Indiana Ice (36-18-4, 3rd USHL East)
Youngstown Phantoms (21-30-7, 7th USHL East)
7:30 p.m. EDT Friday, April 8 / Covelli Centre
Head to head (Ice 3, Phantoms 3).
Nov. 13: Phantoms 6, Ice 3 (at Pepsi Coliseum). Brian Ferlin, Daniil Tarasov, Adam Erne goals for Ice. Ryan Belonger, Cody Strang 2G, Ty Loney 3A for Youngstown. Matthew O'Connor 35 sv for Phantoms.
Nov. 24: Phantoms 2, Ice 1 (at Covelli Centre). Peter Schneider PPG for Ice. Quinn Smith & Ty Loney G for Youngstown. Casey DeSmith 28sv for Ice, Matthew O'Connor 32 sv for Youngstown.
Dec. 28: Ice 7, Phantoms 2 (at Covelli Centre). Blake Coleman 2G/1A, Brian Ferlin 3A for Ice. Ice 4-9 on PP, SHG. Jon Gillies 23sv.
Dec. 31: Ice 5, Phantoms 4 (at Pepsi Coliseum). Daniil Tarasov 2G in third period to lead rally, A i 1st. Brian Ferlin, Blake Coleman G/A each. Casey DeSmith 33 sv for Ice. Ben Paulides 2A for Youngstown.
Feb. 9: Ice 5, Phantoms 3 (at Covelli Centre). Blake Coleman, Peter Schneider 2G each, Schneider also an assist. Daniel Tarasov 3A for Ice. Jon Gillies 22sv.
March 19: Ice 5, Phantoms 3 (at Pepsi Coliseum). Daniil Tarasov 2G, Blake Coleman G/A. Casey DeSmith 37sv.
Tale of the Tape
GF: 225 (1st) / GA: 157 (6th)
PP: 21.8% (1st) / PK: 86.3% (7th) / PIM: 865 (4th)
Road record: 17-9-2
Last 5: 3-2-0 Last 10: 8-2-0
Leading scorers: Blake Coleman (30-56-86), Daniil Tarasov (36-37-73), Brian Ferlin (24-42-66)
Leading goaltender: Casey DeSmith (21-12-2, 2.54), Jon Gillies (15-6-2, 2.65)
Leading +/-: Blake Coleman (+48)
Leading PIM: Will Aide (133)
GF: 151 (14th) / GA: 197 (14th)
PP: 13.7% (12th) / PK: 81.9% (12th) / PIM: 1112 (11th)
Home record: 12-12-4
Last 5: 0-3-2 Last 10: 1-6-3
Leading scorers: Jiri Sekac (17-25-42), Cody Strang (18-22-40), Ty Loney (23-16-39).
Leading goaltender: Matthew O'Connor (10-16-2, 3.43, Jordan Tibbett 7-11-3, 3.06)
Leading +/-: Cody Strang (+18)
Leading PIM: Ben Paulides (160), Scott Mayfield (155)
The Ice play two road games on the final weekend. While they're locked into the #3 seed in the USHL's East, they can go a long way in determining who they play. Right now, Youngstown is the odd team out in the three-team race for the two final spots, with 49 points. A loss of any variety -- regulation or OT -- or sixth-place Waterloo gaining a point in any way these last two games eliminates the Phantoms. Youngstown currently has 49 points, Waterloo is in sixth with 53. Muskegon -- who the Ice play Saturday -- is in fifth with 54 points. The Ice will play the sixth-place team in the best-of-3 opening round at the Pepsi Coliseum. Cedar Rapids and Green Bay have clinched the top two spots and byes in the first round in the East. Cedar Rapids (40-12-6) has won the Anderson Cup as regular-season champs. The Ice and Phantoms have split the six games they've played, but the Ice have won the last three. It's a matchup of teams going in opposite directions. Youngstown has won just one of its last 10 games. The Ice have won eight of 10, although they've split the last two weekends against West Division squads. Youngstown's roster includes ex-Ice player Alex Gacek, as he was dealt to the Phantoms in exchange for defenseman Brandon Russo on Jan. 4.
Statistically speaking, the Ice now possess the USHL's top power play unit. Blake Coleman continues to lead the USHL with 86 points, with Daniil Tarasov second(73) and Brian Ferlin tied with Lincoln's Ryan Dzingel for fourth (66). The interloper is Dubuque's John Gaudreau, who has 72 points. Tarasov's 36 goals have set a team record for goals in a season. He is tied with Gaudreau for the USHL lead in goals scored. Only four players in the league have tallied 30 goals -- Coleman, Tarasov, Gaudreau and Cedar Rapids' Jayson Megna. Peter Schneider of the Ice is knocking on the door with 29 goals. The Ice have four 20-goal scorers (Tarasov-36, Coleman-30, Schneider-29, Ferlin-24) and David Johnstone is bidding to be a fifth with 19 goals heading into the weekend. Nick Mattson is second among USHL defensemen with 35 points and is tops with a +29 rating. Coleman's +48 rating also leads the USHL. Tarasov has a six-game point streak going and has scored in four straight games. David Johnstone also has a six-game point streak going.
Saturday night, the Ice close the regular season at Muskegon (23-27-8).