Monday, October 31, 2011

Today in history: October 31

October 31 in Indianapolis hockey history
1963: One of the saddest days in Indianapolis history, as a propane tank explodes under the bleachers at the Fairgrounds Coliseum explodes, killing 63 people at an ice show at the rink. The Coliseum is unusable as a result of the explosion, so the Central Professional Hockey League Capitols -- who were on an extended road trip at the time -- would play the balance of the season as the Cincinnati Wings. Indirectly, the franchise would actually return to Indianapolis as the Checkers in 1979. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday wrap: Ice fall in last 5 seconds

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.

Roster news
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.

Today in history: October 30

October 30 in Indianapolis hockey history
1942: Joe Turner, whose name would later grace the Turner Cup, plays his first game as a Capital. Turner shuts out the Washington Lions 1-0. Adam Brown – father of future Racers goaltender Andy Brown – scores the game’s only goal at 9:42 of the second period.
1960: Pierre Brillant -- the all-time leading scorer in Indianapolis hockey history -- scores his final hat trick as a member of the Chiefs, posting three goals and two assists in a 9-2 victry over Milwaukee. Howie Menard adds two goals and two assists. 

Michael Del Mauro: Ice forward in 2006-07, playing 36 games and totaling seven goals and three assists. He parlayed his USHL tenure into a four-year career at Harvard University, where he had 18 points in a four-year career. A native of Watchung, N.J., he is 24. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

1st shutout of the year

The Ice have a second streak to hit now, as they remained perfect at home with a 2-0 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks Friday night at Pepsi Coliseum.

Now 6-1-0 on the year, the Ice are a perfect 2-0-0 at home. A rematch with Waterloo faces off at 7 p.m. tonight at the Coliseum.

The game turned out to be a great goaltending duel between the Ice's Jon Gillies and Waterloo's Eamon McAdam.

Gillies turned aside all 30 Waterloo shots, including several with the man advantage as the Ice killed off six power plays. McAdam made 26 saves.

The Ice's league-best PP didn't have many opportunities, but made the most of them. With 2:04 to go in the first and Ian McCoshen in the box for interference, Jacob Fallon connected to give the Ice a 1-0 edge. Daniil Tarasov and Ryan Obuchowski had the assists. The goal was Fallon's fourth of the year. Tarasov now has a 5-7-12 line in seven games, and hopes tonight is the start of another scoring string. His previous string -- which had gone since opening night -- was snapped in last Saturday's loss to Lincoln.

Waterloo carried the play in the second -- posting a 13-6 shot advantage -- but Gillies turned aside every foray. Christian Hilbrich scored just 26 seconds into the third on a feed from Robbie Baillargeon to give the Ice a cushion, but the way Gillies was playing, none was necessary. Gillies lowered his GAA to 1.82 with the victory tonight. The goose egg was the fourth shutout of his USHL career.

Three Stars
1. Jon Gillies, Ice (30 saves, shutout, W)
2. Christian Hilbrich, Ice (GWG, +1)
3. Robbie Baillargeon, Ice (Assist, +1, 2 shots)

Same two teams at the Pepsi Coliseum tonight!

Today in history: October 29

October 29 in Indianapolis hockey history
1978: Wayne Gretzky plays his final game as a Racer in a 3-3 tie at Winnipeg. The previous night, he played his final game at Market Square Arena, registering no points, but helping the team win 3-2 over the Winnipeg Jets. Rich Leduc, Michel Parizeau and Blaine Stoughton score for the Racers. 

Johnny Mowers: Capitals goaltender for two games in 1947-48. He allowed seven goals in those two games. He had been a regular for the Detroit Red Wings during WWII, playing 152 NHL games, primarily from 1940-43, before enlisting in WWII. He led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 1943 and to a seven-game loss in the finals in 1942. He was also the Vezina Trophy winner and the NHL First Team All-Star Goaltender in the 1943 championship year. He retired after his short stint with the Capitals. A native of Niagara Falls, Ont., he was born in 1916. He passed away in 1995. 
Ed Dyck: Racers goaltender during the 1974-75 season, where he saw the expansion team post a 3-21-3 record in front of him. He had a 4.36 GAA. Dyck played 49 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks before joining the Racers in 1974, often splitting time between Vancouver and its WHL affiliate in Seattle. Dyck became one of the first players to effectively be traded to a European club -- when the Racers signed Leif Holmqvist from Sweden, they sent Dyck to his Swedish club in return  A native of Warman, Sask., he is 61. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today in history: October 28

October 28 in Indianapolis hockey history
1956: Chiefs goaltender Cliff Hicks posts the second of back-to-back shutouts, beating the Troy Bruins 2-0. The previous night, he beat Toledo 4-0. He made 65 saves in the two wins. His shutout streak would eventually reach 186:56. 

Kevin Morrison: Left wing for the Racers from 1977 through the aborted 1978 season. In 80 games, he had 17 goals and 42 assists. Morrison played 459 games in the WHA and NHL, primarly with the San Diego Mariners from 1974-77. He had three 20-goal seasons in a row from 1973-76, his best year being a 24-goal year with the New York Golden Blades -- who moved across the Hudson and became the Jersey Knights for the second part of the year. After the merger, he played 41 games with the NHL Colorado Rockies. He had 97 goals and 235 assists as a major-league player. He was the Rangers' third-round pick in 1969. A native of Sydney, N.S., he is 62. 
Dave Bassegio: Member of the Ice in the 1989-90 championship season. Bassegio joined the team late in the year after starting with AHL Rochester. He had one goal and seven assists in 10 regular-season games, then contributed two goals and four assists in 10 postseason games en route to leading the Ice to the Turner Cup title. That was his rookie year -- he had been a standout at Yale University. Bassegio played professionally through 2000, primarly in the AHL and IHL. His best year was a 46-point season for the Houston Aeros in 1996-97. Since retirement, he coached in the ECHL and AHL, matriculating to head coach of the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Peoria Rivermen for one season each. He was the Sabres' fourth-round pick in 1988. A native of Niagara Falls, Ont., he is 44. 
Lubos Krajcovic: Ice right wing from 1999-2002, totaling 25 goals and 30 assists in 120 games. He also had a big postseason in 2000, tallying two goals and six assists to help lead the Ice to the Miron Cup in their maiden season in the CHL. Prior to joining the Ice, he played in the USHL for Sioux Falls, two seasons at Michigan Tech and one year in the UHL. A native of Krupina, Slovakia, he is 35. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today in history: October 27

October 27 in Indianapolis hockey history
1945: The Capitals and St. Louis Flyers saw a then-AHL-record 13,848 show up at the St. Louis Arena to see the Caps win 5-1. Norm McAtee scored twice and Larry Wilson made 25 saves in goal. 
1946: Cliff Simpson sent down by the Red Wings, beginning a very successful tenure with the Caps. 1978: Wayne Gretzky scores his final point as a Racer, assisting on Don Larway’s first-period goal in a 4-2 loss at Birmingham.

