Game 49: Elmira Jackals (9-33-6-0) at Quad City Mallards (27-18-0-2)
5:05 p.m., iWireless Center, Moline, Illinois
The Jackals and Quad City Mallards play the final game of a back-to-back as both teams finish off three-in-three weekends from the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois. It's the final game of the brief season series between the former UHL opponents, who met for the first time since the 2006-07 season last night.
The Mallards are on a season-high six-game winning streak after last prevailing 3-2 in overtime over the Jackals. With eight wins in their last 10 games, the Mallards are 27-18-0-2 on the season, giving them 56 points and placing them in third place in the Central Division.
The Jackals have lost a franchise-worst 12 straight games (0-11-1-0), following last night's to the Mallards, dropping to 9-33-6-0 on the season. With 24 points, the Jackals are in sixth place in the North Division and 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
Jackals Pregame at 4:50 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM
Follow us on twitter @JackalsHockey and use #JackalsHockey for live coverage.
Last time out
The Jackals rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime where Chris Francis score to give the Quad City Mallards a 3-2 win last night at the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois.
The Mallards came out of a physical first period, which saw two fights, with a 1-0 lead on the strength of a Brady Brassart rebound goal at 19:15. The goal was scored during a 4-on-4, which carried over into the second period. On that same 4-on-4, Michael Parks blasted a one-timer from the left wing circle to give the Mallards a 2-0 52 seconds into the second.
Kenton Miller led the comeback for the Jackals, first dropping the gloves in the middle period then getting the Jackals on the board with a wraparound at 14:58. He would tie the game in the third period on a power-play goal at 7:41, forcing overtime, but Francis scored from the high slot at 1:41 to win it for the Mallards.
Oh no in overtime
The Jackals lost during the 3-on-3 overtime period for the sixth time in eight decision this season, falling to 2-6 in overtime and 3-6 in games decided past regulation time. The only two wins in the 3-on-3 overtime are against the Manchester Monarchs, one in Elmira (Nov. 27) and one in Manchester (Jan. 20).
The six overtime losses matches the 2009-10 team for the second most decided during the course of overtime play. They are one behind the 2010-11 Jackals for the most in their ECHL history and that team also has the most combined losses past regulation with 10.
The Jackals are tied with Atlanta for the second most overtime losses in the ECHL this season, trailing only Rapid City (8).
The Jackals have lost 12 straight games (0-11-1-0) since Jan. 21, setting a new franchise record. The previous mark was 11, which was done twice before this current streak, once in the ECHL from March 8 to April 2, 2014, and once in the UHL from Jan. 26 to March 2, 2005.
During this current streak, the Jackals have been outscored 50-19 overall, although five of the 12 losses have been one-goal games. They've been shut out twice in the 12 games and their power play is just 2-for-33 (6.1%), while their penalty kill is just 30-for-42 (71.4%). Eight of the 12 losses have come away from First Arena. Elmira has lost eight consecutive road games three times this season, the three longest stretches for any team in the ECHL in 2016-17.
Blast from the past
Tonight is the final game of a back-to-back between the Jackals and Mallards, the only two times the clubs will play in 2016-17. It is the first time the teams have met since joining the ECHL.
The Jackals and Mallards are both former UHL teams and they were opponents for years in that league. The last time the Jackals and Mallards played was 2006-07, the final year in the league for both franchises.
The Jackals and Mallards faced off 20 times in the UHL, with the Mallards winning 12 of the 20 matches and the Jackals holding an 8-10-0-2 record.
Scouting the Mallards
After a six-game losing streak at the beginning of January, the Mallards have recovered with wins in a season-high six straight games and seven of their last eight. They are 27-18-0-2 on the season and sit in third place in the Central Division with 56 points, six points clear of Kalamazoo for the final playoff spot in the division.
Quad City has a relatively balanced attack, with seven players notching at least 30 points on the season. Josh MacDonald, just acquired from Rapid City earlier in the week, made his Mallards debut Friday and has two straight multi-point games to take the team lead with 41 points (18g, 23a). Chris Francis is second on the team with 39 points (18g, 21a) in 38 games, including his team-leading fifth game-winning goal last night in overtime against the Jackals.
In net, former Jackal C.J. Motte and rookie Adam Vay have split time for the Mallards. Motte, an ECHL All-Star this season, is 14-9-0-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 25 games. He ranks fifth in the league in goals-against average and is third in save percentage. Vay holds a 13-9-0-2 mark with a 3.20 goals-against average and an .892 save percentage, following his first, and the team's first, shutout of the season Friday against Kalamazoo.
The Mallards power play dropped to 25th in the ECHL at 13.0% (21-for-162) after going 0-for-6 in last night's win over the Jackals. The are 3-for-20 (15.0%) during their current six-game winning streak.
The Jackals power play is 2-for-33 during their 12-game losing streak, falling to 21-for-154 (13.6%) on the season, ranking 21st in the ECHL. They've scored just 11 power play goals on the road in 101 chances, a 10.9% success rate, which is 21st away from home.
Quad City's penalty kill ranks 17th in the ECHL, turning aside 81.6% of their opponent's power-play chances. Overall, the Mallards have allowed 30 power-play goals in 163 opportunities. During their six-game winning streak, the Mallards are 19-for-21 (90.5%) on the kill.
The Jackals penalty kill was 6-for-6 last night, but is just 30-for-42 (71.4%) in the last 12 games and has dropped to 22nd in the ECHL at 79.4%. The Jackals have allowed 26 power-play goals on the road, second most in the ECHL to Fort Wayne's 28.