The Indiana Ice begin the second half of the season tonight, and they do it in a game that's always a treat for fans, as the USNDTP U18 team comes to town.
The Ice are the hottest team in the league with an 8-0-2 streak currently on the line, but the U18 team provides a good measuring stick, as it features several of the nation's top-rated draft-eligible players, including defenseman Jacob Trouba, who is projected as a top-5 pick this summer and participated on the U20 World Junior Championships team earlier this year.
Trouba (9th), Stefan Matteau (13th -- but will not dress due to suspension), Brady Skjei (18th), Nicholas Kerdiles (27th), Patrick Sieloff (34th) and Thomas DiPauli (72nd) in the Central Scouting Service Top 100 North American skaters. Goaltender Collin Olson is rated ninth among North American goalies -- Ice netminder Jon Gillies is ranked fourth.
Tonight is also the first game the Ice will be able to see Jose Delgadillo in the lineup. He was traded from Sioux Falls earlier this week in exchange for Alexander Kuqali.
This is the Ice's lone game this weekend.
Team USA (11-10-3)
Indiana Ice (19-7-4)
7:05 p.m., Pepsi Coliseum, Indianapolis, Ind.
Season series: Ice lead 3-0
Oct. 14: Ice 4, USA U17 1 (at Pepsi Coliseum): Daniil Tarasov 2G/A, Sean Kuraly 3A, Jacob Fallon G/A, Alex Barron 2A, Jon Gillies 19sv (Ice); Luke Voltin G, Jacob Frye 21sv (USA)
Oct. 8: Ice 7, USA U17 4 (at Ann Arbor Ice Cube): Alex Barron G/2A, Sean Kuraly G/A, Robert Polosello G/A, Robert Gawron G/A, Dalton Izyk 24sv (Ice); Hudson Fasching G/A, Luke Voltin 2A; Will Butcher 2A.
Oct. 7: Ice 5, USA U17 3 (at Ann Arbor Ice Cube): Robert Polosello 2G, Cody Bradley G/A, Sean Kuraly G/A, Daniil Tarasov 2A; Jon Gillies 27sv (Ice); Tyler Kelleher G/A, Hunter Miska 22sv (USA)
Tale of the Tape
Ice (19-7-4, 2nd USHL East)
Head coach: Kyle Wallack
GF: 108 (2nd). GA: 79 (2nd)
PP: 30.2% (1st). PK: 87.1 % (2nd) PIM: 531 (13th)
OT record: 3-2 SO record: 1-2
Home record: 10-5-1
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (18-22-40), Sean Kuraly (18-13-31), Jacob Fallon (9-20-29), Robbie Baillargeon (11-16-27).
Leading +/-: Daniil Tarasov (+16), Alex Barron (+16), Ryan Obuchowski (+14)
Leading PIM: Woody Hudson (71), Daniil Tarasov (57), R.J. Boyd (53)
Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (17-5-4, 2.26 GAA, .928sv%, 2 SHO), Dalton Izyk (2-2-0, 3.43 GAA, .888 sv%)
Last 5: 5-0-1. Last 10: 8-0-2
1/7: vs. Youngstown (W 4-1)
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)
Team USA (11-10-3, 7th USHL East)
Head coach: Danton Cole (U18)
U18 record: 5-4-1
GF: 79 (14th). GA: 81 (6th) (U18: 29GF, 26GA)
PP: 16.1% (9th). PK: 76.6% (16th). PIM: 489 (10th)
OT record: 0-1 SO record: 1-2
Road record: 5-2-2 (U18: 3-0-1)
Leading scorers (U18- 10 games): Thomas DiPauli (3-5-8), Kyle Osterberg (2-4-6), Brady Skjei (1-5-6)
Leading +/-: Frankie Vatrano (+9), Thomas DiPauli (+7)
Leading PIM: Stefan Matteau (57), Ryan Hartman (24), Connor Carrick (24)
Leading goaltender: Collin Olson (3-3-0, 1.86 GAA, .917 sv%, 1 SHO); Jared Rutledge (2-1-1, 3.14 GAA, .813sv%)
U18 Last 5: 3-1-1. Last 10: 5-4-1
Ice next 5 games
1/20: at Chicago
1/21: at Dubuque
1/27: vs. Chicago (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
1/28: at Muskegon
1/29: at Green Bay