Not only did the Quad City Mallards end a two-game losing streak on Friday night, they also made it an historic one in Wichita against the Thunder.
The Mallards defeated Wichita 3-1, winning in Wichita for the first time ever in Mallards history. Quad City had entered the evening 0-4-0 on the road against the Thunder since re-entering the Central Hockey League in 2010.
"The guys told me that after the game," Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski said. "I had no idea that that was a scenario. A win is a win; we'll take it against anybody. Especially Wichita, they're such a good hockey team."
Right winger Brett Robinson scored a pair of goals, including the game-decider in the second period.
"Brett played well tonight, and the line played well tonight," Ruskowski said. "If I can get three lines scoring and checking, it could be a huge advantage for us."
After Greger Hanson's wrist shot from the high slot tied the game at 1 for Wichita at 9:40 of the second period, the Mallards regained the lead when Robinson snuck in alone and backhanded Mike Stinziani's centering pass home for his second goal of the night at 16:12 of the second.
Goalie John Murray then shut the door on the Thunder in the third. Murray made 31 saves, including 17 in the third period alone. That set the stage for Mike Hellyer to provide a crucial late insurance goal off of Mickey Lang's feed with four minutes and 41 seconds left in the game.
"Murray didn't make a whole lot of great saves, but when he needed to make them, he made them," Ruskowski said. "He plays really well. When he has confidence, he's a dynamite goalie."
Robinson had gotten the Mallards off to a superb start by burying a rebound to give Quad City a lead at 3:27 of the opening period.
"Brett scored 20 goals in the East Coast League last year, so I know he's got a scoring touch," Ruskowski said. "He needed to get his confidence and get comfortable with the guys he's playing with now."
The Mallards return to action tonight when they visit the Bloomington Blaze, who are 2-1 against the Mallards this season.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.