The Indiana Ice return to action Saturday night with their third game against the Youngstown Phantoms in Indianapolis in an eight-day span.
The Ice come in on a roll, posting a 7-0-2 mark in the last nine games, and a win would allow them to get four points clear of the Phantoms, who have been equally-hot except for two losses to the Ice last week.
The Ice beat Waterloo on the road on Friday despite playing without Jacob Fallon, Sean Kuraly & Jon Gillies, who were all scratched from the lineup. Dalton Izyk made 27 saves in goal for the Ice in his first start since Nov. 25, and if Gillies is again unavailable, will likely get the call again tonight.
Youngstown has also been hot, but its streak was stunted by the Ice last week. The Phantoms have picked up since with back-to-back victories over Muskegon, 4-3 on Thursday (SO) and 7-3 on Friday. Tonight will be Youngstown's third game in as many nights. Austin Cangelosi had 2 goals in the shootout win. Stephen Collins and Dylan Margonari had three-point games in the 7-3 victory. Matthew O'Connor played both games in goal, but with this being such a key contest for positioning in the division, expect him to get the call again.
Youngstown Phantoms (18-8-2)
Indiana Ice (18-7-4)
7:05 p.m., Pepsi Coliseum, Indianapolis, Ind.
Season series: Ice lead 2-1
Dec. 31: Ice 3, Phantoms 0 (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse): John Doherty, Robert Polosello G, Sean Kuraly G/A, Robbie Baillargeon 2A, Jon Gillies 26 sv, shutout (Ice); Matthew O'Connor 29 sv (Phantoms).
Dec. 30: Ice 5, Phantoms 2 (at Pepsi Coliseum): Daniil Tarasov 2G, Alexander Kuqali 2A, Sean Kuraly/John Doherty/Justin Bailey G, Jon Gillies 25 sv (Ice). J.T. Stenglein, Dylan Margonari G. Matthew O'Connor 10 sv, 4 GA/Sean Romeo 13sv, 0 GA (Phantoms)
Nov. 5: Phantoms 4, Ice 3, SO (at Youngstown): Robbie
Baillargeon 2G, Ian Spencer G, Jon Gillies 23 sv (Ice); Alex
Gacek/Dylan Margoneri/Ryan Belonger G, J.T. Stenglein 2A, Matthew
O'Connor 36 sv (Phantoms)
Tale of the Tape
Ice (18-7-4, 2nd USHL East) Head coach: Kyle Wallack
GF: 104 (2nd). GA: 78 (t4th)
PP: 29.8% (1st). PK: 86.8 % (2nd) PIM: 523 (14th)
OT record: 3-2 SO record: 1-2
Home record: 9-5-1
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (17-22-39), Sean Kuraly (18-13-31), Jacob Fallon (9-19-28), Robbie Baillargeon (11-16-27).
Leading +/-: Daniil Tarasov (+17), Alex Barron (+15), Ryan Obuchowski (+14)
Leading PIM: Woody Hudson (69), Daniil Tarasov (55), R.J. Boyd (53)
Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (16-5-4, 2.32 GAA, .926sv%, 2 SHO), Dalton Izyk (2-2-0, 3.43 GAA, .888 sv%)
Last 5: 4-0-1. Last 10: 7-1-2
1/6: at Waterloo (W 3-2)
12/31: vs. Youngstown (W 3-0)
12/30: vs. Youngstown (W 5-2)
12/28: at Muskegon (OTW 3-2)
12/18: at Muskegon (OTL 2-3)
Phantoms (18-8-2, 2nd USHL East)
Head coach: Anthony Noreen
GF: 96 (4th). GA: 80 (6th)
PP: 12.9% (15th). PK: 83.5% (6th). PIM: 499 (11th)
OT record: 2-0 SO record: 2-2
Road record: 7-6-1
Leading scorers: Mike Ambrosia (9-20-29), Austin Cangelosi (13-13-26), J.T. Stenglein (15-7-22),
Ryan Belonger (10-11-21),
Leading +/-: Austin Cangelosi (+16), Michael Gunn (+15)
Leading PIM: Pat Conte (66), Michael Gunn (50)
Leading goaltender: Matthew O'Connor (15-6-2, 2.51 GAA, .914sv%, 1SHO), Sean Romeo (3-2-0, 3.61 GAA, .876 sv%)
Last 5: 2-2-1. Last 10: 6-3-1
Ice next 5 games
1/13: vs. USNDTP U181/20: at Chicago
1/21: at Dubuque
1/27: vs. Chicago (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
1/28: at Muskegon