Sunday, January 29, 2012

A 1-1-1 weekend

The Ice finished a three-game, three-city weekend with a 1-1-1 mark after today's 6-2 loss on the road to the Green Bay Gamblers in a much-anticipated matchup of the USHL's top two teams.

Green Bay has been the top dog throughout the year, and so today's contest could've been seen as a statement game. Or it could be seen as what it was -- a road game for a team that had to travel from Indy to Muskegon to Green Bay in the span of 36 hours and play three games. What's likely is somewhere in-between. Green Bay again asserted itself as the USHL's top team, and the Ice continue to hold down the No. 2 position.

The upcoming stretch of road games will be key for the Ice to maintain that spot, which would grant them a first-round bye in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Today, the Ice fell behind 2-0 after a period and 4-1 midway through the second as the Gamblers tallied goals from four different goal-scorers -- Alex Broadhurst, Sheldon Dries, Nolan LaPorte and Grant Arnold.

Jacob Fallon scored unassisted 2:51 into the second and Woody Hudson buried a feed from Tyler Pham later in the period to cut Green Bay leads to 2-1 and 4-2 respectively. But the Gamblers got two goals in the first five minutes of the third to put the game away.

Jon Gillies made 27 saves in net, but was chased after 44:53 of time. Dalton Izyk stopped all four shots he faced later in the third period. Green Bay's Ryan McKay made 31 saves to get the win in goal.

USHL boxscore

The loss came on the heels of a 5-3 victory over Muskegon on Saturday in a game that was played at Muskegon, although it was technically an Ice home game. The game was moved due to Super Bowl festivities tying up both the Pepsi Coliseum and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Fallon, Sean Kuraly and Joe Fiala scored first-period goals, with Jose Delgadillo assisting on two and Kuraly also getting an assist for a two-point period. Fallon also ended up with a two-point night, as he assisted on Daniil Tarasov's power play goal midway through the second that put the Ice up 4-2.

Emil Romig added a key insurance goal on a feed from Ryan Obuchowski at 7:30 of the third to put the Ice up 5-3, and Izyk made it stand up. He stopped 30 shots, but only faced six in the third period due to the Ice's strong defense, to get the victory.

USHL boxscore

The Ice are now 22-9-5 after the weekend, 10 points back of first-place Green Bay, but four ahead of third-place Dubuque and Youngstown.

The Ice will be back on the road this weekend, traveling to Green Bay on Friday, then to Dubuque on Saturday. After a double-home weekend Feb. 10-11, they'll embark on a seven-game road trip.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ice fall in shootout

Moving downtown to kick off Super Bowl week, the Ice fell to the Chicago Steel 5-4 Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a shootout.

The Ice did get a standings point and are now 21-8-5 overall and 10-1-3 in their last 14 games.

They salvaged the point as Robbie Baillargeon scored on the power play with 48 seconds left to tie the game. Chicago won it in the seventh round of the shootout on a goal by Charlie O'Connor.

The game saw a lot of action, with a combined 91 shots -- the Ice had a 47-45 shot advantage, with Chicago getting an extra shot on goal for the shootout win in the team total. The power plays were also active, as Chicago was 3-for-10 and the Ice were 2-for-6. Chicago also scored a shorthanded goal with 1:54 to go, which appeared to potentially be the game-winner before Baillargeon struck a minute later.

Ice goaltender Jon Gillies made 40 saves in the defeat. Sean Kuraly scored twice and Baillargeon added a goal and two assists.

Chicago's Andrew Miller scored on the power play early, but the Ice answered with two first-period goals, from Kuraly on the power play and Drew Smolcynski -- assisted by new Ice defenseman Jose Delgadillo, getting his first point as an Iceman. He and defense partner Joe Fiala were also both plus-2.

The Ice led 3-2 after two, as Chicago's Jeff Kubiak scored a power play goal midway through the period, and Kuraly answered three minutes later, chasing Chicago starter Matthias Dahlstrom.

A third power play goal by Chicago's Joel Benson at 3:05 of the third tied the game, setting the stage for the punch-counterpunch of the last two minutes. O'Connor -- who would score the shootout winner -- was sent off for tripping with 2:29 left, giving the Ice their sixth power play of the night. Miller scored shorthanded first, and then Baillargeon cashed in on the power play.

