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

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