With a No. 6 playoff seed already locked in, Sunday's regular-season finale meant absolutely nothing to the Quad City Mallards from a CHL standings standpoint.
With 3,613 fans at the i wireless Center on "Fan Appreciation Day," the 2-1 win by the Mallards over the Bloomington Blaze meant everything.
"With 'Fan Appreciation,' we wanted to show that we appreciate their loyalty to us," said Mallards coach Terry Ruskowski. "Our fans believe in us and we don't want to disappoint them."
The Mallards certainly have earned that loyalty. The win marked the eighth consecutive on home ice, the most for QC since it won 11 straight from Jan. 25-Feb. 29, 2004. They also continued their streak of winning games in front of home crowds of 3,000 or more, likewise eight in a row of those.
"The crowds have come out with so much energy," said QC defenseman Darren McMillan. "We want to go into the playoffs on a high note."
The Mallards (34-24-6) will open the playoffs at No. 3 seed Fort Worth with games on Thursday and Saturday, with the next two, and a third if necessary, to follow back at the Moline arena. Those home games will be on April 3, 5 and 6.
The Flock continues to fly high with a come-from-behind win in the regular-season finale. The Blaze scored on a power play in the second period, but the Mallards had the lead before the period was over.
First Matt Boyd tied the game at the 11:52 mark with helpers from Patrik Levesque and Bob Preece. Then, less than a minute later, the Mallards had a power-play goal of their own, scored by Mickey Lang, his 41st of the season. The assists there came from Matt Duffy and Jason Dixon.
Through it all was another strong performance in goal by Neil Conway (15-8). Starting on back-to-back nights, he stopped 31 Blaze shots, including a final rush in which the Blaze pulled their goalie in the last minute.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2013. There are 27 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Within a few weeks the Rock Island Barracks will contain more than 10,000 rebel prisoners, a guard of about 1,500 and a large number of officers. This should bring business to our city. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Corn was selling at 25 cents per bushel in Rock Island county, and the average price of wheat was 80 cents per bushel. 1913 -- 100 years ago: R.G. Hudson and R.H. Dart were elected wardens at Trinity Episcopal Church. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Smiling, baldish, 30-year-old Jimmy Roosevelt reported for work today as movie maker Sam Goldwyn's new hired hand. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Members of the East Moline City Council last night unanimously voted approval of the name of John F. Kennedy Drive for the improved sections of 3rd and 4th streets between 17th Avenue and the south city limits. 1988 -- 25 years ago: A $70,000 fundraising drive is underway to establish a Big Brother/Big Sisters program in the Quad-Cities. Organizers hope to raise funds to begin the nationally affiliated program by March 1.