The Quad City Ice Eagles dropped a pair of games to the Des Moines Buccaneers in games played Sunday afternoon at the Coral Ridge Mall rink. Des Moines routed the Eagles 6-3 in the first game, and held on for a 4-2 win the second contest.
The Bucs jumped on the Eagles for two quick first period goals, and then extended their lead to 3-0 early in the second period, before the Eagle offense started to get untracked. Josh Moon scored two goals midway through the second. The Eagles just failed to tie the game during a power play when Jason Corcoran’s shot from the high slot dinged off the right post.
That was to be as close as the QC team would get, as Des Moines thoroughly dominated play in the third period, adding three more goals to balloon their lead to 6-2, before Les Mooney scored his first of the season off a great feed from Jack Hasselbusch to make the final 6-3. Des Moines outshot the Eagles 29-20 for the game, which was one of the most physical contests of the season.
After a 5-hour interval for shopping, eating and other mall activities, the two teams came back for the second game. In this game, it was the Eagles who established the early lead when Josh Moon ripped a slap shot from the left side past the goalie at the :47 mark to give QC a 1-0 lead. Des Moines’ Breedlove tied the game at 6:41, as the teams battled through an even first period, with Des Moines having a slight 9-7 advantage in shots. The Bucs took advantage of a hooking penalty on Busch to score a power play goal early in the second period, but Ryne Takacs scored midway through the period on a great individual effort to tie the game at two. But another minor penalty on Busch gave the Bucs another power play opportunity, which they converted into a 3-2 lead.
The game got a little ugly in the third period. With Goalie Kruse down covering the puck, Des Moines’ Costello repeatedly slashed the netminder. Defenseman Jason Corcoran cross-checked Costello to the ice and John Carr landed a half-dozen punches before he was pulled away and ejected from the contest. The Eagles then had to try to kill the 5-minute fighting major, which they did successfully, but just after the penalty expired, Breedlove scored the clincher to make the final 4-2 in favor of Des Moines.
With 14 new players this year, Des Moines showed marked improvement from last year, and although the Eagles lost both games, the experience of playing a good aggressive team like Des Moines should help them as they look forward to resumption of the CIHL schedule, as well as the three tournaments scheduled for the rest of the year. The two losses drops the Eagles’ record to 16-6-1.