The Indiana Ice's seven-game winning streak was thwarted Saturday by the Des Moines Buccaneers by a 5-3 score at the Pepsi Coliseum.
The five goals allowed by the Ice were almost the same total as allowed in the previous seven games, in which they outscored their foes 34-6.
Des Moines' Mitch Cain scored the game-winner with 9:34 to go, breaking a 3-all tie. He would add an empty-netter in the closing seconds to register a hat trick. Dajon Mingo -- Des Moines' leading goal scorer -- also scored twice, and bumped his season total to 22.
The Ice started off well, as Daniil Tarasov scored just 3:37 in off an assist from Brian Ferlin. It extended scoring streaks for both -- Tarasov now has a point in four straight games, Ferlin seven. Mingo tied the game four and a half minutes later, but Ryan Obuchowski gave the Ice a 2-1 edge in the closing two minutes of the first period. Obuchowski has been red-hot of late, scoring his third goal in four games. He has four goals on the season.
Cain (2:08) and Mingo (13:34) scored second-period goals to put the Bucs up 3-2. Sean Kuraly tallied his fifth of the year off a feed from David Johnstone just 59 seconds into the third to knot it, but Cain finished off the hat trick.
Both teams' PK units were sharp again, as the Ice were 0-for-3 on the PP, Des Moines 0-2.
Casey DeSmith made 40 saves in the loss for the Ice, who were outshot 44-25 by a desperate Des Moines team fighting for a playoff spot. With 56 points, the Bucs remain two points back of Sioux City for the sixth and final spot in the Western Conference.
The Ice (35-17-4) finished their home schedule with a 19-9-2 record, including 18-8-2 at the Coliseum. They remain in third in the East, six points back of second-place Green Bay with four games to play. Should the Gamblers gain two points in any of their remaining four games -- or first-place Cedar Rapids notch one point in its remaining six -- the Ice will clinch third place and host the first-round playoff series with the sixth-place team in the East. It will likely be either Youngstown or Waterloo, both of which have 47 points.
A strong crowd of 4,365 was in attendance for the regular season home finale. Tarasov's 33rd goal puts him one back of Dubuque's Jon Gaudreau for the USHL lead. Blake Coleman will likely wrap up the USHL scoring title, as his 82 points lead the league. Tarasov, with 68 points, is second. The Ice travel to Sioux Falls and Fargo next weekend, as they wrap up with four games on the road.
Indiana Ice.com game story