The Indiana Ice are the hottest team in America right now, with seven straight victories and 11 games without a regulation loss.
Tonight, they go to face the team where the regulation streak started, facing the Dubuque Fighting Saints -- this time in Dubuque.
The 11-game streak began when the Ice swept two games from Dubuque, the defending Clark Cup champs who are in third place in the Eastern Conference, five points back of the Ice. Indiana is fresh off a 4-2 victory at Chicago in which Robert Polosello (six) and Sean Kuraly (seven) extended scoring streaks, and Polosello tallied his seventh and eighth goals of the season, and Kuraly his 19th. Newcomer Kirill Lebedev scored in his first game as an Iceman.
While the Ice have a high-powered offense with 20-goal scorer Daniil Tarasov and 19-goal scorer Kuraly, Dubuque is led by one of the USHL's most dynamic players in Zemgus Girgensons, who has 27 points in 25 games. We also will see old friend Cody Bradley, who has flourished in Dubuque with 10 points in 13 games.
This is the last game before a three-game, three-city weekend that will see the Ice play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Muskegon and Green Bay next week.
Indiana Ice (21-7-4)
Dubuque Fighting Saints (19-10-3)
8:05 p.m., Mystique Community Ice Center, Dubuque, Iowa
Season series: Ice lead 2-0
Dec. 10: Ice 3, Dubuque 2 (at Pepsi Coliseum): Sean Kuraly 3G, Daniil Tarasov & Robbie Baillargeon 2A, Jon Gillies 41sv (Ice); Mike Matheson, Ryan Siro G, Gabe Antoni 17sv (Dub).
Dec. 9: Ice 6, Dubuque 1 (at Pepsi Coliseum): Jacob Fallon 3A,
Christian Hilbrich 2G, Robbie Baillargeon, Daniil Tarasov, Ryan Cole
G/A each. Jon Gillies 26sv (Ice); Teddy Doherty G (Dub)
Tale of the Tape
Ice (21-7-4, 2nd USHL East)
Head coach: Kyle Wallack
GF: 116 (t2nd). GA: 84 (t2nd)
PP: 30.4% (1st). PK: 87.26 % (2nd) PIM: 553 (10th)
OT record: 3-2 SO record: 1-2
Road record: 10-2-3
Leading scorers: Daniil Tarasov (20-22-42), Sean Kuraly (19-14-33), Robbie Baillargeon (11-19-30), Jacob Fallon (9-21-30).
Leading +/-: Daniil Tarasov (+19), Alex Barron (+19), Ryan Obuchowski (+17)
Leading PIM: Woody Hudson (73), Daniil Tarasov (59), R.J. Boyd (53)
Leading goaltender: Jon Gillies (19-5-4, 2.28 GAA, .928sv%, 2 SHO), Dalton Izyk (2-2-0, 3.43 GAA, .888 sv%)
Last 5: 5-0-0. Last 10: 8-0-2
1/20: at Chicago (W 4-2)
1/13: vs. USA U18 (W 4-3)
1/7: vs. Youngstown (W 4-1)
1/6: at Waterloo (W 3-2)
12/31: vs. Youngstown (W 3-0)
Fighting Saints (19-10-3, 3rd USHL East)
Head coach: Jim Montgomery
GF: 98 (11th). GA: 84 (t2nd)
PP: 19.1% (8th). PK: 87.32% (1st). PIM: 495 (4th)
OT record: 1-2 SO record: 2-1
Home record: 10-2-2
Leading scorers: Zemgus Girgensons (9-11-20), Shane Sooth (3-17-20), Tyler Lundey (10-13-23), T.J. Moor (7-16-23)
Leading +/-: Matthew Caito (+11), Jake Downing (+7)
Leading PIM: Matt Youso (68), Mike Matheson (42), Michael Downing (42)
Leading goaltender: Matt Morris (8-4-2, 2.13 GAA, .913 sv%)
Last 5: 2-2-1. Last 10: 5-3-2
Ice next 5 games
12/21: at Dubuque
12/27: vs. Chicago (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
12/28: at Muskegon
12/29: at Green Bay
2/3: at Green Bay