The Quad City Mallards came to Wichita Wednesday evening and made this contest look like a walk in the park. Well, maybe a skate in the park, thanks to Michael Parks, who netted two first period goals on his way to a hat trick in the 5-2 victory over the Thunder. The loss was the third in a row for Wichita, and gave the Mallards their third win in their last four.
For the second time this season, the Quad City Mallards jumped out to 3-0 lead over the Thunder. A little over two minutes into the contest, the Mallards would get on the board. Alexander Kuqali passed to Chris Francis at the Thunder blueline. He then carried the puck into the offensive zone on a breakaway. He swooped in front of the net and put a wrist shot over Scott Greenham’s shoulder for his 23rd goal of the season.
A little over six minutes later Michael Parks extended the lead to two. Following an icing call that led to a face-off in the Wichita end, Adam Gilmour won the draw. The puck came to Parks, who fired a wrist shot in for the quick goal to make it 2-0.
Four minutes later it would be Parks again. He would get the puck along the left boards and battled through a harassing check by the Wichita defender, firing a wrist shot that went in to make it 3-0. That goal chased Greenham and led to Drew Owsley taking over in net.
Less than one minute after the Mallards’ goal, Maxime St-Cyr would make it a two-goal game again. Randy Cure’s shot from the point was stopped by C.J. Motte, but the rebound came right to St-Cyr in the slot, who buried the puck in the net for his seventh goal of the season.
That would be the final goal of the period, as each team had 11-shots on net. In the second period, the Thunder outshot the Mallards 14-8, but neither team was able to get a puck past the two goalies.
In the third, the Thunder would cut the deficit to one. A little less than six minutes into the period, the face-off was in the Quad City end. St-Cyr won the draw to Louick Marcotte in the slot. He blasted the puck past Motte and it was 3-2. That was Marcotte’s 14th goal of the season.
Wichita would get their chance to tie the score when Brady Brassart took a four-minute penalty for high-sticking, but Motte made several huge saves to maintain the lead.
A little over a minute after the advantage ended, Quad City would be back on the board. Chris Francis gained control of the loose puck in the Wichita end and then moved out in front of the net all alone. He beat Owsley with a wrist shot for his 24th goal of the year.
The Thunder pulled their goalie looking to try to tie the score, but Parks delivered the dagger when he scored his third goal of the night and 26th of the season into the empty net with three seconds left in the contest. That made the score 5-2.
Michael Parks finished with the hat trick for the Quad City Mallards. Chris Francis added 2-goals, and Alexander Kuqali added 2-assists. C.J. Motte made 32-saves for the victory and Drew Owsley saved 17 of 18 shots he faced. Maxime St-Cyr had a goal and an assist for the Wichita Thunder.
The Wichita Thunder are off tomorrow before welcoming the Missouri Mavericks Friday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier