The Quad-City Mallards lost forward Thomas Frazee before their Game 2 matchup with the Allen Americans. Then, they lost defenseman Matt Duffy in the second period.
Finally, they lost the game, 2-0, as Allen tied the series at 1-1 with Game 3 shifting to the iWireless Center at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.
Frazee skated with the team in warmups but collapsed coming off the ice and was taken to a local hospital where he was treated with fluids.
"Thomas Frazee is fine," coach Terry Ruskowski said. "It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. I was taking (note) of lineups in the stands and then all of a sudden he's coming off the ice early, he kind of toe-picks ... into the mats face-first and stays there.
"(Athletic trainer Jon Piche) was right there to help him ... they pumped in a lot of fluids into him and he seems to be OK again."
Frazee was released and was back with the team by the time it got on the road to come back to the Quad-Cities. Ruskowski suspects Frazee may have been suffering from dehydration, a toll that is not surprising considering the Mallards had played two games in 40 hours and endured a 17-hour bus trip from their Game 7 win in Rapid City to their Game 1 win in Allen.
"He seems to be fine now," Ruskowski said. "It was a scary situation, there's no question about that."
Frazee's absence left the Mallards without their leading goal-scorer and it affected Quad-City, which was shut out for the first time since Jan. 11.
"The majority of the guys played hard, I have to say that," Ruskowski said. "You've got to score to win, and we didn't score. I had that feeling whoever scored that first goal was going to be a huge scenario."
Bruce Graham was the player who scored first for the Americans, deflecting a shot from Tyler Ludwig at the 7-minute, 43-second mark in the third period past Mallards goalie Thomas Heemskerk, who made 29 saves in the loss.
Up until that point, the game was a display of stout goaltending from both teams as Heemskerk an Allen goalie Bryan Pitton made save after save, some routine and others spectacular, to take a scoreless game well into the third period.
Already without Frazee, the Mallards were dealt another blow in the second period when Duffy took a check into the boards and was slow to get up. It was only after Piche came to help him did Duffy get up and skate off under his own power. He didn't return and Ruskowski is unsure as to the specifics of the injury but did say Duffy would see a doctor once the team returned to the Quad-Cities.
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After Graham's goal in the third period, the Mallards put together some chances to tie the game, including a chance from Mike Monfredo in the slot, but Pitton, who made 23 saves in the win, was able to get across his net in time to make the save.
"We didn't have a whole lot of goal-scoring opportunities, but when we did, we couldn't score," Ruskowski said. "Our first game, when we had the opportunities we did score and tonight, we had some opportunities but we didn't capitalize on them."
Spencer Asuchak scored on an empty net at 19:43 after the Mallards pulled Heemskerk.
Now the series shifts back to the Quad-Cities, but Ruskowski doesn't think much needs to be changed in what have so far been two evenly-matched contests.
"I don't think we're going to change a whole lot," he said. "We've just got to do our job and do our job better."