MOLINE, Ill. – The Allen Americans and Quad City Mallards squared off in game four of their best-of-seven series Friday night in front of 3,214 fans at the i-Wireless Center. The Americans came into the game with a 2-1 series lead and were looking to put themselves in the driver’s seat and extend their lead to 3-1.
Allen came out high tempo again in the opening frame, out-shooting Quad City in the first five minutes of the game 7-0, and it led to a power play opportunity that they didn’t squander.
Alex Lavoie netted his first goal of the post season at 3:26, assisted by Spencer Asuchak and Daniel Tetrault to give Allen the early 1-0 lead, on the man advantage. After the goal, the Mallards got two breaks with a pair of power plays, which allowed them to generate some offense and break the Americans’ tempo. Allen did have several good scoring chances, but failed to follow through and capitalize on the opportunities.
The power play continued to be problematic for the Mallards as they went 0-2 in the period. Although they out-shot Allen 13-12, they trailed Allen on the board 1-0 at the first intermission.
Quad City did a good job of keeping the Americans in check in the second period, slowing the play down and tying up Americans forwards in front of the net, with both teams only registering eight shots on net in the frame.
That tighter, defensive style of play went in Quad City’s favor and kept Allen off the scoreboard in the period, while netting the tying goal in the waning seconds of the period when Jordan Mayer lit the lamp at 19:09, assisted by Jeff Lee and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel. Quad City held their slight edge in shots on net through two periods of play at 21-20.
The third period saw good action at both ends of the ice with neither team able to score as goaltending at both ends of the ice was stellar with both Thomas Heemskerk (QDC) and Bryan Pitton (ALN) again being stingy in their respective creases. With Allen holding the edge in shots on net 8-7 in the frame, the shots on goal ended level at 28-28, as did the score at the end of regulation 1-1. This would be the first overtime contest for Allen in the post season.
Overtime lasted all of 6:47, with both teams pressing hard to end the game quickly, and it was Quad City who netted the game winner when former American Jim McKenzie slid the puck into the net with assists from Mayer and Justin Fox to give the Mallards the 2-1 win.
Tied 2-2, the Americans and Mallards will continue their series on Saturday evening when they face off in game five at the i-Wireless Center with a 7:05pm scheduled puck drop.
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Photos courtesy of Rich Guill (Sean Flynn Photography)