SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
LATE PENALTY LIFTS MALLARDS TO SERIES-TYING WIN
(MOLINE, IL) – Jesse Schultz’ first goal of the playoffs gave the Rush an early lead, but Matt Neal countered with his first two goals of the postseason, the last on a interesting penalty call that lead to a power play, lifting his Quad City Mallards club to a 2-1 win, and a 2-2 split in the ECHL’s Central Division Semifinals.
For the third time in four games in this series, the Rush found themselves on the board, and once again within the first two minutes of play. On the first Rush power play of the game, Jesse Schultz sent home a shot on the glove side of Mallards goaltender Evan Mosher to lift the Rush to an early 1-0 advantage with 1:47 gone by in the first.
The Rush braved a hectic conclusion to the first period, but as they’ve done in the past in this series, the Mallards evened things up. With 2:43 already played in the second, Matt Neal was sprung on a breakaway and beat Rush netminder Danny Battochio to equalize the game at 1-1. An exorbitant amount of Mallards power plays were awarded in the middle frame, and the Rush weathered the storm and killed off all 4 man-advantages handed to the home-side.
It came as a shocker to no one that both teams finished two periods with an even score. Something had to give in the third period, and it was a late penalty. Kevin Harvey was called for an apparent slash with 2:31 to play, and it led to the deciding goal. Neal deflected his second of the night by Battochio with 2:10 left in the game, to elevate the Mallards to a 2-1 lead that the Rush could not come back from. The Mallards win earned them a split in the series through four games at 2-2.
Danny Battochio made 30 saves on the evening, receiving his second loss of the postseason (2-2).
Both teams rematch in a pivotal Game 5 in less than 24 hours, with puck drop slated for 6:05 p.m. MST at the iWirless Center. This also guarantees that at least one more game will be played on Tuesday night, April 28th, at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, with puck drop slated for 6:35 p.m. MST.
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