The Ice are back in action tonight at Muskegon -- a game that was moved from the Pepsi Coliseum due to rink availability with the Super Bowl. On Sunday, they head to Green Bay.

3 stars
1. Alex Sakerellopoulous (CHI), 19 saves, 1 GA, game-winning goaltender
2. Andrew Miller (CHI) 2 goals, PPG, SHG,
3. Robbie Baillargeon (ICE) goal, 2 assists, 8 shots

USHL boxscore

Today in history: January 28

January 28 in Indianapolis hockey history
1950: In his first game after returning from a callup to Detroit, Caps goaltender Terry Sawchuk goes nuts against a Pittsburgh fan who waves a white handkerchief at him. Terry slashes at the glass with his stick, skates a few feet, then comes back and hinges himself on the glass at the fan. He had to be restrained by his teammate.

Sean Williams: One of the great players to lace up skates and represent Indianapolis, Williams played four full seasons with the Ice from 1989-93. He played 320 games with the Ice in those years, He had 130 goals and 156 assists, setting the IHL team records in games played and all scoring categories. His best year was a 46-52-98 season in 1990-91. He had 27 regular-season goals to lead the Ice to a division title in 1989-90, then tallied eight goals and five assists as they bulldozed their way through the Turner Cup playoffs en route to a championship. He also got a two-game callup with the Blackhawks in 1991-92. Williams' rookie year was with IHL Saginaw in 1988-89 -- then the Blackhawks' top affiliate -- and he left the Ice to play in Europe in 1993. He returned to play two more years with IHL Minnesota. Williams' No. 9 was retired by the Ice -- the lone skater from the IHL era to be so honored. A native of Oshawa, Ont., he is 44. 
Martin Desjardins: Ice center from 1990-92, with 19 goals and 49 assists in 107 games. He also had two goals in the 1991 first-round series against the Fort Wayne Komets. He played three seasons in the Montreal organization -- including eight games with the Canadiens in 1989-90 -- before joining the Ice. After his Ice stint, he played in Europe for several seasons. A native of Sainte-Rose, Quebec, he is 45. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today in history: January 27

January 27 in Indianapolis hockey history
Hector Marini: "Hector the Wrecker" played for the Checkers in their first two seasons, from 1979-81. In 130 games, he had 44 goals and 71 assists, as well as 229 PIMs. Marini was a third-year pro by the time the Islanders moved their affiliation to Indianapolis. He had five playoff points with the Chex in 1980, but got the callup to the Isles by the end of the following year, and helped them win their second of four straight Stanley Cups. He was also with the Islanders for the 1982 title, although he did not play in the postseason. Marini joined the New Jersey Devils in 1982-83, and was chosen to play in the NHL All-Star Game, posting 45 points in 77 games that season. Marini totaled 73 points in 154 NHL games. He retired after the 1985-86 season, the result of an injury suffered when he was hit in the face with a slapshot. A native of Timmins, Ont., he is 55.
Jeff Rohlicek: Ice center in 1991-92. He had 25 goals and 32 assists in 59 games in a year split between the Ice and Phoenix. In total, he had 30 goals and 83 points that season. The Canucks' second-round pick in 1985, Rohlieck played nine NHL games with Vancouver from 1987-89, but played primarily in the  AHL/IHL. He had a 110-point season with Milwaukee in 1988-89, and scored the Calder Cup-winning goal with AHL Springfield in 1990. He retired after the 1997-98 season. A native of Park Ridge, Ill, he is 46.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today in history: January 26

January 26 in Indianapolis hockey history
1958: A double-hat trick for the Chiefs. Pierre Brillant and Bob Bowness each tally three goals in a 7-2 victory over the Toledo Mercurys.

