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 Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.