In partnership with Arconic and Genesis Health System, the TaxSlayer Center will host a major fundraising event on Friday, March 4 at 7 pm featuring members of the legendary Quad City Mallards Championship Teams facing their arch-rivals, Flint Generals. The matchup is a resumption of a long-time heated rivalry billed as Heroes vs. Villains of the United Hockey League.
All net proceeds from the events, which will also include a ticketed Meet and Greet Post game reception featuring both Mallards and Flint General players on March 4, and a Jersey Auction will be donated to the Breast Cancer Prevention and Detection program through Genesis Health Services Foundation.
The event, sponsored by Arconic, will feature former Mallards Greats and fan favorites including Howie Rosenblatt, Mark McFarlane, Steve Gibson, Kerry Toporowski, Patrick Nadeau, Stas Tkatch, Andy Fermoyle, Carl LeBlanc, Marty Fillion and many others.
Flint will be led by Mallards Arch-Nemesis and UHL Great, Jim Duhart, who will be joined by other former “villain” teammates including Chad Grills, Lorne Knauft and Stephan Brochu. The game will be officiated by former regular linesmen Al Stensland and Peter Cichy
The rivalry and bitter animosity between the two team was legendary as the Mallards and Generals strongly disliked each other; every game was a fierce battle that saw numerous on-ice skirmishes and suspensions of players, coaches and administrators.
In 1997, coach John Anderson, beat the Generals in overtime in Flint on a goal by Freddy Nasval to win their first championship. In 1998, the Mallards, coached by Paul Gillis, then followed that up with a Game 7 Double-overtime goal scored by Ryan Black off a bad bounce at the then Mark of the Quad Cities in front of an over-capacity crowd of over 10,000 fans. Flint later earned some measure of revenge with a Finals victory over the Mallards in 2000.
“The Mallards dominated minor league hockey for nearly a decade, becoming the only team in professional hockey history to win 50 games in six consecutive seasons and seven times in nine years”, said Mullen. “The team’s involvement in the community and the way the fans loved the players was reciprocated in kind by the players to the fans. The fact that so many of these players are committing to return to the Quad Cities for this benefit game at their own expense speaks volumes of the special relationship between the players and the fans that continues nearly 25 years later”.
“We are grateful to Arconic and Genesis for their support of this great fundraiser as well as to Scott Mullen and the TaxSlayer Center for recognizing the incredible achievements of the great Mallards teams. The benefit game will feature some fun surprises and I expect that Jim Duhart will have Topper’s dirty glove washing his face, just like the old days. I know the players are looking forward to seeing the old fans and raising money to help beat breast cancer,” said former Mallards President/GM Howard Cornfield.
After the game, there will be a jersey auction followed by a private reception in which players & fans will be able to relive some of the old stories from the days of the heated rivalry. Tickets to the benefit game start at $10 and go on-sale Friday Feb 11 at 10 am at the Taxslayer Center Box Office and ticketmaster.com. A limited number of tickets to the post game event will be available for $20 also through the box office and Ticketmaster.