Sunday, October 2, 2011

Game 1: Ice 4, Riders 3, OT

Daniil Tarasov started the season right where he left off.

Tarasov scored two goals -- including the game-winner 2:50 into overtime -- to give the Indiana Ice a 4-3 victory over the defending Anderson Cup champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Saturday night.

Sean Kuraly assisted on Tarasov's overtime goal that clinched the victory.

It didn't look like the Ice would need overtime early. They built a 3-0 lead midway through the third period, but the RoughRiders battled back to tie the game. With 1:12 left, Preston Hodge scored a power play goal to make it 3-2. Then, with the goaltender pulled, Jacob Barber scored just 35 seconds later to send the game to OT and get the Riders what would turn out to be a standings point.

The game featured defense for much of the first two periods -- a duel between the Ice's Jon Gillies and the Riders' Matt McNeeley. Tarasov's power play goal at 6:35 of the second period was the only scoring between the two teams, as Gillies stopped 23 shots and McNeeley stopped 15 in the opening two frames. Kuraly and Cody Bradley assisted on the goal.

The third was a different story.

Just 2:23 in, Jacob Fallon -- in his first game back with the Ice after a partial season in college hockey -- cashed in a feed from Alex Barron to make it 2-0. Robert Polosello scored his first USHL goal on an assist from Christian Hilbrich with 9:54 left to give the Ice what looked to be an insurmountable three-goal edge. Riley Bourbonnais scored for Cedar Rapids exactly one minute later. The Ice had a power play with Nolan Zajac in the box with 4:05 left, but instead took back-to-back penalties 21 seconds apart, which gave Cedar Rapids 43 seconds of 5-on-3 when Zajac came out of the box. Ten seconds after the first penalty expired -- and 10 seconds before the power play would come to an end --

The Ice penalty kill was otherwise very sharp, killing off two 5-on-3s in the second period that lasted 46 and 55 seconds, respectively. The Ice spent much of the last half of the second period shorthanded. They also had to kill off a five-minute fighting major to R.J. Boyd in the first period. In all, the Ice were 7-for-8 on the penalty kill. The Ice power play converted two of its four chances.

The Ice were successful despite playing much of the opening night short two defensemen, as Boyd was given a game misconduct in the first period for an instigator penalty, and Joe Fiala was sent off midway through the second due to a spearing penalty.

Gillies made 30 saves in the victory.

Three stars
1. Daniil Tarasov (Ice). 2 goals, 7 shots including game-winner.
2. Jacob Barber (CR), game-tying goal, 4 shots
3. Sean Kuraly (Ice), 2 assists

USHL boxscore game story

Next week
Friday 10/7: at Team USA U17, 7 p.m.
Saturday 10/8: at Team USA U17, 7 p.m.
*-The two games in the Ann Arbor Ice Cube will feature the Ice against the U17 NTDP team. The U17s went 1-0-1 over the weekend, beating Youngstown 10-3 and then falling to Chicago in a shootout 3-2. These two will be the first of three games against the U17 squad. The home opener will be Oct. 15 against the U17s.

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