Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baillargeon's late goal earns Ice a point

Robbie Baillargeon scored twice -- including once with 52 seconds left -- to help the Ice get a point out of their Saturday-night visit to Youngstown. 

The Phantoms' Dylan Margoneri scored in the shootout to give the hosts a 4-3 victory in a game that saw both teams rally -- the Phantoms coming back from a 2-0 deficit, and the Ice doing the same trailing 3-2 in the final minute. 

It gave the Ice three points in two weekend games and allowed them to stay near the top of the crowded USHL Eastern Conference standings -- with five teams within three points as the season hits the 1/6th mark. At 7-2-1, the Ice are third behind Dubuque (8-2-1) and Green Bay (8-3-0), with a game in hand on both teams. With 14 points, Youngstown is tied for fourth with Cedar Rapids. 

Baillargeon's game-tying goal came on a long shot on an assist from Daniil Tarasov. That knotted the game at 3 with 52 seconds to go, sending the contest to OT. The Ice outshot the Phantoms 4-1 in overtime, but goaltender Matthew O'Connor denied each opportunity. O'Connor also stopped all three Ice attempts in the shootout -- from Jacob Fallon, Robert Polosello and Tarasov -- while Mike Ambrosia scored on Youngstown's final attempt after the Ice's Jon Gillies turned aside the first two attempts. 

Tarasov now has 18 points on the year and has tallied a point in four straight games and nine of the 10 Ice games this year. With two goals, Baillargeon now has four goals and four assists, including three goals in the two weekend games. 

Gillies made 23 saves in the loss. O'Connor stopped 36 shots, as the Ice outshot Youngstown 39-27. 

The Ice carried the play for much of the first period, and finally took the lead when Baillargeon took advantage of a turnover and scored an unassisted goal with 1:25 left in the opening stanza -- the third of the year for the Boston University recruit. The Ice held an 11-6 shot advantage and had two power plays in the opening 20 minutes. Ian Spencer fired a shot through traffic to make it a 2-0 game at 4:22 of the second to notch his first point of the year. 

But Youngstown knotted the game up going into the third on goals by Ryan Belonger and former Iceman Alex Gacek. 

Midway through the third, Dylan Margonari put the Phantoms ahead 3-2 by cashing in a feed from J.T. Stenglein, setting the stage for the game-tying goal. The Ice had a power play in the final six minutes after a penalty to Gacek, but were unable to convert, but tied the game at even strength later. 

The Ice were 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Youngstown was 0-for-4. 

The Ice played their second straight game without Sean Kuraly, who is representing the United States in the World Junior A Challenge. 

The Ice will return home this weekend to face Green Bay (Friday) and Muskegon (Saturday) before going on the road for three straight games. 

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