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 Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Never in the history of Rock Island was there such a demand for houses as at present. Our city is suffering for the want of suitable tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The choir of Central Presbyterian Church presented a ladies concert under the direction of S.T. Bowlby.
1914 — 100 years ago: Miss Rosella Benson was elected president of the Standard Bearers of Spencer Memorial Methodist Church.
1939 — 75 years ago: Mrs. Nell Clapper was elected president of the Rock Island Business and Professional Women's Club.
1964 — 50 years ago: Gerald Hickman, of Seattle, Wash, will move his family to Rock Island to assume the position of produce buyer for the Eagle Food Center chain of food stores. This announcement was made today by Bernard Weindruch, president of Eagles.
1989 — 25 years ago: Care & Share, formed in 1984 to provide food to jobless and needy Quad-Citians, will disband because the major part of a crisis created by plant closings is over. Food for the needy is still necessary. So groups separately will continue to raise money and collect food.