Games: The Mallards finish the regular season with their neighboring rivals, hosting tonight (7:05) and Sunday (4:05 p.m.) at the i wireless Center, and visiting Bloomington's U.S. Cellular Coliseum at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.|
Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV). Twitter updates: @SteveTappa_DA (Friday) & @Ness_DA (Sunday).
Friday Special: John Deere Community Night, with $10 tickets available for fans wearing green to create a "Green Out." The concession stands offer $1 beer and $1 hot dogs.
Sunday Special: Fan Appreciation Day. Adult jerseys to the first 1,000 fans ages 13-and-older, plus raffles (LCD TV) and prize giveaways (refrigerator). Pregame: The QC firefighters' fifth annual charity game starts at noon and benefits Addi's Faith Foundation (early childhood cancer). Postgame: A Family Skate with the players and a party for fans and players at Rock Island's Del's in The District.
Also Sunday: MetroLINK runs buses between the game and Moline's Rascals (3:40 pick up, 6:50 drop off) and Governor's (3:25, 7:05), Rock Island's Icons (3:30, 7), East Moline's Leisure Time (3:15, 7:10) and Silvis' Doc's Inn (3:10, 7:20). The drop offs (3:45) and pick ups (6:45) are at Centre Station. The fare is $1 one-way or $2 round-trip.
Storyline: A playoff spot secured, after starting the month in ninth and out of the postseason, the Mallards (31-26-6, 68 points) now are four standings points away from claiming the fifth seed in the CHL. Just-eliminated Bloomington (28-33-2, 58 points) has been a tough matchup. QC is 7-8-1 in the season series, including 2-6-1 in Bloomington. The Flock has won 8 of 10 games in March, but one of those losses came 8-5 on March 12 at The Cell.
News: The Mallards will be doing their share of scoreboard watching. Fifth-place Missouri (33-24-6, 72 points) finishes by hosting last-place Tulsa tonight, and visiting league leaders Allen (Saturday) and Wichita (Sunday). Denver (29-26-9, 67 points), a point back of the Flock in seventh after a 4-3 overtime loss Tuesday at QC, closes at fourth-place Rapid City tonight and Saturday. Also sharing seventh, Arizona (30-27-7, 67 points) caps the campaign at home with third-place Fort Worth (tonight and Saturday). ...The Mallards signed defenseman Matt Carlson on Thursday while waiving defenseman Tyler Amburgey.Carlson, 25, joins the Mallards fresh from Bemidji State University after his college career ended last weekend with the Beavers' elimination from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association conference tournament.
Notes: With a goal in 8 of the last 9 games, QC scoring leader Mickey Lang is two scores behind Denver's CHL goal-scoring leader A.J. Gale. ... Two goals also ties Lang with Brandon Marino's CHL MVP-winning total last season for QC. ... A score allows Lang to become the fifth Mallard to 40 goals since the 1999-00 UHL runners-up had three such scorers.
Around the league: Tossing water bottles on the ice, to protest a call last Sunday at QC, cost Missouri coach Scott Hillman an undisclosed fine and a spot on the bench Tuesday at Bloomington. ... Wichita forward R.G. Flath received a two-game suspension for shooting a puck in the direction of on-ice officials during a dustup last weekend. ... Denver (defenseman Barry Goers from AHL Lake Erie), Allen (defender Corbin Baldwin from AHL Houston) and Wichita (goalie Grant Rollheiser from AHL Abbotsford) all received Triple-A boosts this week.
Next: The Flock opens the playoffs next weekend at an opponent to be determined.
-- By Steve Tappa, firstname.lastname@example.org