bruins. Similarly, Swede Niklas Lundstrom- a fifth round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2011- spent most of last season in the ECHL with the Alaska Aces but did play one AHL game for the Chicago Wolves.
Michalek, forward Raphael Bussieres and defensemen Guillaume Gelinas and Alex Gudbranson start the season with the Mallards after being assigned to the Flock by Iowa.
The Mallards this season have moved to the new Midwest Division in the ECHL’s Western Conference, joining the Cincinnati Cyclones, Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets and Indy Fuel as part of a league-wide realignment. The 28-team ECHL has shifted from four seven-team divisions last season to six divisions of four or five teams split into two conferences this year.
The Mallards opened each of the last two seasons with losses to the Rapid City Rush. The Mallards last won their season opener when the defeated the Tulsa Oilers 4-3 in overtime on October 26, 2012. The Mallards have dropped four of their last five curtain-raisers with three of those defeats coming at the hands of Rapid City. All-time, the Mallards are 9-8-1 in openers.
The Mallards last season had a better record on the road (20-12-4) than at home (17-16-3).
Red Light District
The Mallards last season surrendered just 186 regular season goals- an average of 2.6 per game- the fourth lowest total in the league. The Mallards were one of just five teams to give up fewer than 200 goals. The Mallards scored 205 goals (2.9 per game), the nineteenth highest total in the ECHL.
The Mallards finished last season fifth in in penalty killing (85.7 percent). The Mallards finished ninth the ECHL in power play efficiency (18.1 percent) and boasted the league’s fifth best success rate on the road (20.4 percent).
Head to Head
The Mallards went 2-3-0 against the Americans last season and split a pair of games at the Allen Event Center. All-time, the Mallards have posted a regular season record of 5-8-1 against the Americans and have gone 2-3-1 in Allen…The Mallards went 7-5-0 against the Thunder overall last season and turned in a 3-2-0 record in Wichita. All-time, the Mallards have gone 13-17-1 against the Thunder and 6-9-0 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Ins and Outs
Defenseman Guillaume Gelinas was reassigned to the Mallards by the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild today…Forward Matt Neal returned to the Mallards today after signing a PTO with Iowa last Friday…The Mallards signed forward Narbo Nagtzaam to a tryout agreement yesterday…Forward Olivier Archambault was recalled from the Mallards by Iowa last Friday…Goaltender Steve Michalek was assigned to the Mallards by Iowa last Thursday.
UPCOMING HOME GAMES
Friday, October 23, 7:05 p.m.- Mallards vs. Tulsa Oilers
Opening Night Fireworks
A fireworks display outside the iWireless Center will follow the Mallards’ season opener.
$1 Dog/$1 Beer Friday presented by 97X
Fans again this season can enjoy $1 hot dogs and beers from iWireless Center concession stands during all Friday home games.
MetroLINK College Night
The Mallards have once again partnered with Metro to provide transit service between Augustana College and downtown Moline during all Friday home games. As part of Metro’s unlimited ride program, Augustana riders can use their Augustana ID as their fare.
Saturday, October 24, 7:05 p.m.- Mallards vs. Tulsa Oilers
Anti-Bullying Night Presented by Harris Pizza
Area elementary school students who have signed the SCORE anti-bullying pledge will receive free tickets to the game.
Sunday, October 25, 4:05 p.m.- Mallards vs. Wichita Thunder
The Quad Cities this summer were named number one minor league market in the nation. The Mallards will join with the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau to thank the fans of the Quad Cities- without whom this achievement would not have been possible- by offering 50 percent off all tickets.
ON THE AIR
Fox Sports Radio 1230 is the radio home of Mallards Hockey Presented by Genesis Power Sports Performance. Mallards games broadcast on AM 1230 also stream live online at www.wfxn.net. A limited number of Mallards games- including Friday night’s meeting with Allen- will not air on Fox Sports Radio 1230 due to conflicts with University of Illinois basketball and football and Green Bay Packer football. ECHL-TV pay-per-view video webcasts and free audio webcasts of all Mallards games are also available at myqcmallards.net.
Single Game Tickets
Single game tickets for all Mallards regular season contests are now available. Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about tickets. Single game tickets are also available at the iWireless Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.
Mallards 2015-16 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 email@example.com.
Groups of at least ten receive savings off the walk-up price and a host of group benefits. Mallards group tickets are a great fit for youth organizations, friends, co-workers, family groups, religious groups, school functions and business events. For more group ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.