Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ice rally against Muskegon, but fall 5-4

Friday night, the Ice saw the opponent rally from a two-goal deficit and steal a couple of points from the Pepsi Coliseum. Saturday night, the shoe was on the Ice's foot, as they rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third to tie the game. But just like Friday, the result wasn't a happy one, as Muskegon's Joseph Cox scored a tiekbreaking goal just 64 seconds after the Ice evened the score and the Lumberjacks skated away from Indianapolis with a 5-4 victory.

Robbie Baillargeon and Woody Hudson each scored twice for the Ice in the loss.

Muskegon won two one-goal games on the road on the weekend to put itself in the thick of a wild USHL East race. The Ice dropped two games at home -- both by 5-4 scores -- and had just one point to show for their weekend efforts.

The game was a penalty-filled one, as the Ice committed 54 penalty minutes and gave Muskegon 11 power plays. Muskegon -- the USHL's most-penalized team -- was whistled for 21 penalty minutes and gave the Ice four power plays -- killing them all. Muskegon's two power play goals were the first two scored by a visiting team on Coliseum ice this season.

The Ice are now 7-3-2 on the year. They are 1-2-2 in their last five games after a hot start.

Trailing 3-1, the Ice rallied in the third to tie the game. Moments after Alex Smith stepped out of the box, Hudson scored his fourth goal of the year to cut the Jacks' lead to one at 5:09 of the period, but the Lumberjacks answered three minutes later to push the lead back to 4-2.

Right off the draw after that goal, things quickly didn't look good for the Ice's chances to rally when a melee broke out at the 8:08 mark that saw four players being given delay of game penalties, but the Ice's Drew Smolczynski was also issued a five-minute major -- and later, a game misconduct -- putting the Ice shorthanded for an extended period of time. Robbie Baillargeon scored his second goal of the game just 13 seconds after the penalties were issued.

Hudson -- moving up to the top line while leading scorer Daniil Tarasov served a misconduct penalty for the final 9:50 -- scored the game-tying goal on a feed from Robert Polosello with 5:08 left in the game, and it appaered the Ice had rallied.

But with 4:04 left -- and just five seconds after matching minors were handed out to both teams -- Cox scored on an assist from Jordan Masters.

Muskegon's top line was rolling in the first two periods. Max Shuart scored on the power play just 2:09 into the game on John Padulo's assist. After the Ice's Baillargeon tied the game in the final minute of the first -- continuing his hot streak with five points in the last four games -- Padulo fed Nick Seeler for a power play goal and then scored one himself off Shuart's assist just 48 seconds apart to give the Jacks a 3-1 lead going into the third.

The game began to get chippy in the second, as Hudson fought Muskegon's Carter Foguth right off the second-period draw, and the Ice then gave Muskegon four power plays in the period.

Jon Gillies played just 11:34, but took the loss in net as he was in goal for the game-winner. Dalton Izyk started the game for the Ice and made 25 saves, but was pulled at the 48:08 mark shortly after Muskegon took a 4-2 lead. Gillies stopped five of the six shots he saw.

Veteran Paul Berrafato stopped 29 of 33 Ice shots to get the victory in net.

In addition to Hudson and Baillargeon scoring twice, Christian Hilbrich assisted on both Baillargeon goals.

3 stars
1. Nick Seeler, MUS (goal, 2 assists, +3)
2. Woody Hudson, Ice (2 goals, +2, 4 shots)
3. Robbie Baillargeon, Ice (2 goals, +1, 3 shots)

Next up for the Ice is a two-game trip to Cedar Rapids and Waterloo next weekend and another trip to Green Bay the night before Thanksgiving. They return home Thanksgiving weekend to face Sioux City (Nov. 25) and Fargo (Nov. 26), beginning a run of seven consecutive home games for the Ice.

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