MOLINE, IL— The Kalamazoo Wings couldn’t match the energy or execution of the Quad City Mallards during a 6-2 loss on Friday night at TaxSlayer Center.
The first period was a high-tempo frame in which each team peppered their counterparts with a series of quality scoring chances. Kalamazoo had two power play tries and outshot Quad City, 17-9, but the Wings were unable to get on the scoresheet as C.J. Motte denied each effort. The Mallards were also unable to find the back of the net, as they were stonewalled by Michael Garteig’s seven first-period stops.
The scoring started early in the second period and continued throughout the entire frame. Just over four minutes in, the Mallards took a 1-0 lead with Ryan McGrath’s 8th of the year. Quad City created a two-on-one up the ice and McGrath was delivered a pass for a tap in on the backdoor.
Shortly after taking the advantage and on a power play, Quad City doubled their lead by capitalizing on a net-front scramble that left Garteig out of position. Gergo Nagy found the loose puck on the right side of the crease and punched home the try for his fourth of the year.
The Wings needed 16:33 of play in the second period to generate their first goal, and it came after a fortunate bounce in front of the Quad City net. Eric Kattelus gained the Mallards’ line along the right-wing side and aimed a pass to the slot where Sean O’Rourke was crashing. Kattelus’s pass deflected off the stick of a defender and sailed over the shoulder of Motte.
Before the period came to a close, the Mallards re-established a two-goal lead with another close-quarters try. Triston Grant was fed a rink-wide dish from Willie Raskob, allowing Grant to drive to the goal and flip the puck over the shoulder of Garteig and into the top corner. The goal sent the Wings into the second intermission facing a two-goal deficit.
Not skipping a beat in the third, the Mallards continued their domination into the early stages of the final period. After having a pass stretched to him by Alex Kuqali, Triston King carried in on a breakaway and executed a beautiful deke to slip the puck over the stick side pad of Garteig.
During the middle-goings of the frame and on a power play, King scored yet another backhand-breakaway goal after a pass from Willie Raskob opened up a gap behind the Kalamazoo defense. His second strike of the night made it 5-1 in favor of the home team.
Adding another power play strike less than a minute later, the Mallards drove home their sixth of the night. A tight-angle try was poked away by the Kalamazoo defense and to the top of the circle where it landed on McGrath’s stick for a five-hole shot that trickled over the line.
With under a minute remaining in regulation and throwing everything they had at the Mallards’ goal, the Wings scored their second goal of the night after a net-front redirect from J.T. Stenglein. Danny Moyninhan hit the brakes after entering the offensive zone, allowing Anton Cederholm to join the play and reel in the pass. Cederholm’s shot was tipped in front by Stenglein, sending the puck into the back of the goal for his eighth of the year.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Tulsa Oilers- Wednesday, February 7, 7 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Wednesday’s game will air on AM 590/FM 106.9 WKZO or online at http://player.listenlive.co/29131.
Single-game tickets are on sale! Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased at http://kwings.com/SingleGameTickets or at the Wings Event Center box office.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the Kalamazoo Wings professional hockey team and a full entertainment venue offering concerts, sporting events, family shows and trade shows. Built in 1974, Wings Event Center values partnerships with the community to bring events and attractions that enrich the lives of residents in the Kalamazoo area.