Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ice beat Chicago 6-2, play Muskegon today

The Indiana Ice got back on the winning track Saturday with a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Steel.

It was the team's third win in four games -- and its fourth consecutive game garnering at least one standings point.

Sean Kuraly and Tyler Pham scored 57 seconds apart midway through the second period to give the Ice a 3-1 lead. For Pham, it was his first goal.

Chicago scored a power play goal late in the second, but Robbie Baillargeon scored 52 seconds into the third to restore a two-goal advantage, then assisted on Daniil Tarasov's power play goal four and a half minutes later to create a 5-2 lead. Woody Hudson's empty-netter provided an exclamation point.

The newly-created line of Jacob Fallon-Tarasov-Baillargeon connected for three goals -- Tarasov was +3 on the day -- with Fallon scoring in the first period. Tarasov and Baillargeon each had three-point nights, with two assists to go along with their third-period goals.

Tarasov now has 34 points -- good enough for second-best in the USHL. His 15 goals and 19 assists are also all second in the USHL. He has a four-game point scoring streak going. He has at least one point in eight of his last nine games. Fallon's 9-18-27 line is second on the team. Kuraly added to his goal total with 14 -- second-best on the team behind Tarasov. 

Kuraly's goal was set up by linemate Dan Sherer. The line of John Doherty-Pham-Hudson also connected twice, with Pham collecting a goal and an assist.

Jon Gillies made 31 saves in the win, his USHL-best 13th goaltending win of the year.

With a 14-7-3 record, the Ice remained in fourth place in the USHL's Eastern Conference, two points back of Dubuque and Youngstown, who remain tied for second. The Ice can forge a three-way tie with a victory at eighth-place Muskegon tonight.

Three stars
1. Daniil Tarasov (Ice), goal, 2 assists, +3, 4 shots
2. Robbie Baillargeon (Ice), goal, 2 assists, +2, 2 shots
3. Michael Villardo (CHI), goal, 2 shots

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