Today: 10 a.m. at downstate Bloomington's U.S. Cellular Coliseum.|
Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV).
Storyline: In a rare morning matinee, the Mallards (7-11-3, 17 points) look to snap a four-game losing streak, which has seen the Flock fall into last place in the 10-team Central Hockey League. The skid is QC's longest since four straight setbacks last January. QC never has lost five in a row since joining the Double-A circuit in 2010-11. The Mallards are 1-3-1 this season against Bloomington (12-8-1, 25 points), including 0-2-1 at the Cel. In the most-recent of the 19 meetings this season between the in-state rivals, QC suffered a season-worst 7-2 setback on Nov. 25. The special early start is dictated by the Blaze's "Kid's Day Field Trip'' promotion.
News: The Mallards ended an 0-for-34 power-play drought Sunday. The score was QC's first since Jeremy Boyer's man-advantage tally Nov. 17 in Bloomington. The Flock remains last in the league on the power play at 6.9 percent (5-for-73), yet leads the league with four short-handed scores and has killed 21 of the last 22 power plays by opponents.
Notes: QC has scored just seven times during the skid and is 2-7-1 in its last 10 games. ... The Mallards have scored fewer goals (52) than any other team in the CHL. ... QC's Obi Aduba is tied for the league lead in game-winning goals (4) while Mickey Lang is tied for the lead in short-handed goals (2). ... Among rookies, QC's Mike Hellyer (14) and Mike Stinziani (13) rank among the league's top six scorers. ... QC defender Darren McMillan was whistled for his first penalty of the season last weekend.
Around the league: Missouri's Andrew Courtney, in part for his play in two games last weekend against QC, earned CHL Player of the Week honors Monday. The 2011-12 All-Star had four goals, two assists and a +3 rating in a 4-0 week for the Mavericks. ... QC also had a hand in the CHL Goaltender of the Week award, claimed by Wichita's Kevin Regan, a 3-1 winner Sunday over QC. ... Bloomington topped its franchise-high, set last time it beat QC, by scoring an 8-3 win over Tulsa last weekend. Eight skaters scored goals for the Blaze, who lead the CHL by averaging 4.05 goals-per-game. ... Both of Bloomington's season-starting goaltenders, Pier-Olivier Pelletier and Dan Dunn, returned to the lineup last weekend from Injury Reserve stints. ... Bloomington forward Tyler Gron, the CHL's Rookie of the Month for November, was placed on team suspension Monday.
Next: Friday and Saturday the Mallards visit Rapid City, S.D., to complete a season-long five-game road trip.
-- By Steve Tappa, email@example.com