Peter Driscoll: Racers left wing from 1977 through the early part of the aborted 1978 season. Driscoll scored 25 goals in 56 games for the Racers in 1977-78, and in total had 28 goals and 22 assists in 64 games as a Racer. He was a footnote in one of the most infamous moments in local hockey history, as he and Eddie Mio were traded to Edmonton along with Wayne Gretzky eight games into the 1978 season. Driscoll had three productive seasons with Edmonton before retiring in 1983 as a member of the CHL's Wichita Wind. A native of Powassan, Ont., he is 57.
Gerry Minor: A high-scoring center with the Checkers in 1985-86, where he had 28 goals, 46 assists and 108 PIMs in 72 games. He also had three goals and four assists in five postseason games that year. Minor played 140 NHL games from 1979-84, all with the Vancouver Canucks, with 11 goals and 21 assists. He would play one more season after his stint with the Checkers, scoring 17 goals for Muskegon in 1986-87 before retiring. A native of Regina, Sask., he is 53.
Brad Lauer: Member of the Ice from 1991-93, where he was a high-scoring left wing. The New York Islanders' second-round pick in 1985, Lauer immediately burst onto the scene in the NHL, scoring 17 goals for the Isles in 1987-88, his second pro season. He would play in the NHL from 1986-96, with 44 goals in 323 games with the Isles, Blackhawks, Senators and Penguins. But it was his stint in Indianapolis that turned heads. He had 24 goals in 1991-92, but then followed up with 50 goals and 41 assists in 1992-93, helping lead the Ice to the playoffs. He also had three goals and an assist in the five-game playoff loss to the Atlanta Knights. Lauer remained in pro hockey -- primarily in the IHL -- through 2001. While a popular Ice player, he also was involved in ending a season prematurely, as his overtime goal for the Cleveland Lumberjacks eliminated the division champion Ice in the 1997 first round. Since retirement, he has coached as an assistant with WHL Kootenay, AHL Milwaukee and the Ottawa Senators. He is currently an assistant with the AHL Syracuse Crunch. A native of Humboldt, Sask., he is 45.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today in history: October 26

October 26 in Indianapolis hockey history
1963: The Capitols tie St. Louis 2-2 in front of 1,211 fans at the Coliseum. Howie Menard scores with 51 seconds left to tie the game and Hank Bassen makes 26 saves for the Caps. It would be the final professional hockey game played in Indianapolis for 11 years.

Rollie McLenahan: Capitals defenseman in 1945-46, tallying seven goals and 13 assists in 39 games. He also had two goals and an assist in nine games with the Red Wings that season. IMcLenahan went on to play several years in the AHL -- including a 25-goal season with the Hershey Bears in 1949-50 and earning an AHL First Team All-Star bid  -- and then was a player-coach for the powerful Cincinnati Mohawks, the most successful franchise in IHL history. His teams won the Turner Cup from 1955-57 -- he had 34 goals in 1955-56 -- and beat the Indianapolis Chiefs in the 1957 Turner Cup Finals. He retired as a player in 1957 and as a coach after 1960. A native of Fredricton, NB, he was born in 1921. He passed away in 1984. 
Mark Armstrong: Ice forward for 12 games in 2005-06, tallying a goal and an assist. He is currently in his senior year with ECAC St. Laurence University. He tallied 20 points through his first three seasons. A native of Palm Harbor, Fla., he is 24. 
Eric Olimb: Ice defenseman from 2005-07, totaling 13 goals and 15 assists -- as well as 159 PIMs -- in 92 games. He also had four assists in 12 postseason games with the Ice. Olimb took his talents to Nebraska-Omaha, where he graduated in 2011 after a career with nine goals and 53 assists. He signed with the ECHL Florida Everblades following his college career and currently plays in Europe. A native of Warroad, Minn., he is 25. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today in history: October 25

Today in history
1944: Capitals beat Hershey 7-3, but the game is later forfeited because Ted Lindsay played in that game and was called back up to Detroit. AHL rules required  players sent down from the NHL had to be in the league for two weeks before being called up. Judd McAtee’s four-goal game taken off the books. It would be the only game played by “Terrible Ted” in a Capitals uniform.
1979: Dave Silk scores the lone goal and Jim Craig shuts out the Checkers 1-0 in Chicago. Two months later, the U.S. National Team, coached by Herb Brooks, would stun the world by winning the Gold Medal after the Miracle on Ice. The Olympians would visit Indianapolis on Jan. 3 and skate away with a 2-2 tie.

Don Murdoch: Right wing who played 11 games for the Checkers in 1985-86, with four goals and three assists. Murdoch was a young star with the New York Rangers in the late 1970s, after scoring 170 goals in two seasons with Medicine Hat in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League. He was the No. 1 pick of both the Rangers and WHA Cincinnati Stingers in the 1976 amateur drafts. Murdoch scored 32 goals as a rookie in 1976-77 -- including five in one game -- and 27 goals the following year, and played six NHL seasons through 1982. He played his final four seasons in the minors, spliting his final 1985-86 season with the Checkers, Muskegon Lumberjacks and Toledo Goaldiggers of the IHL.A native of Cranbrook, B.C., he is 55. 
Zac Boyer: Member of the Ice from 1992-94, scoring 20 goals and 26 assists in 113 games. Boyer played three games with the Dallas Stars from 1994-96, but primarily played in the minor leagues and in Europe through 2003. He had four 20-goal seasons, including a 37-goal year with the WCHL's Colorado Gold Kings. Boyer was a fourth-round pick of the Blackhawks in 1988. In 1992, he scored the Memorial Cup-winning goal for the Kamloops Blazers. A native of Invuik, Northwest Territories, he is 40. 
Nick Mattson: Ice defenseman from 2009-11, totaling 11 goals and 44 assists in 108 games. He was the USHL's Defenseman of the Year in 2011, and also a sixth-round pick of the Blackhawks in 2010. Mattson is now a freshman at the University of North Dakota. He was a plus-33 in 2011. A native of Chanhassen, Minn., he is 20. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Today in history: October 24

One birthday today
Ray LeBlanc: Ice goaltender from 1989-94, one of the longest-tenured players in team history. LeBlanc appeared in 109 games with the Ice, posting a 54-38-11 record. He was primarily a backup to Jim Waite and Dominik Hasek from 1989-91, and he spent much of the 1991-92 season with the United States National Team --where he became a national hero for his play in goal, leading the USA to a fourth-place finish. He had a 2.20 GAA that year, and earned a start with the Blackhawks and won his only NHL game 5-1 against San Jose. Upon returning from the Olympics, LeBlanc started 25 games for the Ice and nearly carried a team that had been down-and-out into the playoffs. The Ice went 14-9-2 with him in the pipes. In his first game back, he got a 10-minute standing ovation from the Kalamazoo Wings fans in a road building. He got the bulk of the work in 1992-93, going 23-22-7 in 56 games, posting a 3.86 GAA. He also started all five playoff games -- his only postseason starts since one game in 1991. He would go to the Cincinnati Cyclones early in the 1993-94 season, and then play several more years in the IHL, ECHL and UHL with Chicago, Flint and Jacksonville, before retiring in 2000. A native of Fitchburg, Mass., he is 47. Today, he lives near St. Petersburg, Fla. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ice streak stops at 5

The Indiana Ice's season-opening winning streak stopped at five tonight, as the Ice fell to the Lincoln Stars 3-1 on the road in a matchup pitting the USHL's top offense against one of the league's top defenses. Lincoln goaltender Jackson Techiroeb made 30 saves in the victory for the Stars. Lincoln used second-period goals from Ralfs Freibergs and Paul Ladue -- the latter coming nine seconds into a penalty to Sean Kuraly -- to get the victory. Kevin Roy added an empty-netter in the final minute.

