In a game that saw the Ice come back from two deficits -- including a two-goal hole -- and survive a penalty shot in the second period, the Waterloo Black Hawks found a way to make sure the Ice couldn't come back a third time -- score the game-winning goal with five seconds left.
Waterloo's Joe Rehkamp scored his second goal of the game out of a scramble in front of the net, barely poking it past Ice goaltender Dalton Izyk to give the Black Hawks a 4-3 victory over the Ice Saturday night at Pepsi Coliseum.
The Ice's record falls to 6-2-0 on the year after the defeat in the back half of a two-game series between USHL division leaders. The Ice won Friday's game 2-0.
The game-winning goal came after the Ice rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2. In the final 30 seconds, the Ice had possession in the neutral zone and tried to send the puck deep into Waterloo territory, but one of the Black Hawk defensemen tipped the puck free, corralled it and started a counterrush that led to the game-winning goal. The initial shot was wide, but with several bodies in front of the net, the puck bounced around and it appeared the Ice netminder briefly lost track of it. In the melee in front of the net, it squired across the line. Rehkamp was credited with the goal unassisted.
Rehkamp's two goals were his first of the season.
It was eerily similar to the Ice's game-tying goal with 5:46 left. In a netmouth scramble, Woody Hudson jammed at the puck and briefly got it to trickle over the line to knot the contest at 3-3 -- one in which referee Brady Johnson -- right on top of the play -- emphatically pointed that the puck had crossed the line despite the red light not having come on. It was Hudson's second goal of the year, and came despite much howls of protest from the Waterloo bench.
The Black Hawks led 1-0 after a first period that featured just 10 shots -- six for Waterloo, four for the Ice -- and saw both teams trying to feel each other out after playing the night before. It also saw the Hawks kill off three power plays. Rehkamp scored the lone goal on a beautiful feed across the slot to the left circle, where he fired it past starting goaltender Jon Gillies.
The Ice switched netminders for the start of the second and gave Izyk his second appearance of the year. It took just 3:03 for Waterloo's Aaron Pearce to make it 2-0. Standing out at the top of the crease, he took Josh Nenadal's feed from behind the net and quickly one-timed it through a small opening in the 5-hole.
Waterloo carried much of the play in the second -- including earning a penalty shot when an Ice player was ruled for interference in a goalmouth scramble in the crease -- but the Ice managed to come out of the period without much further damage. The penalty shot was wide. The Ice cut the deficit to 2-1 when Jacob Fallon beat a defenseman in the right circle and slipped the puck to Sean Kuraly in front, who punched it past Waterloo's Jay Williams and into the net with 43 seconds left in the second.
A penalty to Waterloo defenseman James Hansen came 36 seconds later, and it wasn't long after the third-period faceoff the Ice made them pay. The Fallon-Tarasov-Kuraly line has been a big-scoring one for the Ice all season, and was so again on the power play. At the 43 second mark of the third, Fallon scored on a nice feed in the slot from Tarasov to tie the game.
With the game quickly tied, the third period energy level increased exponentially from both teams, and the period saw four goals and 35 shots -- whereas the first two saw Waterloo get off 12 shots and the Ice eight.
Nenadal made it a 3-2 lead for Waterloo briefly with 6:45 left, but it took just 59 seconds for Hudson's tying goal. The Ice had a good chance to take the lead moments later, but saw a shot from the left circle hit the goalpost.
Gillies made five saves in a period of work, Izyk made 24 saves in the final two periods and took the decision. Williams (4-2-1) went the distance for Waterloo and made 21 saves to get his fourth victory of the year.
Once again, the Ice's top line piles up points and much like the Tarasov-Blake Coleman-Brian Ferlin line last year, the Ice possess one of the USHL's most feared trios. Tarasov kept his streak going with two assists -- he now has a 5-9-14 line in eight games. Fallon -- centering Tarasov and Kuraly -- had a goal and an assist to improve his line to 5-4-8. With four goals and seven assists, Kuraly is the team's second-leading scorer, and the trio between them has 14 of the Ice's 29 goals.
The 3 stars
1: Joe Rehkamp, Waterloo -- 2 goals, GWG
2: Jacob Fallon, Ice -- goal, assist, 4 shots
3. Josh Nenadal, Waterloo -- goal, assist, go-ahead goal in 3rd, +1, 3 shots
The Ice return home Friday night to face the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders, before traveling to Youngstown on Saturday night to face the Phantoms. They'll be back home Nov. 11-12 for games against Green Bay and Muskegon.
One that quietly took place a week ago: Dan Cesarz -- a forward who joined the team in 2010-11 -- was traded to Kalamazoo in the Tier II North American Hockey League. Cesarz was scoreless in two games.He had five goals and three assists in 40 games last season. Also, forward Tyler Pham will be activated from his five-game suspension today and will be eligible to play Friday night.