Missouri 5, Quad-City 2

Storyline: Mallards lose third-straight game as the Mavericks clinch a playoff spot.

The Mallards start the game flat and can't overcome the slow start.

Starting lineups

Mallards: Defensemen: Mike Monfredo, Darren McMillan; Forwards: Mike Stinziani, Chris Greene, Justin Fox; Goalie: Thomas Heemskerk.

Mavericks: Defensemen: Anders Franzon, Dave Pszenyczny; Forwards: Eric Castonguay, Andrew Courtney, Sebastien Thinel; Goalie: Shane Owen.

Period breakdown

First period: The Mallards came out slow to start the game, struggling to string any offensive shifts together. Much of the first period was spent in the Mallards' defensive zone, as the Mavericks outshot the Mallards 11-5. Courtney scored to give the Mavericks the lead.

Play of the period was Courtney's goal. The fact that the Mallards had to yet again overcome an early deficit has been indicative of the Mallards' inability to string together a full 60 minutes for most of the year. The goal also marked a milestone for Thinel, though there was no recognition at the time.

End of 1: Missouri 1, Quad-City 0. Shots on goal: Missouri 11, Quad-City 5.

Second period: Mallards didn't fare much better in the early parts of the second period to get their offense going. Even with a flurry of three goals in the course of one minute -- two by the Mavericks and one by the Mallards -- Quad-City didn't pass the 10 shot mark until the 10:25 mark of the period. After that, the offense turned it on, outshooting the Mavericks 8-1 over the last nine minutes of the period. Chris Greene scored his second goal with Quad-City to cut the Mavericks lead to 3-2 heading into the third period.

Play of the period was Greene's goal. It was pure hard work and determination from Greene that led to the chance, as he took the puck from behind his net all they way into the Mavericks zone. After his initial shot failed, he stayed in front of the net and was able to bury a rebound from a teammate. It cut the Mavericks lead to just one at the intermission, giving the Mallards hope.

End of 2: Missouri 3, Quad-City 2. Shots on goal: Quad-City 13, Missouri 10.

Third period: A quick goal from Kell put Missouri up 4-2, but the rest of the period was dominated by the Mallards. Quad-City kept the puck in the Mavericks zone for most of the period, but couldn't score. Despite having three power plays in the period, the Mallards couldn't score. Several pucks were shot wide or over the net, and the pucks that were on net were saved by Owen. Courtney's second goal of the night in the last minute sealed the game for Missouri.

Play of the period was Kell's goal. It widened the lead to 4-2 and forced the Mallards to feel more pressure the longer the period went on.

End of 3: Missouri 5, Quad-City 2. Shots on goal: Quad-City 11, Missouri 8.

Goals

Andrew Courtney, Missouri (Eric Castonguay, Sebastien Thinel), 11:22 1st: The Mavericks had a rush into the zone. Castonguay was in the slot and passed to Courtney who was trailing into the right side of the zone. Courtney's shot beat Heemskerk through the pads. Thinel's assist was his 900th career CHL point, becoming just the third player to reach the milestone.

Trevor Kell, Missouri (Rob Kleebaum), 6:12 2nd: The Mavericks had a 2-on-1 rush into the Mallards' zone. Kell took a slapshot that beat Heemskerk high over the shoulder.

Thomas Frazee, QC (Jeff Lee, Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel), 6:29 2nd: Lee drove the puck wide down the right side into the Mavericks zone. Frazee crashed the net and Lee's pass hit Frazee right on the stick for the goal.

Mike Ramsay, Missouri (Kell, Colt King), 7:12 2nd: The Mavericks responded with another quick rush into the Mallards' zone. Ramsay's shot hit off of Heemskerk's shoulder and deflected into the net for the goal.

Chris Greene, QC (Nick Grasso, Dieude-Fauvel), 16:19 2nd: Greene took the puck all the way into the offensive zone and put the puck on net. The rebound leaked out to Dieude-Fauvel, who shot the puck back on net. In the flurry of sticks trying to get the puck out, Greene managed to score.

Kell, Missouri (pp) (King, Anders Franzon), 2:40 3rd: Monfredo tried to clear the puck but the puck hit a body in the slot and came out down by the left goal line. Kell was there to score for Missouri.

Courtney, Missouri (pp) (Castonguay, Matt Stephenson), 19:42 3rd: Adding to the score, Courtney took the puck into the zone and fired a shot that scored and sealed the Mallards' third-straight loss.

Grades

Forwards: C-

Another disappearing act from the majority of the Mallards forwards. Getting only five shots in the first period puts a lot of pressure on the goaltending, as they know they will have to step up early to give the team a chance. There were some good shifts as the game went on, but there were not many quality scoring chances. The forwards have to keep working hard to score goals and when they don't move their feet, games like this happen.

Defense: C+

Not great in transition, giving up several 2-on-1 rushes. Four of the five goals were scored on the rush, as a man usually found himself with a clear lane to the net for a shot. In the zone, the defense played well with a strong net-front presence, but they struggled to break the puck out of the zone several times in the game.

Goaltending: C+

Five goals against and Heemskerk wasn't given much of a chance thanks to his defense. The first goal he may have been able to stop and the third goal should have been stopped. He did still make some great saves that kept his team in the game longer than they could have been. Still, Heemskerk has now lost six straight games ad will have figure out what is going wrong before it is too late.

Special teams: D

Two power play goals against and no power play goals for. The power play once again struggled to get set up in the zone early, and one power play never was able to get set up. Once set up, the power play had a few good looks but struggled again to get traffic in front of the net and also held the puck too long. The penalty killing unit struggled to get the puck out of the zone on the first goal against and gave up a second goal on a rush. The special teams has to improve before the playoffs.

3 stars of the night

1. Trevor Kell, Missouri: Two goals and an assist on the night. His goal in the third period gave the Mavericks a two-goal cushion.

2. Andrew Courtney, Missouri: Two goals on the night. His goal in the first period set the tone for the rest of the game.

3. Sebastien Thinel, Missouri: Had an asist to reach the 900-point club in the CHL.