The Ice goal came as Christian Hilbrich tipped in a shot from Alexander Kuqali midway through the second. It tied the game at 1-1, but Techiroeb was too much to solve after that.

Both teams were 1-for-5 on the power play. Eleven of the Ice's 27 goals this season have come with the man advantage, as the Ice possess the league's most potent power play.

Jon Gillies made 28 saves for the Ice in the losing effort and was the third star. 

Lincoln coach Chad Johnson told the Journal-Star that the game had a playoff atmosphere early.

Three stars: 
1. Jackson Techroeb (LIN), 30 saves, 1 GA, win in goal
2. Paul Ladue (LIN), GWG, +1, 4 shots
3. Jon Gillies (Ice), 28 saves, 2GA

USHL boxscore
Lincoln Journal-Star story

Today in history: October 23

Two Caps teammates with birthdays today
"Sugar Jim" Henry: Capitals goaltender in 1950-51, where he had a 37-19-2 record and a 3.44 GAA. He helped lead the Caps into the playoffs, and earned himself a contract with the Boston Bruins the next year. He was the subject of a famous photograph after Game 7 of the first-round series in 1952, shaking the hand of a badly-injured Maurice Richard, who had just scored on him to end the series in OT. Henry led the Bruins to the 1953 Stanley Cup Finals, and played 210 straight games with the Bruins before retiring in 1955. He got his NHL start with the Rangers in 1941-42, but served in WWII and split time between the Rangers, Blackhawks and the minors between 1946-51. A native of Winnipeg, Henry was born in 1920 and passed away in 2004. 
Larry Wilson: Capitals center from 1950-52, where he had 31 goals and 63 assists in 115 games. He also had 44 PIMs. Wilson was a longtime hockey veteran, who made his pro hockey debut in 1949-50 and ended up on the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings. He would score 21 goals in 152 NHL games with Detroit and Chicago through 1956 before getting sent back to AHL Buffalo. He played 13 seasons in Buffalo -- through 1968 -- and then two more as player-coach with the IHL Dayton Gems before retiring at age 39. He was a 20-goal scorer in his final IHL season and won the Turner Cup with the Gems in 1969 and 1970. Wilson was a head coach in the AHL for several years and got his NHL shot with the Red Wings in 1976-77. His teams went 3-29-4, and he went back to coaching in the CHL for the next two seasons before his death in 1979 of an apparent heart attack. Larry's brother Johnny was also a member of the Caps. His son Ron Wilson has coached 18 years in the NHL and is currently the Toronto Maple Leafs' head coach -- also coaching the United States to gold in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and silver in the 2010 Winter Olympics. A native of Kincardine, Ont., Larry was born in 1930. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kuraly chosen for Junior A challenge

Ice forward Sean Kuraly has been chosen to represent the USA in the World Junior A challenge Nov. 7-13 at Langley, B.C.

With 3 goals and 7 assists, Kuraly is one of the Ice's top scorers through five games. 

The annual tournament pits the United States against teams from Sweden, Finland, Russia and two teams from Canada.

Ice equipment manager Darren Flinchem will also represent the USA in the tournament for the fifth consecutive year.

Ice at Lincoln preview

The Indiana Ice extended their league-best (and franchise-record) start to 5-0-0 Friday night. Their Nebraska two-step continues tonight against the Lincoln Stars, one of the top teams in the USHL's Western Division. Lincoln comes in with a 3-1 mark. The Ice have had no problem scoring goals -- at more than 5 goals per game, they are the USHL's top-scoring team. They're also the top PP team. Meanwhile, Lincoln has had one of the USHL's stingiest defenses, allowing only two goals per game -- something that continued Friday in a 2-1 loss to Sioux Falls.

Tonight's game
Indiana Ice (5-0-0)
Lincoln Stars (3-2-0) 
8:05 p.m., The Ice Box, Lincoln, Neb.


Season series: First meeting

Tale of the Tape
Ice (5-0-0)
Head coach: 
Kyle Wallack
GF: 26 (1st). GA: 13 (4th)
PP: 43.5% (1st). PK: 85.2% (9th)
Road record: 4-0-0
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (5-6-11), Sean Kuraly (3-7-10), Alex Barron (1-6-7), Robert Polosello (4-2-6).

Leading +/-: Alex Barron (+8), Daniil Tarasov (+6), Cody Bradley (+6)
Leading PIM: R.J. Boyd (26), Daniil Tarasov (16)

Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (4-0-0, 2.22 GAA, .922sv%), Dalton Izyk (1-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .857 sv%)
Last 5
10/21: at Tri-City (W 6-2)
10/15: vs. USA (W 4-1)
10/8: at USA (W 7-4)
10/7: at USA (W 5-3)
10/1: at Cedar Rapids (otW 4-3) 

Stars (3-2-0)
Head coach: Chad Johnson
GF: 14 (9th). GA: 10 (2nd)
PP: 12.5% (10th). PK: 85.7% (7th)
Home record: 2-1-0
Leading scorers: Luke Johnson (1-5-6), Kevin Roy (3-2-5), Mike McKee (1-4-5).
Leading +/-: Luke Johnson, Ralfs Freibergs, Jared Hanson, Tommy Schutt (all +4)
Leading PIM: Richard Coyne (20), Mike McKee (20)
Leading goaltender: Jackson Techirob (2-1-0, 2.01 GAA, .921sv%); Charles Williams (1-1-0, 2.02 GAA, .925sv%, 1SHO).
Last 5
10/21: SIOUX FALLS (L 1-2)

10/15: at Sioux City (W 4-1)
10/14: CHICAGO (W 4-3)

10/7: WATERLOO (L 3-4)
10/1: SIOUX FALLS (W 2-0)

Today in history: October 22

1978: Wayne Gretzky scores his third professional goal on a wrist shot from the slot in the third period. He also assists on Peter Driscoll’s goal in the first, but the Racers fall to New England 7-4 in Hartford. 

Terry Kleisinger: Goaltender who played four games for the Checkers in 1986-87, the second of his two professional seasons. Kleisinger had been a goaltender for the University of Wisconsin, and split that year between the Checkers, AHL New Haven and IHL Flint. A native of Regina, Sask., he is 51. 


The Indiana Ice continued their franchise-best season start with a convincing 6-2 victory over the Tri-City Storm on the road tonight.

The Ice are now 5-0-0 on the season heading into tonight's game at Lincoln. Remarkably, four of the five games have been on the road. Lincoln fell to Sioux Falls 2-1 tonight.

A 3-0 lead after two periods had been whittled down to one midway through the third, and the Ice having to kill off a 5-on-3 for nearly a full minute after penalties to Alex Barron and Ryan Obuchowski. Yet, the Ice stood tall on the kill and responded with three goals in a 97-second span in the final five minutes to pull away. Emil Romig, Daniil Tarasov and Drew Smolczynski scored in that stretch to put the game on ice.

It was a big scoring night for several Icemen. Romig scored two goals -- also cashing in on a feed from Robert Polosello with 57 seconds left in the second to make it 3-0. Robbie Baillargeon had three assists -- on Tarasov and Smolczynski's goals late in the game, and also on Sean Kuraly's power play goal at 7:12 of the first that gave the Ice a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. Kuraly had a goal and an assist, as did Tarasov. Alex Barron had the Ice's second goal early in the second.

Barron was also a +3 on the night.

