Sunday, February 5, 2012

Two-point weekend: Ice fall in Dubuque

The Indiana Ice completed a pivotal weekend against two of the Eastern Conference's other frontrunners with two points -- beating first-place Green Bay in overtime on Friday, but they fell to the Dubuque Fighting Saints on the road tonight.

The teams have split four games, with the home team winning each this season.

The Ice lost 6-1 to the Fighting Saints. as Dubuque scored five times in the second period to put the game away quickly.

Six different Fighting Saints scored goals -- Jono Davis, T.J. Moor, Ty Lundey and Max Gardiner each had a goal and an assist.

Zemgus Girgensons -- the Dubuque star and one of the league's most dynamic players -- scored on a beautiful play with 4:50 left in the first, but the game was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes as Robert Polosello scored on assists from linemates Jacob Fallon and Christian Hilbrich just 59 seconds later.

The Ice were outshot 14-6 in the opening period, but things stayed tied.

They wouldn't be for long -- Davis and Eric Freschi scored 1:48 apart in the second period to give Dubuque a 3-1 lead in the first five minutes of the middle frame. That chased Ice starter Jon Gillies. But backup Dalton Izyk would fare no better -- Moor, Lundey and Gardiner scored in the span of 11:19 on three of the 11 shots aimed at Izyk, and Gillies returned to the nets to close out the game.

By then, the Ice trailed 6-1. There would be no further scoring, as the Ice were outshot 34-15 in the first two periods, and 43-22 for the game.

Dubuque was 1-for-6 on the power play. The Ice were 0-for-3.

The Fighting Saints' victory, coupled with Youngstown's victory tonight, allowed both teams to pull within two points of the Ice. Indy is now 23-10-5 with 51 points -- nine back of Anderson Cup leader Green Bay. But Dubuque has 49 points, as does Youngstown.

The Ice will briefly return to friendly confines next weekend, hosting Chicago at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Pack The House Night on Friday. The Muskegon Lumberjacks visit the Pepsi Coliseum on Saturday night. After that, the Ice will play seven straight road games.

3 stars
1. Max Gardiner (Dub)
2. T.J. Moor (Dub)
3. Eric Freschi (Dub)

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