Posted Online: Feb. 25, 2013, 7:02 pm

QC Mallards at Rapid City

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Photo: Gary Krambeck
The Quad City Mallards hope they're celebrating more than a goal tonight in Rapid City. The Flock has a chance to pull into a tie with Bloomington for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Central Hockey League.
Tonight: 7:30 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D.

Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV).

Storyline: With Bloomington idle tonight, the Mallards (22-23-6, 50 points) get a chance to draw even with the Blaze (25-25-2, 52 points) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Central Hockey League. However, Rapid City (28-21-5, 61 points) has beaten QC in the last three meetings, including a pair of 3-2 decisions in Moline over the last 11 days. After tonight, 14 games remain for the Flock to make up playoff ground, including two more on this season's longest road swing. Seven of QC's final-month contests are against Bloomington.

News: Steve Martinson, the head coach for league-leading Allen, was among those suspended after a multiple-fight brawl involving the goaltenders Saturday night. Martinson missed Sunday's rematch for failure to control his team when the melee broke in the third period with the Americans trailing 6-1. Six players and both head coaches were ejected, and more than 200 penalty minutes were assessed. Allen defenseman Trevor Hendrikx also missed Sunday's 4-0 win while teammate Alex Penner was suspended indefintely after receiving five penalties in the scrum. More penalties, fines and suspensions could be forthcoming after a complete CHL review.

Notes: Since scoring a season-high nine times in a Feb. 8 win over Bloomington, the Flock has only 15 goals in the last seven games. ... QC has only scored twice on its 30 power-play opportunities since that big win. The Mallards are 2-4-1 in that time. ... QC's penalty-killing unit has snuffed 34 of the last 38 power-plays by foes for a league-best .895 percentage. ... Obi Aduba (31 points, 15 goals) reached the 30-point plateau over the weekend for the third straight QC season. ... Aduba also surpassed the 200-point career mark, and now boasts 202 points in 304 pro games, 256 of them with the Mallards. ... QC's Mickey Lang (team-best 61 points) shares second in the CHL with 28 goals. ... QC's Mike Hellyer leads all CHL rookie scorers with 46 points.

Around the league: Rapid City scored four times in the final period Saturday, including three goals in a 74-second span, to beat Bloomington, 6-4. The Rush have won four straight for the Double-A circuit's longest active winning streak. ... CHL referee Steve Cruickshank was honored over the weekend for working his 1,000th pro game in a 15-year career. Nobody has worked more CHL and WPHL games. ... Rush goalie Danny Battochio is a victory from the 85-win career mark. The 2010 CHL Rookie of the Year is 84-42-12 with seven shutouts and a 2.56 goals-against average, including a 12-9-1 mark and CHL-best 2.26 this season. ... Fort Worth got Phil Fox back over the weekend from a brief Triple-A call-up while Missouri lost goalie Mathieu Corbeil again to AHL Chicago.

Next: The Flock visit Bloomington (Thursday) and Missouri (Friday).

-- By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com