Friday, November 11, 2011

Gamblers rally to beat Ice in OT 5-4

After playing a tremendous first period and opening up two separate two-goal leads, the Indiana Ice saw Green Bay rally to steal a 5-4 overtime game Friday night at the Pepsi Coliseum.

Green Bay defenseman Markus Lauridsen sniped a shot from the high slot past Ice netminder Jon Gillies at 3:48 of overtime to allow the Gamblers to escape with the victory in a game it appeared the Ice might run away with early.

The Ice led 3-1 after nine minutes and then led 4-2 after two periods, but the Gamblers rallied in the third. Nicholas Schilkey scored his second goal of the game by going top shelf from the slot with 13:29 left. Then, with 6:15 to go, Kyle Novak fed Sheldon Dries on a breakaway -- the only one of the night for either team -- to tie the game. Green Bay came in waves, outshooting the Ice 11-6 in the third period.

Things started out well for the Ice. Schilkey scored just 2:13 in, but the Ice answered in a big way, with the big line of Jacob Fallon-Daniil Tarasov-Robert Polosello cashing in twice. Fallon banked a shot from the red line off to the left side of the net off Green Bay netminder Adam Wilcox and into the net at the 4:24 mark to tie it. It was Fallon's seventh goal of the year.

Just 17 seconds later, the Ice took the lead when Emil Romig cashed in a feed from linemate Woody Hudson. And 4:07 after that, Fallon fed a perfect goalmouth feed across to Tarasov, who buried his eighth goal of the season. After 8:46, the Ice led 3-1 and were flying. They had more opportunities -- cranking 19 shots on goal in the first period -- but Green Bay managed to weather them and chop the lead when Jordan Gross scored on a shot from the point in the final 90 seconds of the period.

After a breakneck first period, the game tightened up in the second, with the Ice cashing in on their only power play of the night when Ryan Obuchowski's blast from the point hit traffic in the slot and was perfectly redirected by Polosello into the net for Polosello's fifth tally of the season.

The game was one that was befitting of a matchup between two of the league's top teams -- high-energy hockey, some tremendous individual play and moves, and a bevvy of beautiful goals. Fallon continued to impress with his high-energy play at the center position. His line generated 13 of the Ice's 36 shots in the game, three goals and a boatload of scoring chances.

Tarasov, who came into the night tied for the USHL scoring lead, added a goal and an assist to run his season totals to 8-11-19. Fallon also had a goal and an assist and now has seven of each. Polosello had a goal and two assists, and now has a 5-4-9 line for the season. Center Robbie Baillargeon -- playing the point on the power play unit -- extended his scoring streak to three games with an assist.

Gillies stopped 27 of 32 Green Bay shots in his second OT loss of the season. His personal record is now 6-1-2. Wilcox made 32 saves on 36 shots, and is now 5-2-0. Both teams were playing without a handful of players representing their country in the World Junior A Challenge. The Ice's Sean Kuraly and Green Bay's Jordan Schmaltz, Andy Welinski, Alex Broadhurst, Sam Herr and goaltender Ryan McKay were all representing the United States in Canada.

The game jumbled the crowded top of the USHL's Eastern Conference standings. With two points, Green Bay vaults Dubuque for first place with a 9-3-0 record and 18 points -- one better than the defending Clark Cup champion Fighting Saints. The Ice (7-2-2) move into a third-place tie with Cedar Rapids, with both teams sporting 16 points.

Three stars
1. Nicholas Schilkey (GB). 2 goals, +1
2. Markus Lauridsen (GB). game-winning goal, +4
3. Robert Polosello (Ice). 1 goal, 2 assists, 6 shots, +1

USHL boxscore

Ice next 6 games
Sa 11/12 vs. Muskegon, 7 p.m.
F 11/18 at Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m.
Sa 11/19 at Waterloo, 8 p.m.
W 11/23 at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
F 11/25 vs. Sioux City, 7 p.m.
Sa 11/26 vs. Fargo, 7 p.m.

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