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, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.