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MALLARDS HOLD OFF RUSH RALLY

Friday, February 5th
MALLARDS HOLD OFF RUSH RALLY

(MOLINE, IL) – Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel and Sean Erickson each brought their club within striking distance in the final frame of the game, but the Quad City Mallards staved off a late Rapid City Rush rally in what would eventually be a 4-2 win on Friday night.

Guillaume Gelinas opened up scoring entries for his Mallards club just 4:08 into the action. After Garett Bembridge was assessed a 2-minute minor for hooking, Gelinas crept in from the blue line on the ensuing power play, and fired a shot by Rush net-minder Danny Battochio just 7 seconds into the man-advantage, affording the Mallards a 1-0 lead (Matt Carey and Brady Brassart registered the assists). The Rush were out-shot 13-5 in the opening frame, and despite quality scoring chances on the low shot toal, could not capitalize, especially on their lone power play of the frame.

Gelinas added a second goal in the middle frame, backhanding the puck by Battochio up high with just 6:41 played in the second (Kevin Gibson and Jared Knight recorded the assists). The Rush again found ways to manufacture quality scoring chances, but rookie Brody Hoffman was stalwart in net for the Mallards.

It wasn’t until 52 seconds were played in the final period when the Rush finally broke the dam and brought themselves back in the fray. Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel took a neutral zone turnover and unloaded a slap shot by Hoffman top-shelf to put the Rush on the board at 2-1, ending a scoring drought of 102:38 with his third of the season (the goal was unassisted). Just over six minutes gone by in the final frame, chaos ensued as Hoffman came out of his crease too far and collided with the Rush’s Jonathan Narbonne. In the resulting tie up, half of the players stopped playing, unsure of whether or not a call was forthcoming. No whistle was blown, and that prompted Sam Warning to his Anthony Collins on a two-on-one, with the latter beating Battochio to put the Mallards up two again at 3-1 with 13:59 left in the game (Warning earned the lone assist). With 51.6 seconds left, Sean Erickson brought the Rush back to life with his second goal of the season, striking with an empty-net and extra-attacker to make it 3-2 (Lindsay Sparks earned his first point with the Rush assisting the goal along with Brett Kostolansky). With 20 seconds left, the Rush had a high-quality chance to tie the game, but fell short to the Mallards after Matt Carey sent the puck into the empty Rush net, hanging on for a 4-2 Quad City win.

Danny Battochio stopped 26 of 29 shots thrown towards his net in the loss (12-13-2).

The Rush continue this second leg of their road trip tomorrow night against the Evansville IceMen. The final showdown between both of the former CHL rivals this season comes with a 6:15 p.m. MST puck drop at the Ford Center.

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