Jon Gillies made 30 saves for the victory, his fourth of the season between the pipes.

The Ice's PK unit had some work tonight, going 5-for-6. The Ice's potent power play remained so, cashing in on one of three chances.

Three stars
1. Emil Romig (Ice): 2 goals, 3 shots, +2
2. Robbie Baillargeon (Ice), 3 assists, +2, 2 shots
3. Adam Chilapak (TC) goal, +1, 5 shots 

Next up for the Ice: at Lincoln Saturday night, then 2 at home vs. Waterloo next weekend Friday/Saturday.

USHL boxscore

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tonight's game: Ice at Tri-City

The Indiana Ice take their league-best (and franchise-record) 4-0-0 start into Nebraska this weekend, facing the Tri-City Storm tonight and the Lincoln Stars on Saturday. This matchup pits the Ice against a pair of Western Division foes -- a division the Ice have generally fared well against. Tri-City is currently 2-2 coming into tonight's game. The Ice have had no problem scoring goals -- at 5 goals per game, they are the USHL's top-scoring team. They're also the top PP team. Meanwhile, Tri-City is scoring just 1.5 gpg, but allowing just 2.0 gpg. Special teams could play a big factor -- The Ice are 9-for-20 with the man advantage, Tri-City 0-for-20. Tri-City goaltender Phoenix Copley has two shutouts this season.

Tonight's game
Indiana Ice (4-0-0)
Tri-City Storm (2-2-0) 
8:05 p.m., Viaero Events Center, Kearney, Neb.


Season series: First meeting

Tale of the Tape
Ice (4-0-0)
Head coach: 
Kyle Wallack
GF: 22 (2nd). GA: 11 (t4th)
PP: 45.0% (1st). PK: 85.7% (9th)
Road record: 3-0-0
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (4-5-9), Sean Kuraly (2-6-8), Cody Bradley (2-4-6), Alex Barron (0-6-6),
Leading +/-: Alex Barron (+5)
Leading PIM: R.J. Boyd (21), Joe Fiala (14)
Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (3-0-0, 2.30 GAA, .914sv%), Dalton Izyk (1-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .857 sv%)

Storm (2-2-0)
Head coach: Drew Schoeneck
GF: 6 (15th). GA: 8 (t2nd)
PP: 0.0% (16th). PK: 88.2% (8th)
Home record: 2-0-0
Leading scorers: Nick Lappin (3-1-4), Michael Vecchione (1-1-2), Thomas Nykopp (1-1-2), Tyler Amburgey (0-2-2)
Leading +/-: Nick Lappin (+4), Thomas Nykopp (+3), Kenny Brooks (+3)
Leading PIM: Bryan Sinz (16)
Leading goaltender: Phoenix Copley (2-2-0, 2.03 GAA, 2 shutouts, .921 sv%)

Ice next 3 weekends
F 10/21: at Tri-City
Sa 10/22: at Lincoln
Sa 10/29: WATERLOO
Sa 11/5: at Youngstown

Today in history: October 21

1962: The Chiefs open their final season at home, losing 4-1 to the Minneapolis Millers. Maplehurst Dairy distributes 140,000 tickets on milk cartons. Many of the 3,161 in attendance used them, and saw a bloody game. Indy’s Bernie Gould was given a five-minute major for drawing blood, and the Chiefs’ Gould, Bobby Rivard and Doug Monro left the game with injuries, as did Minneapolis’ Augie Kukulowicz, who suffered a broken jaw. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today in history: October 20

October 20
1946: Capitals beat Philadelphia 10-0. Gerry Couture team-record 5 goals and 7 points. Les Douglas totaled 1 goal and 5 assists. Red Almas had the shutout in goal.
1956: Pierre Brillant scores his first goal as a Chief, scoring with 1:39 left to beat Cincinnati 3-2 on the road. Brillant would post 204 goals and 181 assists in his 4+ years with the Chiefs. He would become Indianapolis' all-time leading hockey scorer. 
1978: Wayne Gretzky scores his first professional goal at 6:07 of th second period, he used Al Hamilton to screen goaltender Dave Dryden and fired a backhander from 25 feet out. Thirty-four seconds later, Gretzky’s centering pass deflected into the net. The Racers also had their first-ever penalty shot that night, a missive from Kevin Nugent, which Dryden turned aside. Gretzky’s goals gave the Racers a 3-1 second-period lead, but Edmonton scored three times in the third to beat the Racers 4-3. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today in history: October 19

October 19
1943: Future Hall of Famer Harry Lumley makes his Capitals debut in net, beating the Buffalo Bisons 2-1 in front of 7357 at the Coliseum. Bucko McDonald would score the game-winner. Another player who would be a Capital fixture – defenseman Rod Morrison – played the first of his team-record 319 games in a Capital uniform that night. Morrison would total 88 goals and 130 assists in a career that spanned from 1943-44, and again from 1945-49.
1975: Gerry Moore is fired as the Racers coach, and player personnel director Jacques Demers is hired. The Racers are 1-4-0 in their second season, and would go on to win the East Division championship. Demers would post a 70-72-14 record in Indianapolis, and later coach the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1993. 

Bob Ferguson: Very popular Ice coach from 1995-98 during the IHL days. Fergie's teams posted a 127-98-21 record. They made the playoffs each year he coached, and won the IHL's Central Division championship in 1997. His teams never won a playoff series, but dropped best-of-5 five-game thrillers in both 1996 (to Detroit) and 1998 (to Orlando). Ferguson came to the Ice after a long career in the USHL coaching Sioux City and Des Moines from 1981-95. After leaving the Ice, he coached in the ECHL for three seasons, returned to the USHL with Des Moines in 2001 for three years, and then went back to coaching in the ECHL for three more seasons. He is currently the assistant GM of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch. A native of Kingston, Ont., he is 57. 
Jake Skjodt: Ice forward who is a second-generation hockey player in Indianapolis. Skjodt played for the Ice from 2006-08, with 42 goals and 44 assists in 117 games. He also had 172 PIMs. He took his talents to Nebraska-Omaha where he played two collegiate seasons, and then went to Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Skjodt's father is former Checkers legend Charlie Skjodt, who also currently serves as the Indiana Ice team president and has served two stints as the team's coach. A native of Carmel, he is 24. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gillies on TSN watch list

Craig Button has ranked the top 30 2012 draft prospects + 30 more players in his "Craig's List" on TSN. 

Ice goaltender Jon Gillies is ranked in the second 30 -- Craig's "Watch List."

Several USHL players are listed:
Top 30
10. Jacob Trouba, D, USNDTP
11. Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque

Watch list
Jon Gillies, G, Indiana
Miles Koules, RW, USNDTP
Michael Matheson, D, Dubuque
Stefan Matteau, C, USNDTP
Jordan Schmaltz, D, Sioux City

Pham out through 10/30

According to the USHL's Pointstreak website, Ice forward -- and top draft pick -- Tyler Pham has been suspended for five games.

No reason

The suspension is dated Oct. 8, and will be activated Oct. 30. Pham is scoreless with 0 PIMs and a -2 rating in three games. Pham did not play in the Ice's home opener last Saturday night -- the first game of his absence -- and will miss this weekend's two road games at Tri-City and Lincoln and also the Oct. 28-29 home games against Waterloo. He will be eligible to return Nov. 4 against Cedar Rapids.

