By Jim den Hollander
After a pair of hard-fought narrow defeats, the Dells Ducks closed out USPHL Premier play at the annual Chicago Showcase tournament with a lopsided defeat followed by its fourth win of the season.
The Columbus Mavericks from the Great Lakes Division were simply too tough for the Ducks, playing without the services of young defender Jack Kopfstein and goaltender Anthony Falzone, both injured in the earlier matches and joining Kai Neumaier who went to the sidelines a few weeks earlier. The end result was a 10-1 win for the Mavs.
But the team bounced back in its final game, collecting a 5-4 margin against the Wooster Oilers, also from the Great Lakes Division.
The game against the Mavericks was the second of the day Friday (Dec. 17) after an impressive but ultimately unsuccessful 6-5 loss to the Detroit Fighting Irish earlier in the day. On Thursday the team rallied back from a 5-1 deficit before falling in overtime against the Decatur Blaze 6-5.
Ducks 1 Mavericks 10
The Mavericks currently sit third in the Great Lakes Division and strengthened their position with four unanswered first period goals, widening the gap to 6-1 in the second before piling on four more down the stretch.
Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) scored the lone goal, making it a 4-1 game early in the second period with his seventh goal of the weekend and 25th of the season, from Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL).
Anthony Falzone and William Carney were peppered with a total of 54 Mavericks’ shots and the Ducks managed just 19 at the other end of the pond.
The game was costly with the injury to Falzone as well as the loss of Bryce Jacobson, forced to sit out the final game of the weekend after a fight.
Ducks 6 Oilers 5
The Ducks and Oilers met for the second time after squaring off at an east coast Showcase event in November. The Ducks won that one 9-2. This one ended up much closer, but the Ducks seemed in control from start to finish, scoring first and carrying a 3-1 lead out of the opening period.
The Oilers held a 3-2 edge through the middle period, closing the game to 5-4 and the Ducks restored its two-goal cushion near the halfway mark of the third before the Oilers made the final 2:37 interesting getting within one shot again.
Glamkowski scored two more goals for the Ducks, matched by Tkaczuk and others came from Seth Stoutenburg (‘03/Roseville, MN) and Jace Weimer (‘05).
The Ducks outshot the Oilers 39-23, snapping a nine-game losing streak and boosting its overall record this season to 4-26-1, one more win than the team collected in 2020-21.
The Ducks players scattered following the Wooster break, returning to their respective hometowns for the Christmas Break. Players will arrive back in town in early January and begin preparations for its final 13 games, starting on home ice with a pair of games against the Minnesota Mullets Jan. 7-8.