By Jim den Hollander
The Dells Ducks made the short trek to Wisconsin Rapids last weekend (Feb. 17-18) dropping a pair of decisions in the penultimate weekend of the USPHL regular season, 5-2 on the first night before the Riverkings handed them a lopsided 11-0 defeat the following night.
Looking to snap a long losing streak and gather some momentum heading into the post season.
The Ducks made some big moves in the time between games with top scorers Caden Glamkowski and Jayden Tkaczuk both wearing new jerseys as of last weekend, giving both a shot at making some post season noise with the Chicago Cougars and Detroit Fighting Irish respectively.
As they have all season, the Ducks relied heavily on the goaltending this past weekend and Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) played a big role in keeping the first game close. Falzone faced close to 70 shots while the Ducks triggered just 11 at the opposite end, but Falzone stood tall throughout the 60-minute contest.
In fact, Francesco Addante (‘02/Glenview, IL) picked up days before in the Glamkowski trade, fired the lone goal of the first period three minutes into the game from Kai Neumaier (‘03/St. Charles, IL). That allowed the Ducks to carry a 1-0 lead into the middle period despite a massive 28-3 edge on the shots board for the home side.
The Riverkings finally found a way past Falzone near the halfway mark of the second period and that opened the floodgates for three more, giving the Rapids’ crew a 4-2 edge heading to the third period.
Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC) fired his fifth goal in nine games since joining the Ducks while Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI), Ducks’ captain and now, team leading scorer, collected his 19th assist and 30th point.
Riverkings’ fourth goal was scored by Jeffrey Rebman (‘01/Libertyville, IL) a fifth-year junior who played both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with the Ducks.
The Riverkings held an 18-5 edge in shots in the middle period and pounded the Ducks with a 22-3 edge in the third, resulting in one final goal.
On Saturday, the Riverkings dominated the shot clock again but this time they found the net early and often on its way to an 11-0 whitewash, the 10th consecutive loss for the Ducks who enter this weekend with three final chances – two in Hudson Friday and Saturday and back on home ice Sunday – to break into the win column.
The Riverkings were up 4-0 after a period and added another five in the middle period before putting it away with a couple goals down the stretch.
Drew Mosely (’02/St. Louis, MO), Jadon Mammen (’04/Grapevine, TX) and Falzone each took a turn in goal in this one, combining to kick out 57 in the contest.
Sunday’s game will give local fans one final chance to get a look at the Ducks this season as they take on the Steele County Blades in a 6:30 p.m. start at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.
The playoff match ups have been determined, at least for the Ducks who face a tough assignment, going into battle next weekend against the Minnesota Blue Ox. Dates and times for that Best-of-Three series are still to be announced.