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The Quad-City Mallards have been on the receiving end of too many lopsided games this season.

They flipped the script Friday night.

The Mallards scored a season-high six goals to rout the Kalamazoo Wings 6-2 at the TaxSlayer Center.

It’s the first time since Nov. 12 the Mallards have won consecutive games and they are now 5-4-1 since suffering a 13-game losing streak.

"It feels great," forward Tristan King said. "We've been on the wrong end of things a couple times, but over the last week or so, I think we've started to turn it around, do everything right, work hard in practice and it's paying off."

The first period belonged to C.J. Motte.

Despite a strong Kalamazoo attack, the Quad-City Mallards goaltender stopped everything he saw, making 17 saves in the first period to send both teams into the first intermission locked in a scoreless tie. Motte made 41 saves in the game.

"He's one of the better goalies I've seen for sure," King said. "It's nice when you know you've got a guy back there that you can trust and he's so solid positionally. He's got all the tools."

The Mallards jumped on the board, finding a spark from a penalty kill early in the second period.

After spending much of the penalty kill on the attack, the Mallards took the lead on a goal from Ryan McGrath at the 4-minute, 5-second mark of the period.

"Some games, special teams is going to be a big factor," McGrath said. "Starting with a kill like that is huge, it gets a lot of momentum on the bench, guys get pretty juiced up so I think that got the team going. Luckily we scored that first one and kept it going from there."

McGrath scored two goals and added an assist on the night. His assist came on a power play goal from Gergo Nagy at 7:14 in the second period to put the Mallards up 2-0. Eric Kattelus scored to cut the lead to 2-1 but Triston Grant countered with a goal to give the Mallards a 3-1 lead after two periods.

The Mallards scored the next three goals, capped by McGrath's second of the game.

McGrath wasn’t the only Mallard to have a big game. King scored a pair of goals, taking advantage of defensive lapses from the Wings to get in alone on goal, deking out Michael Garteig on a rush and a breakaway in the third period.

King had endured a stretch of 16 games without a goal this season but now has three in his last four games.

"I felt like I've been fighting the puck here and there, making plays but I haven't been getting the bounces, and I think that's something the team has struggled with too," King said. "To get those two, it brings a whole new life to me and the team as well."

The Mallards get set to host the Wichita Thunder today at 7 p.m., looking to win three games in a row for the first time since Nov. 3.

"Tonight was one of the closest games where we played close to 60 minutes," head coach Phil Axtell said. "We were playing like that earlier in the season, then things happened. But the guys have responded well to the adversity we've faced.

"We have the right guys, we've just got to keep doing it."


Sports reporter for the Quad-City Times