Casey DeSmith stopped 38 shots, the Ice scored three goals in the second period and they started the playoffs in style with a 4-0 shutout of Waterloo Thursday night at Pepsi Coliseum.
After a scoreless first period, Dan Cesarz broke the ice at 7:59 of the second on assists from Will Aide and Dominic Panetta. Brian Ferlin and David Johnstone then added goals 2:16 apart in the second to give the Ice a 3-0 edge with 2:07 left in the second.
Blake Coleman, the USHL's leading scorer in the regular season, added a power play goal late in the third to mark the 4-0 final score.
Daniil Tarasov had two assists, while Coleman had a goal and an assist for the Ice.
Game 2 of the best-of-3 series is Friday at the Pepsi Coliseum. The Ice can clinch a trip to Green Bay with a victory.