Vic Lynn: A speedy winger, he played for the Capitals in 1943-44. He had four goals and five assists in 32 games. He made his debut with the Rangers, briefly, the previous year, and then came to the Red Wings during World War II. He had several callups to the NHL, and is the only player in NHL history to skate for all six Original Six teams. His best NHL season was in 1947-48, when he had 34 points with the Maple Leafs, for whom he played from 1946-50, and was part of the KLM line with Howie Meeker and Teeder Kennedy. He played in the NHL -- with a few stops in the AHL in-between -- through 1954, and then played senior hockey through 1963. He won three Stanley Cups in 1947, 1948 and 1949. A native of Saskatoon, he was born in 1925, and passed away in 2010.
Wayne Gretzky: A man who needs no introduction, "The Great One" famously began his pro hockey career in Indianapolis with a fledgling Racers outfit that would fold a couple of months later. Gretzky played eight games with the Racers, and scored his first professional goal at Market Square Arena against Edmonton's Dave Dryden. He had three goals and three assists with the Racers in eight games before being sold to Edmonton in a trade that also sent Racers Peter Driscoll and Ed Mio to the Oilers. He would finish that season with 46 goals and 110 points, and the highest-scoring career in hockey history was on. When the Oilers made the jump to the NHL the next year, Gretzky spent the next 20 seasons rewriting the pro hockey record books. He had at least 110 points in each of his first 14 pro seasons, and the number likely would've been 16 straight if not for an injury in 1992-93. He had eight straight 50-goal seasons at the start of his NHL career, with 92 goals and 212 points in 1981-82, 71 goals and 186 points the following year, and 87 goals and 205 points in 1983-84, the year the Oilers won their first of four Stanley Cups in five years with Gretzky. Two more 200-point seasons followed. After winning the fourth Cup in 1988, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, where he helped build hockey in Southern California during seven and a half seasons. He had an amazing playoff year in 1993, where he had 40 points in 24 games to lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals. He played briefly with St. Louis in 1995-96, then played his final three years with the Rangers before retiring in 1999, his 21st pro season. In 1,567 NHL/WHA games, he had 940 goals and 2,027 assists. His 2,967 points is a pro hockey record, as are the other marks. He also had 132 goals and 270 assists in 221 playoff games. He appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals six times, winning four in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. He was a nine-time Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP, 10-time Art Ross Trophy winner as the league's leading scorer, two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner as postseason MVP and five-time Lady Byng Trophy winner as the league's most gentlemanly player. Since retirement, he has been a team owner, coached the Phoenix Coyotes and has remained an ambassador for the game. A native of Brantford, Ont., he is 51.
Dean Malkoc: Ice defenseman for 62 games in 1994-95. Malkoc had four points and 193 PIMs in his stint with the Ice. He had played four years in the Devils organization before joining the Ice, then spent much of the next four years in the NHL with the Canucks, Bruins and Islanders. He had four points in 116 NHL games, as well as 299 PIMs. He is now a scout with the Boston Bruins. A native of Vancouver, he is 42.
Jason Selleke: Ice forward for three seasons, from 2000-02, then again in 2003-04. In 195 games, he had 48 goals and 69 assists, as well as 376 PIMs. In the interim, the Ohio State graduate played with UHL Fort Wayne. After leaving the Ice, he played six more years, five in the UHL and one in Italy. A native of St. Clair Shores, Mich., he is 34.
Jarrett Thompson: Amateur "playoff-only" signee for the Ice in 2001. He joined the Ice after his fifth year in the WHL, and played three playoff games. He played three years in the ECHL, split with two years in Canadian university play. A native of Calgary, he is 32.
Eric Miller: One of a handful of Hoosiers to play with the Ice, the Carmel resident played 50 games for the blue and white from 2004-07. He had 12 goals and nine assists, all but two of those points coming in 2006-07, when he played 31 games with the Ice. He also had six playoff goals in seven games as the Ice made a deep playoff run in 2007. Born in Villa Hills, Ky., he is 26.
Jay Clark: Goaltender who played 11 games for the Ice in 2005-06. He primarily played that year and the next in the NAHL, then played collegiately at Army. He finished his college career in 2011 as the Cadets' starting goaltender for three seasons. A native of Baudette, Minn., he is 25.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today in history: January 25

January 25 in Indianapolis hockey history
1956: The Chiefs set a dubious record – allowing 16 goals in a shutout loss to the Cincinnati Mohawks. The Mohawks’ 10 second-period goals remained an IHL record through the end of the league’s existence. Bob Lalonde was the goaltender, stopping 44 of the Mohawks’ 60 shots.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today in history: Jan. 22-24

