Friday, April 1, 2011

Saturday game: Ice at Fargo

Indiana Ice (36-17-4, 3rd USHL East)
Fargo Force (32-21-4, 4th USHL West)
8:05 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 2 / Scheels Arena

Head to head (Force 1, Ice 0).
Feb. 12: Force 4, Ice 1 (at Pepsi Coliseum). Blake Coleman G (Ice), four different goal scorers, Ryan Massa 26 saves (Fargo).

Tale of the Tape
GF: 222 (1st) / GA: 152 (6th) 
PP: 21.4% (2nd) / PK: 86.1% (7th) / PIM: 857 (4th) 
Road record: 17-8-2 
Last 5: 4-1-0 Last 10: 8-2-0
Leading scorers: Blake Coleman (30-54-84), Daniil Tarasov (35-35-70), Brian Ferlin (24-41-65) 
Leading goaltender: Casey DeSmith (21-11-2, 2.50), Jon Gillies (15-6-2, 2.65) 
Leading +/-: Blake Coleman (+50) 
Leading PIM: Will Aide (133)

Force GF: 164 (t8th) / GA: 142 (t5th) 
PP: 14.3% (11th) / PK: 84.9% (8th) / PIM: 1173 (13th) 
Home record: 13-11-3
Last 5: 3-2-0 Last 10: 5-5-0
Leading scorers: Jimmy Mullin (20-34-54), Chad Demers (17-27-44).
Leading goaltender: Ryan Massa (18-8-3, 2.31), Zane Gothberg (14-8-0, 2.23)
Leading +/-: Jimmy Mullin (+24)
Leading PIM: Oleg Yvenko (197), Brian Cooper (130).

It's a rematch of the 2009 Clark Cup Finals as the Ice meet Fargo in Fargo. The Force have had one extra night of rest, as they played Des Moines on Thursday (and fell 3-2). Fargo knows postseason success -- the team has been the runner-up in the Clark Cup Finals in the first two seasons of existence. Fargo is currently in fourth in the West, but is just three points shy of second place Omaha and two back of third-place Sioux Falls with three games to go for each team. The expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints have clinched the West Division title. It's a matchup of the USHL's most potent offense against its best goaltending tandem, as both Massa and Gothberg rank in the top 6 in the USHL in goals against average. Fargo's penchant for taking penalties could put the Ice's special teams on the ice. Indy was 1-for-1 on Friday and also had a shorthanded goal. In the last nine games, the Ice have scored 43 goals. The Ice are four points back of second-place Green Bay and five back of first-place Cedar Rapids, but have just three games remaining. Both teams ahead of them have games in hand, so it is likely the Ice will finish third and play the East's sixth-place team in the first round of the playoffs. Right now, Waterloo has a two-point edge on Youngstown for that playoff spot. Indy will host all three games in the best-of-3 series, on April 14, 15 and 17. After Saturday's game, the Ice travel to Youngstown and Muskegon next weekend to close out the regular season. Fargo is closing out the season with a four-game homestand.

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