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.
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.
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.