WORCESTER, Mass. — The Quad-City Mallards got a rude introduction to Massachusetts hospitality Friday night.

The Mallards gave up the first three goals of the night before falling 5-2 to the Worcester Railers at the DCU Center. It was the first ever meeting between the Mallards and the Railers, in their first year in the ECHL.

"A few bounces went their way, and their goalie was excellent," head coach Phil Axtell said. "We had multiple chances around their net that we didn't capitalize on."

The loss keeps the Mallards without consecutive wins since Nov. 12.

Matthew Gaudreau scored the first two goals of the game, then Brian Bowen scored to give Worcester a 3-0 lead midway through the second period.

Triston Grant scored to cut the lead to 3-1, but the Railers responded with two more goals before Keegan Kolesar scored for the Mallards.

Ivan Kulbakov made 35 saves in his second game back with the Mallards while Eamon McAdam made 23 saves for the Railers.

The Mallards gave up two goals on the power play, taking a step back after appearing to make strides in their last three games. The Mallards went 0-for-3 on the power play.

"We have to win the special teams battle in order to be successful," Axtell said.

The Mallards and Railers play again tonight at 6 p.m.