Today in history: October 18

Today in History
Oct. 18
1945: Caps host Buffalo in 1945-46 home opener. Tied 3-3 despite two goals from Pete Leswick. Each team has four war vets compete in a relay race as part of the festivities, where each player had to chase the puck and pass it after one lap. Tony Bukovich, Ed Riegle, Pete Leswick, Mud Bruneteau represented the Caps.
1955: The Indianapolis-Fort Wayne rivalry that would last through 21 IHL seasons officially begins. Roger Hayfield scores at 9:20 of overtime to give the Chiefs a 3-2 victory at the Allen County Coliseum. Bob Lalonde makes 52 saves. 
1978: Wayne Gretzky registers his first professional point, assisting on Rich Leduc’s goal at 16:14 of the second period of a 4-0 win over Quebec. 

Rollie Rossignol: Right wing for the Caps in 1945-46, where he had 26 goals and 21 assists. Rollie played professionally in North America from 1940-48 -- then played in Europe for another decade. He is a veteran of 14 NHL games with Detroit and Montreal. A native of Edmunston, N.B., he was born in 1921. 
Alex Laseen: Ice forward for 15 games in 2005-06, where he had two goals and five assists. Alex also played 88 games for Des Moines from 2004-06 before joining the Ice. He played at Curry College in the ECAC in 2007-08. A native of Redondo Beach, Calif., he is 25. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today in history: October 17

We're back. Life forced us to go into minimalist mode for a few weeks, but it's HOCKEY! season. Back with Today in History. 

October 17
1948: Ott Heller makes his debut as Capitals’ player-coach. He scores the team’s first goal in a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Flyers. Chosen because of his ability to work with young players, Heller would coach the Capitals for their final four seasons, including to the 1950 Calder Cup championship. 
1974: The Indianapolis Racers play their first regular-season game, losing to the Michigan Stags 4-2 in front of 12,837 at Market Square Arena. Bob Whitlock scores the first goal at 5:31 of the third period on the power play. 

Bob Roselle: Center who played one game for the Racers in 1975-76. It was the only career major pro game for Roselle, who played six seasons of minor-league hockey from 1970-76. 

Rusty Patenaude: Right wing for the Racers in 1977-78, where he had 23 goals and 19 assists in 76 games. Rusty, whose given name is Ed, played six seasons in the WHA, the first five with the Edmonton Oilers. He had 159 goals in 431 games. A native of Williams Lake, B.C., he is 62. 
Chris Stafne: Forward who played 22 games for the Ice in 2008-09, scoring six goals and three assists. He would later be dealt to Fargo that year, and then play the 2009-10 season with Des Moines. He had 24 goals and 21 assists in two USHL seasons. 

Ice in the media

Last week, the Indy Star's Mike Wells sat down with Sean Kuraly ... and also the esteemed Star reporter Phillip B. Wilson had chats with Kyle Wallack and Daniil Tarasov.

In NUVO, writer (and Ice off-ice official) Joe O'Gara has a nice piece on new Ice coach Kyle Wallack

Check 'em out. .

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A perfect opener

The Ice extended their franchise-best winning streak to open the season by beating the Team USA U17 squad for the third straight time, winning 4-2 tonight at the Pepsi Coliseum.

A crowd of 4,406 flocked to the Coliseum to see the Ice score three power-play goals. The Ice power play -- which came into the night at a ridiculous 46 percent clip -- converted on 3 of 7 opportunities tonight. The first two Team USA penalties resulted in a 2-0 Ice lead, and it kept growing from there.

With Trevor Hamilton in the box for interference, Jacob Fallon scored on a feed from Daniil Tarasov to make it 1-0 just 4:55 into the contest.

Tarasov scored with 25 seconds left on a 4-on-3 power play at 17:23 of the first to make it a 2-0 lead. Twenty-five seconds remained on Tyler Motte's high-sticking minor atthe time of the goal. The Ice's Cody Bradley and USA's Trevor Hamilton were also both in the box for independent infractions. Fallon had the first assist on the goal.

Tarasov -- the Ice's leading scorer -- had two goals and an assist on the night and now has nine points on the year. Sean Kuraly had three assists, while Alex Barron had two. Fallon had a goal and an assist.

Drew Smolczynski made it 3-0 with 9:38 left in the second period on another power play goal. Tarasov'x second goal came with 3:03 left in the second and came just 1:39 after Luke Voltin scored for Team USA.

The Ice played tremendously in front of Jon Gillies, who made 19 saves in the victory. Gillies only had to make four saves in the third period.

As one might expect for two teams who played each other three times in eight days, the game did feature two fights -- Christian Hilbrich and USA's Michael McCarron tangled up with 7:17 left in the second. Tarasov tangled with USA's Connor Clifton with 7:42 left in the game -- Clifton also received a slashing minor, Tarasov a roughing minor in the skirmish -- and both received fighting misconduct penalties.

Three stars
1. Daniil Tarasov (2 goals, assist, +1, 4 shots. 4-5-9 points on the year)
2. Sean Kuraly (3 assists, +1, 6 shots, 2-6-8 points on the year)
3. Jon Gillies (19 saves, 1 GA, win, now 3-0-0 in net on the year)

USHL boxscore

Next five games
Friday, Oct. 21: at Tri-City, 8:05
Saturday, Oct. 22: at Lincoln, 8:05
Friday, Oct. 28: vs. Waterloo, 7:05
Saturday, Oct. 29: vs. Waterloo, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4: vs. Cedar Rapids, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tonight's game: Home opener: Ice vs. Team USA

The Ice play the USNDTP U17 for the third of three consecutive games tonight, and it's the home opener at Pepsi Coliseum. Cody Bradley's five-point effort last weekend against the U17s was enough to earn him USHL Offenisve Player of the Week honors. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum tonight.

The U17 team has a couple of familiar faces -- or names. Leading scorer Tyler Kelleher was drafted by the Ice earlier this year but opted to join the national team development program instead. New head coach Danton Cole is a former Indianapolis Ice player, suiting up for 32 games in 1995-96. The Ice's power play has been the envy of the USHL so far. We'll see if they can extend their best-in-team-history 3-0 start tonight!

Tonight's game
USNDTP U17 (1-2-1)

Indiana Ice (3-0-0) 
7 p.m., Pepsi Coliseum, Indianapolis.


Season series: Ice 2, USA 0 (vs. U17 ice 2-0)
Oct. 8 (at Ann Arbor): Ice 7, USA 4: Ice score five straight to erase early 3-2 deficit. Cody Bradley G/2A, Sean Kuraly, Robert Gawron, Robert Polosello G/A each. Dalton Izyk 24 saves in goal for W. Hudson Fasching G/A for USA.
Oct. 7 (at Ann Arbor): Ice 5, USA 3: The Ice score 3 in the 3rd to win. Robert Polosello 2G, Sean Kuraly G/A for Ice. Indy 3-5 on PP. Tyler Kelleher G/A for USA. Jon Gillies W in goal.

