A tough week ended in with another tough loss for the Quad-City Mallards.

Seven days after losing one of their top point men in Justin Kovacs to a hit that garnered a four-game league suspension for Indy's Ryan Rupert, the Mallards fell 2-0 to the Kansas City Mavericks Sunday afternoon at the TaxSlayer Center.

Since losing Kovacs, who had eight points in 11 games, the Mallards have lost three straight games and have been outscored 12-3.

"We're missing some firepower," head coach Phil Axtell said. "Kovacs is an intricate part of our lineup ... I was happy with our effort again."

The team also had to witness Tulsa head coach Rob Murray get carried off the ice on a stretcher Friday night in a game that was suspended after a medical emergency.

"That's something all of us, everyone from both organizations to the fans, to the first responders, something we'll never forget the rest of our lives," Axtell said. "It's disappointing that we couldn't come out with points but luckily we're only two games below .500 and our division is the tightest division in the league."

The Mallards are currently in fifth place in the ECHL Central Division with 12 points, two points out of a playoff spot and six points out of second place.

The team still feels, despite the winless week, it can put things together to start moving up the standings.

"It's tough, you definitely don't want (three) losses in a row," forward Ryan McGrath said. "We have spurts of great hockey but we've got to finish the full 60, 65, whatever it takes. We're playing some good hockey at times but if we let off the gas pedal here and there it's going to go in our net."

Kansas City took advantage of a bounce to get on the scoreboard as Hunter Smith's shot kicked up off the skate and shoulder of Mallards defenseman Dmitry Osipov and into the net at the 11-minute, 58-second mark of the first period.

Jordan Kwas made it 2-0 with a deflection that beat Mallards goaltender Branden Komm with just 10 seconds left in the period.

Despite the score, Komm played well in his first action in 16 days since being acquired in a trade with Idaho two weeks ago, making 26 saves on the night. Tyler Parsons made 28 saves for the shutout.

"Those kind of bounces happen, you've just got to realize it happened and move on from it," Komm said. "As a goalie, you can help shift momentum in a game by making a big save or killing off a penalty. You want to just play your game, make a big save if it's there, make the saves you're supposed to and hopefully provide some kind of spark offensively."

The Mallards went 0-for-6 on the power play and gave up an opportunity when whistled for a face off violation before another power play got started, leading to two minutes of 4-on-4.

"They pressured hard. Once we got in the zone, we got some opportunities," Axtell said. "In the second period we were hitting seam passes but the kid (Parsons) played well. It is what it is, we were getting good looks ...  we didn't capitalize but we had opportunities and the face we had six power plays ... that means we're working hard."

Mallards raise money for Genesis: The Quad-City Mallards teamed with Genesis Health System to raise $16,250 for Genesis Family Connects through a jersey auction following Saturday's game against the Kansas City Mavericks.

The highest bid of the night went for the jersey of Sam Warning, the team's top scorer. The jersey was sold for $2,000.

Saturday's auction was the first of two this season that are partnered with Genesis. Over the last two decades, Mallards jersey auctions have raised over $800,000 to benefit Genesis Health System charities.


Sports reporter for the Quad-City Times