MOLINE, Ill. – Saturday night was the scene of game five between the Allen Americans and Quad City Mallards who were tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven Central Hockey League conference final series. The Mallards evened the series with a 2-1 overtime win on Friday night and both teams were looking to take the 3-2 lead into game six, set for Tuesday night in Allen.
Quad City came out flying, dominating the Americans for most of the opening frame, out-shooting Allen 14-8 and taking the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Mallards’ goal came very late in the period when Michael Monfredo scored on the power play, assisted by Jordan Mayer at 19:27.
Allen was 0-for-1 on the power play with Quad City going 1-for-2, Quad City’s power play has been missing in this series, but they got things going when it counted the most. The best player on the Allen side was Bryan Pitton, who staved off several quality scoring chances by the Mallards and kept the Americans down by just the one goal.
The Americans dominated the shots in the second by a 4-1 margin, out-shooting Quad City 19-5, but were unable to get one past a tough Thomas Heemskerk. Allen was 0-for-3 on the power play while Quad City was 1-for-4 at the second intermission, with Allen taking the shot advantage through two periods at 27-19.
The third period started off with a bang for the Americans as they finally solved Heemskerk at the 1:42 mark when Alex Lavoie notched his second goal in as many games, on the power play. Darryl Bootland and Jamie Schaafsma earned the helpers on the Lavoie goal that brought the game level 1-1.
The Americans built off of that momentum, out-shooting Quad City 12-3 in the first ten minutes of the period and their hard work paid off. Bootland netted his sixth goal of the post-season, cranking a shot from the circle off a rebound to give the Americans their first lead of the game, 2-1. Spencer Asuchak was credited with the lone assist on the Bootland marker at 8:57.
Quad City was on the ropes all period, being dominated by Allen, who outshot them 16-7 and controlled the puck the majority of the period until the final seconds when the Mallards pulled Heemskerk for the extra attacker.
With just 51-ticks left on the clock, Mayer fired a shot through traffic that snuck past Pitton to bring the game level and force overtime for the second game in a row. Jeff Lee and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel were credited with the assists on the tying goal for Quad City.
The Americans held the edge in shots by a wide margin, out-shooting Quad City 43-26 through three periods of play as the teams headed to their locker rooms to prepare for extra time.
In the overtime period Quad City had the edge in shots over 16:12 until Mike Stinziani netted the game winner for Quad City assisted by Justin Fox and Darren McMillan to give the Mallards the 3-2 series lead.
The Americans and Mallards continue their series on Tuesday evening when they face off in game six at the Allen Event Center with a 7:05pm scheduled puck drop.
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Photos courtesy of Rich Guill / Sean Flynn Photography