Life intervened the last few days, so we got a bit behind on the Today in History posts. So, here's the last 3 days. 
January 22
1950: Pat Lundy scores four goals for his second time as a Capital in a victory over the Springfield Indians.
Greg Gilbert: Checkers winger for 24 games as a pro rookie in 1982-83. He had 11 goals and 16 assists in those games, and quickly earned a callup to the New York Islanders, where he had 19 points in 45 games and helped the Isles win the Stanley Cup. He actually got his name on the Cup the year before as a late-season callup from junior who played in four postseason games. He had 31 goals the following season, his first full year in the NHL, and played in 21 playoff games to help bring the Isles to the Cup Finals for the fifth straight year. Gilbert would go on to play 15 years in the NHL with the Islanders, Blackhawks, Rangers and Blues. He had 378 points in 837 NHL games. He won the Stanley Cup three times -- with the Isles in 1982 and 1983 and the Rangers in 1994. He also played in the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals with Chicago. He is currently the head coach of the OHL's Saginaw Spirit. A native of Missasauga, Ont., he is 50. 
Todd Carlile: Checkers defenseman in 1986-87, and also a member of the Ice in 1988-89, making him one of a couple of players -- joining Ron Handy -- who played for the Checkers/Ice franchise in both the final Chex and first Ice season. He had 11 goals, 40 points and 102 PIMs in 50 games as a Checker, and had five assists in four games in 1988-89. Those would be the only pro seasons for the former Michigan Wolverine. A native of St. Paul, Minn., he is 48. 
Chris Rogles: Ice goaltender from 1993-95. In 87 games, he was 28-42-8 with a 3.67 GAA, often playing alongside Christian Soucy. Rogles joined the Ice as a rookie out of Clarkson University, and played one more season in North America -- in both the IHL and ECHL -- before a long career in Europe. A native of St. Louis, he is 43. 
Marc Hussey: Ice defenseman from 1996-98. In 37 games, he had two goals and seven assists. He came to the Ice in a trade at the end of the 1996-97 season to help the team finish off a division championship season and join the playoff push, and then played 23 games with the Ice the following year before being dealt to Milwaukee. He played in the IHL/AHL through 1999, then played several seasons in Europe. A native of Chatham, N.B., he is 38.
Jon Gillies: Ice goaltender from 2010-12. He is one of the most-heralded draft-eligible netminders in the country. In the 2010-11 season, he set a club record for the longest scoreless streak. He was 15-6-2 with a 2.82 GAA in 2010-11 with three shutouts, and then took the starter's job the following year, where he vaulted to the top of the USHL in nearly every goaltending category. He is committed to play collegiately at Northeastern. A native of South Portland, Maine, he is 18. 

January 23
1947: The Capitals and Springfield Indians finish a game despite three power failures at the Coliseum. It was finished with “soft lights.” Springfield won 5-4 despite Cliff Simpson’s two goals.
1957: Pete Wywrot scores four goals in 8-5 Chiefs win over Fort Wayne, and yet gets overshadowed as Pierre Brillant sets a club record with six assists and adds a goal for a seven-point night.
Justin Lafayette: Ice center for 51 games in 1991-92. He had seven goals and 10 assists. The Ferris State grad played one more professional season in the ECHL. A native of Mississauga, Ont., he is 42. 
Dalton Izyk: Ice goaltender in 2011-12. He dressed for a couple of games in 2010-11, but did not play, and then joined the team full-time the following year, teaming with Jon Gillies in net. A native of Oswego, N.Y., he is 18. 
January 24
Benoit Cassan: Ice defenseman for eight games in 1999-2000. He had two goals for the Ice. He also played briefly with Macon and Memphis in the CHL that season, his lone pro season. A native of Gloucester, Ont., he is 34. 
Qamil "Charlie" Elezi: Ice winger for 61 games from 2000-02, playing three games in 2000-01, and 58 the following year. He had four goals, six assists and 223 PIMs with the Ice. He began playing professionally in 1998 with CHL Oklahoma City, then played four more years -- three in the UHL, one with OKC -- before retiring in 2006. A native of Warren, Mich., he is 35. 
Joel Whited: Ice forward for five games in 2006-07. He played most of that year -- and all of the following year -- in the Tier II NAHL, then played at Div. III Wisconsin-Stout. He is one of a handful of Hoosiers to suit up for a local hockey team. A native of Indianapolis, he is 25.