On Sunday afternoon at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena the Missouri Mavericks and Quad City Mallards played to their fifth one-goal decision in six meetings this season. The Mavericks tried to battle back from a three-goal third-period deficit but ultimately dropped a 4-3 decision. The loss moved Missouri’s record to 15-18-7 on the season.
Click here for tonight’s box score.
Early on in the first period each goaltender turned in a big save to keep the game scoreless. Missouri’s Dane Fox got loose behind the Quad City defense for a short breakaway, but Mallards goalie Adam Vay thwarted him with a pad save. At the other end of the ice, Josh Robinson won a one-on-one battle with Justin Kovacs who tried to bury a shot from the right wing.
With two games against each other in the prior two days already under their belts, it didn’t take long on Sunday for hostilities to renew between the Mavericks and Mallards. Mavericks captain Andrew Courtney dropped the gloves with Andrew Panzarella early in the first and brought the crowd to its feet.
Quad City scored the first goal of the game for the third time in a row this weekend courtesy of Pavel Jenys at 13:06. The Mallards winger collected a rebound atop the crease and slipped the puck around Robinson for his eighth of the season. The Mavericks had been 7-for-7 on the penalty against the Mallards this week, but Chris Francis broke through with a man-advantage score with four seconds left to play in the first. That goal sent the Mallards into the second period with a two-goal lead.
Mallards defenseman Mike Monfredo joined a rush early in the second period and, despite pressure from the Mavericks defense, was able to slip a shot past Robinson for a 3-0 Quad City lead. The Mavericks disputed the goal because of contact with Robinson, but it was ruled a good goal.
The Mavericks created two strong scoring chances with a little over nine minutes left to play in the second. Carter Verhaeghe centered a pass to Courtney in the slot, but the Mavericks captain’s blast was stopped by Vay and he snared the rebound bid by Rocco Carzo, too. Missouri also had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:20 late in the second, but a pair of athletic saves by Vay kept the Mavericks off of the board.
Missouri’s offense roared to life in the first minute of the third period and energized the home crowd. Dane Fox set up Darren Nowick from the slot for the rookie’s 14th goal of the season. The goal, which was also assisted by Dan Correale, came with only 34 seconds gone by in the period and pulled the Mavericks within two.
The Mavericks were awarded consecutive power plays following Nowick’s goal, but it was Francis who picked up his second goal of the game in a shorthanded situation. Sam Warning stole the puck from the point and put the initial shot on Robinson who made the save. The rebound, though, laid up in the slot and Francis nudged it just hard enough to put it across the line.
Following Francis’ goal, enough time remained on the power play for the Mavericks to build an attack and they made that time count. Positioned in the slot, Courtney collected the rebound of a Zach Tolkinen point shot and deposited it behind Vay for his fourth of the season. Courtney connected again 2:40 later for his first two-goal game of the season, and cut Quad City’s lead down to one.
Robinson took the loss with 22 saves in the game against 26 shots. The Mavericks went 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.