Tale of the Tape
Ice (3-0-0)
Head coach:
Kyle Wallack
GF: 16 (t2nd). GA: 10 (t7th)
PP: 46.1% (1st). PK: 80.0% (11th)
Home record: 0-0-0
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (2-4-6), Cody Bradley (2-4-6), Robert Polosello (4-1-5), Sean Kuraly (2-3-5), Alex Barron (0-4-4),
Leading +/-: Cody Bradley (+4), Christian Hilbrich (+4), Robert Polosello (+4), Alex Barron (+4)
Leading PIM: R.J. Boyd (19), Joe Fiala (14)
Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (2-0-0, 2.93 GAA, .905sv%), Dalton Izyk (1-0-0, 4.00 GAA, .857 sv%)

Team USA (1-2-1)
Head coach: Danton Cole
GF: 19 (1st). GA: 18 (16th)
PP: 28.0% (3rd). PK: 70.0% (t13th)
Road record: 0-0-0
Leading scorers: Tyler Kelleher (4-1-5), Luke Voltin (2-3-5), J.T. Compher (3-1-4), Hudson Fasching (1-3-4), Tyler Motte (1-3-4), Michael McCarron (0-4-4), Anthony Louis (3-0-0)
Leading +/-: Connor Chatham (+3), Luke Voltin (+3)
Leading PIM: Scott Savage (10), Steven Santini (8)
Leading goaltender: Hunter Miska (1-1-0, 4.00 GAA, .846 sv%), Curtis Frye (0-1-1, 4.32 GAA, .866 sv%).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bradley named USHL Player of the Week

After a five-point weekend, the Ice's Cody Bradley was named the USHL's Offensive Player of the Week today. 

Bradley had two goals and three assists to lead the Ice to a road sweep of the USNTDP U17 team over the weekend. Bradley was also a +3 in the two games. He assisted on the game-winner in Friday's 5-3 victory -- also scoring a goal in the contest. On Saturday, he had a goal and two assists in a 7-4 victory. 

The Ice's 3-0 record is their best start in eight USHL seasons.

The Ice open the home portion of the schedule Saturday at the Pepsi Coliseum against the United States National Team Development Program U17 team. Faceoff is 7 p.m. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

3-0! Ice win 7-4

The Indiana Ice are now 3-0 on the young USHL season after a weekend sweep of the US National Team Development Program U17 team in Ann Arbor.

Tonight, the offense exploded for seven goals in a 7-4 victory over the U17 national team. 

Midway through the second, the Ice trailed 3-2 -- briefly -- in a wild 84 seconds of action. Cody Bradley gave the Ice a 2-1 lead, but back-to-back USA goals by Tyler Kelleher and Anthony Louis just 35 seconds apart made it 3-2 USA. 

But just 18 seconds after Louis' goal, Jacob Fallon knotted the game back up at 3 and set off a run of five consecutive ice goals to pull away. Drew Smolczynski assisted on Fallon's goal, which came with 10:54 left in the second. Robert Polosello scored his third goal of the year on assists from Bradley and Christian Hilbrich with 7:24 left in the second, and the Ice had the lead for good .

Alexander Kuqali -- on the PP -- Sean Kuraly and Dan Sherer scored goals 2:48 apart in the third period, giving the Ice a 7-3 edge with 11:59 left in the game. 

Bradley had two assists to go with his goal for a three-point night. Polosello, Robert Gawron and Kuraly all had a goal and an assist each. Daniil Tarasov had two assists and now has six points in three games. Polosello and Bradley's goals gave them a team-high three for the season in three games. Tarasov -- the USHL's goal-scoring leader last year -- leads the Ice with four assists. 

Gawron's goal and assist were his first USHL points. He scored the Ice's first goal at 15:03 of the first. Defenseman R.J. Boyd had his first assist as an Ice player -- he played with the Chicago Steel for part of the season last year. Alex Barron was a team-best +3. 

Goaltender Dalton Izyk made his USHL debut and stopped 24 shots to get the victory. Curtis Frye stopped 18 shots for USA. The Ice outshot the national team 28-25. 

The Ice power play was 1-for-4. So was Team USA's. At 6-of-13, the Ice's power play is the USHL's best. It'll get a shot at the big 210x90 Pepsi Coliseum ice surface next week. 

Lots of parallels in this game. Kelleher -- who had two goals and an assist over the weekend -- was the Ice's fifth-round pick in the futures draft this year. The player from Deerfield Academy decided to take the USNDTP invite rather than the Ice's. Also, new USNDTP U17 coach Danton Cole is a familiar face. He played for the IHL Indianapolis Ice in 1995-96. Fallon briefly played college hockey across town at the University of Michigan before returning to the Ice this season. 

The Ice, Green Bay and Waterloo are the only unbeaten teams in the USHL through two weekends of play. The Ice and GB are 3-0, Waterloo is 2-0. On a per-game basis, the Ice are also the second-highest scoring team in the USHL with 16 goals in three games -- an average of 5.3 gpg. Team USA has 19 goals, but has done so in four games, scoring 4.75 per game.

The Ice and the USA U17 team will play again next Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Ice's home opener at the Pepsi Coliseum.

Three stars
1. Cody Bradley, Ice: 1 goal, 2 assists, +2, 2 shots
2. Robert Polosello, Ice: 1 goal, 1 assist, +2, 2 shots
3. Hudson Fasching, USA, 1 goal, 1 assist, +1, 2 shots 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tonight's game: Ice vs. USA U17

The Ice and the USNDTP U17s play the middle game of their three-game, two-week set tonight in Ann Arbor after Cody Bradley scored twice to give the Ice a 5-3 victory over the U17s Friday night. They'll play again at the Pepsi Coliseum in the Ice's home opener next Saturday. The U17 team has a couple of familiar faces -- or names. Leading scorer Tyler Kelleher was drafted by the Ice earlier this year but opted to join the national team development program instead. New head coach Danton Cole is a former Indianapolis Ice player, suiting up for 32 games in 1995-96. Loaded with offensive talent, the Ice have been big on the power play, going 3-for-5 last night and a whopping 5-for-9 for the year -- and that's without the benefit of the enormous Pepsi Coliseum ice surface, which the Ice will return to next week to open the season. It's possible we'll see Dalton Izyk make his USHL debut for the Ice for the first time this season tonight. Hunter Miska played goal for the national team last night, expect to see Curtis Frye get the call tonight. He had 40 saves in an OT loss to Chicago last week.

Tonight's game
Indiana Ice (2-0-0) 
USNDTP U17 (1-1-1)
7 p.m., The Cube, Ann Arbor, Mich.


Tale of the Tape
Ice (2-0-0)
Head coach:
Kyle Wallack
GF: 9 (2nd). GA: 6 (t11th)
PP: 55.6% (1st). PK: 81.8% (10th)
Road record: 2-0-0
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (2-2-4), Cody Bradley (2-1-3), Sean Kuraly (1-2-3), Alex Barron (0-3-3), Robert Polosello (2-0-2)
Leading +/-: Cody Bradley (+2), Christian Hilbrich (+2), Robert Polosello (+2)
Leading PIM: R.J. Boyd (19), Joe Fiala (14)
Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (2-0-0, 2.93 GAA, .891sv%)

Team USA (1-1-1)
Head coach: Danton Cole
GF: 15 (1st). GA: 11 (16th)
PP: 28.5% (4th). PK: 68.7% (14th)
Home record: 1-1-1
Leading scorers: Tyler Kelleher (3-1-4), Tyler Motte (1-3-4), J.T. Compher (3-0-3), Luke Voltin (2-1-3).
Leading +/-: Connor Chatham (+6), Michael McCarron (+4)
Leading PIM: Scott Savage (10), Steven Santini (8)
Leading goaltender: Hunter Miska (1-1-0, 4.00 GAA, .846 sv%), Curtis Frye (0-0-1, 1.85 GAA, .952 sv%).

