Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2012, 11:13 pm

Mallards shotdown in another shootout

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Staff report, sports@qconline.com

FORT WORTH, Tex. — A controversial call kept the Quad City Mallards from winning in regulation Wednesday night.

The Fort Worth Brahmas made sure the Flock failed to score a shootout victory, too, at Texas' NYTEX Sports Center.

The hosts scored twice in the extra session, taking advantage of that second-period penalty shot to knock off the Mallards, 2-1 in yet another early-season thriller for the local minor-league hockey team.

So far in the first 12 games, the Mallards (5-4-3, 13) are 2-3 in the shootout and also won a game in the sudden-death overtime period that precedes the penalty-shot tiebreaker.

Each victory counts for two standings points in hockey, while reaching the shootout salvages one point for the game's loser.

"That's got to be some kind of record," QC coach Terry Ruskowski lamented. "Points are points, but just the same, I like to get them two at a time."

Phil Fox, the Central Hockey League's reigning Player of the Week, was credited with the shootout game-winner.

However, with QC's four skaters failing to answer, the extra-session ended when Tomas Klempa found the net on Fort Worth's fifth-and-final attacker in the shootout's regulation.

Fort Worth (6-5-2, 14 points), which shot first in the shootout, edged ahead of the Flock in the CHL standings.

"I'm disappointed; we played well enough to get the win," Ruskowski said. "It would have made Thanksgiving dinner taste that much better."

Fort Worth forced overtime, though, thanks to a questionable call with QC leading 1-0. Austin Mayer was awarded a penalty shot 11 minutes and 33 seconds into the second of three periods. QC defender Matt Duffy was whistled for dragging Mayer down to the ice, just after Mayer fired a shot turned away by Mallards goalie John Murray.

Mayer beat Murray on the penalty shot, going high to the right.

"I always thought if you got a good shot off, it's not a penalty, so I question that call a lot," said Ruskowski, one of the CHL's winningest coaches. "If that's the way things should be called, we should have 3 or 4 penalty shots by now. It's the referee's call, so we can't say anything about it, but I'm not happy with it. We should have won 1-0 (in regulation)."

Instead, a first period goal thanks to an extra-attacker was all that kept the Mallards from getting shut out for the first time this season. Brett Robinson scored QC's lone goal 12:14 into the game after a delay penalty on Fort Worth goalie Kristofer Westblom, who was perfect after that.

Westblom, a former NHL draft pick, turned away 22 shots through overtime.

"They play a real smothering defense," Ruskowski said. "It was hard to get anything going on either side."