It’s not getting any better for the Quad-City Mallards.
The Mallards fell 5-1 to the Fort Wayne Komets at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night, extending the team’s losing streak to a season-high four straight. It’s also the third straight game the team has lost by four goals, falling 6-2 to Fort Wayne on Wednesday and 4-0 to Cincinnati on Friday.
The Mallards also suffered several injuries. Nolan LaPorte suffered an upper body injury, Chris Francis was out with a lower body injury, Michael Parks was out with an upper body injury, and Ruskowski said defensemen Donnie Harris and Guillaume Gelinas both suffered injuries in the game.
“They shouldn’t have been playing but we needed them to play,” head coach Terry Ruskowski said. “We’ve got to get guys healthy. I’m going to have to sit down Monday and see who I can bring in, we don’t have enough players to play.”
Ned Lukacevic made his debut in the game, but after having not played for the last three months, Ruskowski said he still needs time to get acclimated and back in game shape.
Despite being shorthanded, the Mallards looked like they might be making strides, tied 1-1 through two periods. After Kyle Thomas scored on the power play at the 3 minute, 11 second mark of the first period, Sam Warning answered with his first goal of the new year.
“I was really proud of them the first two periods,” Ruskowski said. “We played hard, we played shorthanded, some guys had to double shift. I didn’t know what to do.”
Ruskowski said the key came in the second period, when the Mallards had a 5-on-3 opportunity. Brady Brassart got a quality look, but Fort Wayne goaltender Garrett Bartus made a cross-net save and the wheels came off in the third period.
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The Komets scored four goals to once again bury the Mallards, three in a span of less than four minutes. Shawn Szydlowski capped the scoring with his 20th goal of the season at 19:22 in the third period.
“We just ran out of gas,” Ruskowski said. “As soon as they scored, it seemed like the barn door opened up.”
Adam Vay made 36 saves while facing a barrage of shots as the Mallards were outshot 41-29. The Mallards also finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play, and have now not scored in the last 14 tries.