Tonight: 7:05 p.m. at Moline's i wireless Center.|
Webcast: myqcmallards.com (free audio & pay-per-view CHL TV). Twitter updates: @SteveTappa_DA.
Special: $1 nacho bowls.
Storyline: Less than a week after knocking Wichita out of the CHL's top spot, the Mallards (13-14-3, 29 points) are rematched with the Thunder (19-10-3, 41 points). The Flock owns a 3-2 season edge on last season's league finalists, including the lone meeting in Moline on Oct. 28. QC won six of eight before falling 4-0 at Allen on New Year's Eve, dropping back into ninth out of 10 teams nearing the season's midway point. Second-place Wichita also lost Monday in Texas, falling 4-2 at Fort Worth, so both of tonight's teams are travelling from the Dallas area for this game.
Notes: Wichita sports the CHL's best home record at 13-4-1, yet two of those losses have come to QC. ... The New Year's Eve setback marked QC's first loss on the holiday since returning to action in 2009 after the demise of the Triple-A QC Flames. ... QC scoring leader Mickey Lang is tied for 10th leaguewide in points (33) and leads the CHL with 3 shorthanded goals. ... QC's Mike's -- Hellyer (22 points, 8 goals) and Stinziani (21 points, 9 goals) -- both rank among the CHL's top six rookie scorers. ... QC's Patrik Levesque is three goals away from 100 for his career.
Around the league: Wichita and Allen each scored 91 points in 2012 CHL action, with the Thunder (43-21-5) playing four more games than their Texas rivals (43-17-5) combining the start of this season and the end of last season. ... Wichita goalies Kevin Regan (twice) and Torrie Jung (Dec. 26) both have earned CHL Goaltender of the Week awards. ... Rapid City has activated former Mallard Jared Brown from the Injured Reserve list. ... CHL rookie scoring leader Tyler Gron and Jesse Dudas, the circuit's highest scoring defender before getting hurt, also are back from the IR for QC rival Bloomington, the CHL's highest-scoring team. ... The CHL's reigning Player of the Week, Missouri's Sebastien Thinel, became the sixth CHL player to reach the 500-assist career plateau recently.
Next: The Mallards host third-place Denver on Friday.
-- By Steve Tappa, firstname.lastname@example.org