Games: The Quad City Mallards visit Tulsa's BOK Center (7:05 tonight) and Wichita's Intrust Bank Arena (7:05 p.m. Saturday).|
Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV).
Storyline: The Mallards (12-12-3, 27 points) have won three straight, and five of their last six, heading into a stretch of three road games in the last four days of 2012. The Flock sits four points (or two wins) away from a three-way tie for fourth place in the Central Hockey League. Just last weekend, QC swept a pair from visiting Tulsa (8-18-2, 18 points) to take a 4-1 series lead into this season's finale with the last-place Oilers. The Mallards won their only other trip to Tulsa on opening night this season. QC also scored its first-ever win at Wichita on Nov. 16 but since has lost a pair of visits to the league leaders. The Flock is 2-2 this season against the Thunder (18-8-3, 39 points), and only 4-10-0 all-time against Wichita, which currently sports the CHL's best home record (12-3-1).
News: Before Wednesday night's shootout win over Missouri, the Mallards waived second-year center Jeremy Boyer so they could activate third-year forward Jason Kostadine from the injured reserve list. Kostadine missed 19 games with what the club called a "lower body injury." Boyer had just three goals, three assists and a minus-4 rating in 19 games after scoring 32 points a season ago as a rookie.
Notes: Suffering from pink eye, QC forward Anthony Perdicaro was a late scratch Wednesday and is not expected to make this road trip because of the contagious nature of his illness. ... QC's Brett Robinson scored the 100th point of his career Wednesday by notching his 53rd all-time assist. ... QC scoring leader Mickey Lang has 11 points (five goals) in his last six games to share sixth league-wide in goals (15) and points (32). ... Since joining the Flock, Matt Boyd has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 16 games. ... Up to ninth now in the 10-team league on the power-play (10.64 percent), QC has scored on six of its last 23 man-advantages for a CHL-leading 26.1 success rate. ... QC has also killed off the last 16 power plays by opponents and sits third league-wide (15-for-103, or 85.44 percent). ... Rookie netminder Neil Conway shut out Tulsa last weekend in his Mallards debut.
Around the league: The CHL postponed Wednesday games at Tulsa (Fort Worth) and Wichita (Allen) because of a severe Christmas Day storm that made roads unsafe in North Texas and parts of the Midwest. The Fort Worth-Tulsa game was rescheduled for last night; no word yet on Wichita-Allen. While the Mallards are heading that way, QC coach Terry Ruskowski suspects the weather mess will be handled in time for the New Year's Eve game at Allen.
Next: The Mallards close the 2012 portion of this season on the road Monday at Allen.
-- By Steve Tappa, email@example.com
Rock island, IL Details
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