MOLINE, IL — The Rapid City Rush and Quad City Mallards squared off for the last time ever Wednesday night. Who would have the last word in this rivalry that dates back to their time in the CHL?
Quad City escaped the Black Hills last Saturday after holding off a furious rally from the Rush as these two teams split their weekend series. The Mallards looked to keep that trend going as they got the night’s first tally over halfway through the opening period.
With seven minutes remaining in the opening frame Matt Pohlkamp found himself undefended in front of the Rush net and easily tapped in a pass from Chris Izmirlian to get the puck by Rush netminder Christian Frey for the 1-0 advantage. That was the only score of the frame as Quad City held a 20-to-14 shots-on-goal advantage and neither team was able to cash-in on any of their powerplay opportunities.
Rapid City was able to square the game up at 1-aside in the middle frame. Aaron Boyd took the feed from Dante Salituro and deflected the puck by Mallards netminder C.J. Motte to even the game up with 8:57 remaining in the 2nd period. This was Boyd’s first professional goal. Quad City continued to control the SOG stat overwhelming Rapid City 40-to-25 through the first 40 minutes of regulation.
Rapid City broke the 1-all tie at the 5:57 mark of the 3rd period when Alec Baer fired a shot on net that appeared to be deflected by a Mallards defender and the puck made its way over Motte to put the Rush up 2-1. Rapid City’s PK unit endured a long stretch of 5-on-4 hockey when Garrett Klotz given a five minute major penalty for charging along with a ten minute major for unsportsmanlike conduct. But the Rush prevailed and it looked as though this would turn into a 1-goal win for Rapid City until Peter Sivak pocketed an empty-netter with 50 seconds left in regulation. Rapid City wasn’t done, though, as Brayden Sherbinin fired a shot the length of the ice as Motte was heading off the ice for an extra attacker and the puck sailed into the net giving Rapid City the eventual 4-1 final.
Quad City dominated in the SOG department 54-to-41 and neither team could capitalize on the man-advantage going a combined 0-for-7 on the night.
Christian Frey is credited with the win stopping 53-of-54 shots on the night. This was an amazing effort on his part after the night he had last Saturday when he was pulled in relief by Danny Battochio. On the flip side C.J. Motte takes the loss stopping 37-of-40 shots.
We at Free Sports Press would like to thank the Quad City Mallard organization and its fanbase for a great franchise series that has spanned two leagues between these two teams. We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors.
Rapid City Rush: The Rush travel to Tulsa to take on the Oilers for their final series of the regular season. Puck drop for Friday’s match-up is scheduled for 7:05pm CT from the BOK Center.
Quad City Mallards: The Mallards host the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm CT.