Ice next 5 games
Saturday 10/15: vs. TEAM USA U17, 7:05 p.m.
Friday 10/21: at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday 10/22: at Lincoln, 7:05 p.m.

Ice rally to beat U17s

The Indiana Ice trailed by two goals in the second period, but scored four straight times -- including three in the third -- to beat the Team USA U17 team on the road Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Ice are now 2-0-0 on the young USHL season, and play the U17s again Saturday night in Ann Arbor before the teams head to Indianapolis for the season opener Oct. 15 at the Pepsi Colusem.

Special teams played a huge role in the Ice's victory, as the guests scored three power play goals to mark the comeback. The Ice were 3-for-5 on the PP, 2-for-3 on the PK.

Cody Bradley had two of those PPGs -- cashing in an assist from Alex Barron with 3:08 left in the second to close a two-goal deficit to 3-2. Then, with USA's John Hayden in the box for elbowing, Bradley scored again 43 seconds into the man advantage, knotting the game with 12:16 left.

It stayed 3-3 until the closing minutes. Robert Polosello scored his second goal of the year on Ryan Obuchowski's feed with 3:17 left. Robbie Baillargeon added the clincher in the final two minutes to complete the rally.

Tyler Kelleher -- a player the Ice drafted this spring -- scored a goal and added an assist for Team USA. Sean Kuraly had a two-point night for the Ice, scoring the first goal in the second to knot the game at 1-1, and assisting on Baillargeon's tally late in the contest. Daniil Tarasov had two assists to pick up where he left off last year -- he now has four points in two games. Also, Alex Barron was a +2 to lead the Ice.

Jon Gillies registered the victory in net and is now 2-0-0 on the season.

Three stars were not named in the official box, so we'll pick them from the boxscore
#1: Cody Bradley (2 goals, 3 shots)
#2: Robert Polosello (GWG, 3 shots)
#3: Sean Kuraly (goal, assist)

Next up: at Team USA U17, 7 p.m. Saturday
vs. Team USA U17, 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at Pepsi Coliseum.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Some "other" blog posts

The United States of Hockey has a list of prospects in the USHL to follow.

Among them: Robbie Baillargeon of the Ice (listed as an "A" list prospect on the CSS watch list) and Jon Gillies.

Read the entry here. 

Also, Slightly Chilled has previewed all of the USHL teams. Here is the Ice preview.

Today in history: Oct. 2

Two birthdays today
Larry Thibeault: "Half-n-half" was a left wing for the Capitals in 1944-45, with two goals and 12 assists in 31 games. He also played five NHL games -- four for the Red Wings that season, and one more in Montreal the following year. He was a big scorer for Eddie Shore's Springfield Indians from 1939-41 and with Buffalo's Calder Cup champions in 1943-44. He continued to play in the minor leagues through 1955-56 before retiring at age 37. A native of Charlestone, Ont., he was born in 1918. 

Justin Kearns: Right wing for the Ice for 86 games from 2001-03. He had 10 goals, 17 assists and 71 PIMs in those games. The Northeastern University grad played five pro seasons -- primarily in the UHL before joining the Ice from the Columbus Cottonmouths in 2001-02. In his best year, he had 27 goals and 47 points for UHL Rockford in 2000-01. A native of Cleveland, he is 36. 

Today in history: Sept. 29-Oct. 1

A little bit of catching up to do: 
Sept. 29
Bob Ash: Racers defenseman in 1974-75, where he had one goal and 14 assists in 64 games. It was the last season in an 11-year pro hockey career and three-year WHA career for the 5-9, 170-pound blueliner. He had played the two previous seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, playing in the inaugural Avco World Trophy Finals in 1973. A native of Brandon, Man., he is 68. 
Trent Yawney: An Ice player for nine games in 1991-92. The veteran defenseman had two goals and three assists in that stretch, which came after playing three and a quarter seasons with the Blackhawks and representing Canada in the 1988 Olympic Games. He would be traded to the Calgary Flames that year and play eight more NHL seasons -- five with Calgary, one in St. Louis and the last two back with the Blackhawks. Yawney scored 27 goals in 593 NHL games. He also accumulated 783 PIMs. He had a 9-17-26 line in 60 NHL playoff games. Upon retirement, he began coaching -- leading the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL from 2000-05, then eventually being promoted to become the Blackhawks' head coach for 103 games from 2005 to early in the 2006-07 season. He had spent the last three years as an assist in San Jose, but left that to pursue a head coaching position. A native of Hudson Bay, Sask., he is 46. 
Bret Meyers: Right wing who played four scoreless games for the Ice in 1998-99. He had a 33-goal season for ECHL Columbus that year, his rookie season, and was a big scorer at the ECHL level before retiring in 2003. He had at least 27 goals in each of the four full seasons he played. A native of Uxbridge, Ont., he is 38. 
Dan Cecka: Forward with the Ice in 2008-09, scoring three goals and an assist in 13 games. He spent that year and part of another with NAHL Owatonna. He currently plays for Div. III Wisconsin-Stout, where he had five goals and 10 assists last year. A native of Woodbury, Minn., he is 22. 

Sept. 30
Cail MacLean: Right wing for the Ice in 1998-99, where he had 13 goals and seven assists in 35 games. He also had four points in seven playoff games. It was his second pro season, and he was called up from ECHL Jacksonville midway through the year after totaling 57 points in 40 games. He played through 2008, splitting several seasons between the ECHL and AHL. His highest-scoring season was the one he split between the Ice and Jacksonville. Since retiring, he has been the head coach of the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays and currently is an assistant to former Ice assistant coach Troy Ward with the AHL Abbotsford Heat. He was an assistant at South Carolina when the team won the ECHL Kelly Cup in 2009. A native of Middleton, Nova Scotia, he is 35. 
Dylan Taylor: Ice forward in 2001-02, where he had 12 goals and 19 assists in 62 games. It was the lone season of pro hockey for Taylor after a career in both junior and Canadian university hockey. A native of Oshawa, Ont., he is 35. 

Oct. 1
Leo Lamoureux: A popular figure in Indianapolis hockey, Leo took over as the Indianapolis Chiefs' coach in 1955-56 -- their first season -- and coached the team for parts of four seasons, going 63-83-12. He led the Chiefs to the 1958 Turner Cup championship. He joined the Chiefs on Jan. 4, 1956, when predecessor John Sorrell gave up coaching duties to become the team GM, and slowly led the team to its best era. From 1956-58, the Chiefs made back-to-back Turner Cup Finals appearances -- falling to the powerful Cincinnati Mohawks in 1957 and then defeating Louisville in seven games in 1958 to win the trophy. He returned in 1960, but he left the team in early November to be treated for acute hepatitis. He would pass away of the illness Jan. 11, 1961 in Indianapolis. Leo joined the Chiefs as a player in 1955-56, playing 24 games and tallying five assists before taking a spot behind the bench. He also suited up in one game as a player-coach the following year. From 1942-47, he was a steady defensemen for the Montreal Canadiens, winning the Stanley Cup in 1944 and 1946. Upon his passing, the IHL re-named the leading scorer trophy the Leo P. Lamoureux Trophy in his honor. A native of Espanola, Ont., he was born in 1916. 
Igor Ulanov: Ice defenseman in 1995-96. He played just one game for the Ice in the midst of a long NHL career that spanned 1992-2006 and included stops in Winnipeg, Washington, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Edmonton for two stints, the New York Rangers and Florida. His best NHL season was a 3-20-23 year for Edmonton in 2000-01. He had 27 goals, 135 assists and 1151 PIMs in 739 NHL games. He retired after playing the 2008-09 season for Dynamo Minsk in the KHL. A native of Krasnokamask, Russia, he is 42. 

