DECATUR -- The Quad City Ice Eagle Bantam hockey team continued its mastery over the Decatur Flames this weekend, posting two more victories by identical 4-1 scores in games played at the Decatur Civic Center. As has always been the case in games against Decatur, both contests were well played, and closer than the final scores would indicate. Game summaries follow.
In game one of the week-end set, played Saturday night, the teams played a close-checking first period, that ended with no score and the Eagles enjoying a small territorial edge, outshooting the Flames 8-7. As he had been the week before in Davenport, Decatur Goalie Matt Groves was outstanding in goal as he held the Eagles scoreless well into the second period. Once again, Austin Busch had a couple of point-blank shots, but could not get the puck past Groves. Eagle Goalie Brandon Kruse proved just as tough, turning back every Flame shot. Midway through the second period, Trent Lidholm broke the ice when he solved Groves, beating him through the five-hole, with Adam Oppendike picking up the assist. A couple of minutes later, the Eagles' leading scorer Josh Moon increased the lead to 2-0, with the assist going to Kevin Dow.
A scary moment for the injury-plagued Eagles came late in the second period when Defenseman Jason Corcoran was helped off the office, after sustaining a check from behind by Decatur forward Tim Hocking.
The injury forced Coach Jerry Moon to realign his defense for the third period. The lead was trimmed to 2-1 when Decatur finally beat Kruse from in close, breaking his shutout streak after five periods. But the Eagles quickly got that one back as David Warta scored the Eagles' third goal, assisted by Moon, and Drew Carlson finished the scoring midway through the third period, assisted by Ryne Takacs.
The Eagles outshot Decatur 29-16 for the game.
The second game of the series was scheduled for Sunday morning, and was designated as the game that would count in the CIHL standings. Decatur's Hocking was suspended for the game due to the checking from behind penalty, but Corcoran had recovered enough to be back in the lineup for the Eagles. In game two, it was Decatur that broke on top 1-0, when the Flame forward scored on a rebound just three minutes into the game. Groves again was on top of his game, and looked as though he might make one goal stand up. With about six minutes remaining, he made an unbelievable glove save on a Moon blast, once again leaving the Eagles shaking their heads. But continued pressure finally got the Eagles even when Ryne Takacs scored off a feed from Drew Carlson to knot the game at one. It didn't stay that way long, as just minutes later, Moon scored, assisted by Dow, and the second period ended 2-1,Quad Cities.
The Eagles really turned on the offensive pressure in the final period, and raised the lead to 3-1 when Dave Warta skated through most of the Decatur team and beat Groves top shelf. The final tally of the game was another Josh Moon slap shot from just inside the blue line that deflected in off the crossbar to make the final score 4-1. The Eagles were given a big boost by the outstanding play of the Reuter-Takacs-Carlson line which put on tremendous pressure throughout the game.
The Eagles extended their two-year streak against Decatur to 8-0-2, but each game has been a struggle. The wins raised the Eagles' season record to 22-15-1, and 6-4 in the CIHL standings. The Eagles return to action next Saturday with games at Peoria and at Pekin.
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