Flock fails to make a move

Posted Online: Jan. 08, 2013, 11:24 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com
The Quad City Mallards had a chance to play leapfrog Tuesday night.

Instead, the Flock failed to muster much of a jump early, and midseason hopes of bounding up the CHL standings were shot down in a shootout by Arizona, 3-2 at Moline's i wireless Center.

The setback kept QC (14-15-4, 32 points) behind the visiting Sundogs (15-16-4, 34 points) for the eighth-and-final playoff spot in the 10-team Double-A circuit.

The Mallards start a brutal second half of their schedule this weekend with road games at rivals Bloomington (Thursday and Friday) and Missouri (Saturday).

QC faces Arizona three more times this season, but hosts only one of those crucial head-to-head meetings, Feb. 16.

"This was such a big game for us,'' QC coach Terry Ruskowski lamented. "This could have put us up above them by a point with games in hand. But we came out really flat.

"You never know what you're going to get out of these guys. Just when I think these guys are down, they will come out and play unbelievable. But just when you think they've turned a corner, they take a step back like tonight.''

Arizona took advantage to jump ahead, 2-0 with a pair of "bad goals'' against goalie John Murray, according to Ruskowski.

Chad Nehring, the CHL's reiging Player of the Week, and Kevin Petovello had the Sundogs' scores in the opening 8 minutes and 15 seconds.

"John's a good guy and a good goalie,'' Ruskowski said. "He works hard. He's just struggling now.

"We had good practices after a good game Friday and then we lay an egg in the first period. We played better after that, but the start beat us.''

Murray shutdown Arizona until the shootout, and the Mallards forced overtime on goals from scoring leader Mickey Lang (second period) and Patrik Levesque (third period).

The latter score came from the league's worst power play with 6:49 remaining.

Arizona held off the comeback, though, on Nehring's second goal of the night, the only penalty shot scored in the shootout.

Former Mallards goalie Adam Russo also turned away 31 shots, not including all five QC penalty shots in the shootout.

"They were really disciplined,'' Ruskowski said. "They played their position well. They didn't give us an inch. And the goalie played really well.

"But we were taking shots from the point and nobody was in front of the net. Let me be a goalie. I can make those stops.

"We have got to be more physical. We have to start hitting people. We're making it easy on teams coming in here. We have to be consistently better.''

That challenge becomes tougher with the Mallards losing Brett Robinson to ECHL Idaho in a player scramble Tuesday, with the NHL lockout settled Sunday.

Robinson just scored four points, including a goal, in QC's upset win over Denver on Friday.

Ruskowski hopes to have a replacement by this weekend's roadtrip, but notes it's hard to find players right now, with 14 CHL players to date on the move since Sunday.

"I've been making calls to the Southern Professional League and they're hurting, too,'' Ruskowski said. "They're down to four defensemen and less than two lines. So we're all trying to find players.''



Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)