Sunday, October 16, 2011

A perfect opener

The Ice extended their franchise-best winning streak to open the season by beating the Team USA U17 squad for the third straight time, winning 4-2 tonight at the Pepsi Coliseum.

A crowd of 4,406 flocked to the Coliseum to see the Ice score three power-play goals. The Ice power play -- which came into the night at a ridiculous 46 percent clip -- converted on 3 of 7 opportunities tonight. The first two Team USA penalties resulted in a 2-0 Ice lead, and it kept growing from there.

With Trevor Hamilton in the box for interference, Jacob Fallon scored on a feed from Daniil Tarasov to make it 1-0 just 4:55 into the contest.

Tarasov scored with 25 seconds left on a 4-on-3 power play at 17:23 of the first to make it a 2-0 lead. Twenty-five seconds remained on Tyler Motte's high-sticking minor atthe time of the goal. The Ice's Cody Bradley and USA's Trevor Hamilton were also both in the box for independent infractions. Fallon had the first assist on the goal.

Tarasov -- the Ice's leading scorer -- had two goals and an assist on the night and now has nine points on the year. Sean Kuraly had three assists, while Alex Barron had two. Fallon had a goal and an assist.

Drew Smolczynski made it 3-0 with 9:38 left in the second period on another power play goal. Tarasov'x second goal came with 3:03 left in the second and came just 1:39 after Luke Voltin scored for Team USA.

The Ice played tremendously in front of Jon Gillies, who made 19 saves in the victory. Gillies only had to make four saves in the third period.

As one might expect for two teams who played each other three times in eight days, the game did feature two fights -- Christian Hilbrich and USA's Michael McCarron tangled up with 7:17 left in the second. Tarasov tangled with USA's Connor Clifton with 7:42 left in the game -- Clifton also received a slashing minor, Tarasov a roughing minor in the skirmish -- and both received fighting misconduct penalties.

Three stars
1. Daniil Tarasov (2 goals, assist, +1, 4 shots. 4-5-9 points on the year)
2. Sean Kuraly (3 assists, +1, 6 shots, 2-6-8 points on the year)
3. Jon Gillies (19 saves, 1 GA, win, now 3-0-0 in net on the year)

USHL boxscore

Next five games
Friday, Oct. 21: at Tri-City, 8:05
Saturday, Oct. 22: at Lincoln, 8:05
Friday, Oct. 28: vs. Waterloo, 7:05
Saturday, Oct. 29: vs. Waterloo, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4: vs. Cedar Rapids, 7:05 p.m.

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