Roster report

Game 1 of the season means we get the first look at the roster. Who dressed tonight:

Jon Gillies, Dalton Izyk
*-Gillies is the No. 1 going into the year, so no surprise he was the starter tonight. With back-to-back games against the same team next weekend, one could expect to see both goaltenders get some work, although we will have to see what the coaching staff chooses to do.
Alex Barron, R.J. Boyd, Joe Fiala, Alexander Kuqali, Matthew Krug, Ryan Obuchowski
*-A veteran group -- All but Krug played in the USHL last year -- Barron, Kuqali and Obuchowski with the Ice, Fiala with the USNDTP and Boyd with Chicago.
Robbie Baillargeon, Cody Bradley, Dan Cesarz, Jacob Fallon, Christian Hilbrich, Woody Hudson, Sean Kuraly, Tyler Pham, Robert Polosello, Emil Romig, Dan Sherer, Daniil Tarasov.
*-Bradley, Cesarz, Fallon, Hilbrich, Kuraly & Tarasov all played with the Ice last year. Baillargeon is a Div. I commit. Pham was the Ice's top draft pick this spring and has also made his college commitment -- Sherer was the No. 2. Polosello has been a huge scorer in the preseason and was the one newcomer to get on the scoresheet tonight.

Scratches tonight: Forward Drew Smolczynski and defensemen Robert Gawron and Ian Spencer.

Players who were not kept on the 23-man roster from the preseason: Forwards Cody Gyllyng & Andrew Mayer and defenseman Miha Stebih.

Game 1: Ice 4, Riders 3, OT

Daniil Tarasov started the season right where he left off.

Tarasov scored two goals -- including the game-winner 2:50 into overtime -- to give the Indiana Ice a 4-3 victory over the defending Anderson Cup champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Saturday night.

Sean Kuraly assisted on Tarasov's overtime goal that clinched the victory.

It didn't look like the Ice would need overtime early. They built a 3-0 lead midway through the third period, but the RoughRiders battled back to tie the game. With 1:12 left, Preston Hodge scored a power play goal to make it 3-2. Then, with the goaltender pulled, Jacob Barber scored just 35 seconds later to send the game to OT and get the Riders what would turn out to be a standings point.

The game featured defense for much of the first two periods -- a duel between the Ice's Jon Gillies and the Riders' Matt McNeeley. Tarasov's power play goal at 6:35 of the second period was the only scoring between the two teams, as Gillies stopped 23 shots and McNeeley stopped 15 in the opening two frames. Kuraly and Cody Bradley assisted on the goal.

The third was a different story.

Just 2:23 in, Jacob Fallon -- in his first game back with the Ice after a partial season in college hockey -- cashed in a feed from Alex Barron to make it 2-0. Robert Polosello scored his first USHL goal on an assist from Christian Hilbrich with 9:54 left to give the Ice what looked to be an insurmountable three-goal edge. Riley Bourbonnais scored for Cedar Rapids exactly one minute later. The Ice had a power play with Nolan Zajac in the box with 4:05 left, but instead took back-to-back penalties 21 seconds apart, which gave Cedar Rapids 43 seconds of 5-on-3 when Zajac came out of the box. Ten seconds after the first penalty expired -- and 10 seconds before the power play would come to an end --

The Ice penalty kill was otherwise very sharp, killing off two 5-on-3s in the second period that lasted 46 and 55 seconds, respectively. The Ice spent much of the last half of the second period shorthanded. They also had to kill off a five-minute fighting major to R.J. Boyd in the first period. In all, the Ice were 7-for-8 on the penalty kill. The Ice power play converted two of its four chances.

The Ice were successful despite playing much of the opening night short two defensemen, as Boyd was given a game misconduct in the first period for an instigator penalty, and Joe Fiala was sent off midway through the second due to a spearing penalty.

Gillies made 30 saves in the victory.

Three stars
1. Daniil Tarasov (Ice). 2 goals, 7 shots including game-winner.
2. Jacob Barber (CR), game-tying goal, 4 shots
3. Sean Kuraly (Ice), 2 assists

USHL boxscore game story

Next week
Friday 10/7: at Team USA U17, 7 p.m.
Saturday 10/8: at Team USA U17, 7 p.m.
*-The two games in the Ann Arbor Ice Cube will feature the Ice against the U17 NTDP team. The U17s went 1-0-1 over the weekend, beating Youngstown 10-3 and then falling to Chicago in a shootout 3-2. These two will be the first of three games against the U17 squad. The home opener will be Oct. 15 against the U17s.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

USHL season previews posted its season previews earlier this week. Here they are for ...

Eastern Conference
Western Conference

Defending Clark Cup champion Dubuque has been moved into the Eastern Conference with the Ice and some of the USHL's other top teams -- Cedar Rapids and Green Bay among them. Should be an interesting fight for playoff position, especially in the East.


It's opening night!

The Ice open their season tonight against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

After going 5-1 in the preseason schedule, the Ice have some potent offensive players back, including 2011 USHL goal scoring leader Daniil Tarasov and San Jose Sharks draft pick Sean Kuraly. Robert Polosello was a juggernaut in the offensive end during the preseason, as well. On defense, the Ice are experienced with Ryan Obuchowski, Ian Spencer, Alexander Kuqali and Florida Panthers draft pick R.J. Boyd anchoring the blueline. Jon Gillies -- one of the top 1994-born goalies in the country -- is back to tend net. He holds the team record for consecutive shutout minutes.

Tonight's game
Indiana Ice (0-0-0) 
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (0-0-0)
8:05 p.m., Cedar Rapids Ice Arena


Tale of the Tape (2010-11 stats)
Ice (37-19-4 in 2010-11)
Head coach:
Kyle Wallack
GF: 237 (1st). GA: 166 (6th)
PP: 21.7% (1st). PK: 85.8% (7th)
Road record: 18-10-2
Leading returning scorers: Daniil Tarasov (37-38-75), Sean Kuraly (8-21-29), Cody Bradley (11-9-20)
Leading returning +/-: Daniil Tarasov (+34), Alex Barron (+24)
Leading returning PIM: Daniil Tarasov (46)

RoughRiders (42-12-6 in 2010-11, Anderson Cup champions)
Head coach: Mark Carlson
GF: 212 (2nd). GA: 151 (3rd)
PP: 15.7% (10th). PK: 87.2% (5th)
Home record: 25-2-3

Leading returning scorers: Nolan Zajac (3-27-30), Nick Saracino (7-18-25), Stu Wilson (12-12-24).
Leading returning +/-: Nolan Zajac (+15)
Leading returning PIM: Tanner Pond (88)

Ice next 5 games
Friday 10/7: at Team USA U17, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday 10/8: at Team USA U17, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday 10/15: vs. TEAM USA U17, 7:05 p.m.
Friday 10/21: at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday 10/22: at Lincoln, 7:05 p.m.