The game styles were opposites, but the end results were identical, as the Ducks picked up a pair of wins as they head into the annual pre-Christmas United States Premier Hockey League Midwest Showcase as one of the hotter teams in the Midwest-West Division.
After making a first period goal stand up as the only goal in a 1-0 win Friday night, the Ducks showed they can also light the lamp, matching its highest output of the season with a 7-4 win and a sweep of the visiting Steele County Blades.
The wins extended the team’s win streak to four straight games and the Ducks have collected at least a point in eight of their last nine games. The wins also vaulted the Ducks past the Blades in the Midwest-West Division and into the seventh spot in the nine-team group.
In Friday’s victory, Alec Scarsella took a feed and went in alone to score the game’s only goal at the 7:07 mark of the opening period. Defensemen Jacob Soderstrom and Billy Nichol were credited with assists on the goal.
That was all the Ducks needed, as Corbin Moore turned in his best effort of the season between the pipes, turning aside all 40 shots for his second win and first shutout of the season.
After a night of being completely snake bit about the net, the Blades went to work quickly on Saturday night, opening the scoring just 81 seconds in with the first of 10 power play goals in the game.
The teams were even at 2-2 after a period, and the Ducks notched the lone goal of the second period to carry a 3-2 lead into the final 20 minutes.
The Blades rallied to tie it again in the third minute of the final period, but the Ducks notched the next three goal to grab control in a chippy game that saw the teams combine for 70 minutes in penalties.
The Blades made things a bit more interesting, getting within a pair with four minutes to play, but Spencer Butler sank the final goal into an empty net with 8 seconds to go.
Also contributing to the offense for the Ducks was captain Stone Stelzl, who finished two goals and an assist, while Scarsella, Nichol and Jake Bevins collected a goal and two assists each. Colton Maynard set up three goals with Soderstrom adding two assists. The other goal came from Wyatt Mikkelson.
Zander Zafiro turned aside 24 shots to collect his seventh win of the season for the Ducks.
The Ducks boosted their record to 9-13-2 and enter the Showcase event starting Wednesday with a realistic shot at getting back to the .500 plateau, a huge accomplishment for a team that dropped 12 of its first 14 games to start the season.