Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 30

To close out April, we have the 1990 Ice staging a futile rally, who would win the next seven games to win a title. The 1982 and 1983 Checkers post championship-series wins, and the Racers get a shutout from Paul Hoganson in 1977. Also, birthday celebrations for former Racer Charles Constantin, Checker Dave Parro, IHL Ice Geoff Peters, and USHL Ice player Viktor
Shakhvorostov and coach Jeff Brown.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Primer: The ECHL

With the Indy Fuel set to join the ECHL next season, let's take a look at the league as a whole.

The ECHL started in 1988 as the East Coast Hockey League, and emerged as the top "AA" league, feeding players to the American Hockey League and the now-defunct International Hockey League. After the old West Coast Hockey League dissolved in 2003, the ECHL took on several franchises and simply changed its name to the acronym ECHL -- the letters no longer stand for anything.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 29

Today's edition sees Red Laurence score with one second left in overtime to give the Checkers a pivotal win in the 1983 Adams Cup Final, the 1996 Ice season coming to a close, and the 1976 Racers leaving the ice to a standing ovation despite a 6-0 loss. Also, birthdays to former Racer Dean Magee, former Checker 40-goal scorer George Servinis, and former Ice goaltender Marc D'Amour.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Indy hockey links 4/28

A potpourri of links & stories about items of interest to Indianapolis and Central Indiana hockey fans.

Ice official release: Ice one win from Clark Cup Finals

Official weekly press release from the Indiana Ice staff, previewing the remainder of the USHL Eastern Conference Final between the Ice and Dubuque Fighting Saints.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 28

Today's edition sees the 2009 Ice clinch a Clark Cup Final spot, the 1998 Ice season end with a Game 5 playoff loss, and the 1977 Racers dropping an overtime game despite two goals each from Reggie Thomas and Gene Peacosh. Several birthdays, including former Chiefs George Hayes, Joe Connors, a member of the short-lived Capitols team (and future NHL player) Howie Menard, former Checkers Frank "Seldom" Beaton and Garnet McKechney, and former Ice Colin Pepperall.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fuel have spectacular digs for fall opening

The Indy Fuel hosted their select-a-seat event for season ticketholders, as well as a public open house to show off the newly-renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum this afternoon.

The folks who came saw a spectacular venue.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 27

Today's post has Max Cook scoring a critical go-ahead goal for the Ice in 2009 as they take a lead in their semifinal series, Ken Boone scoring the game-winner in the 2000 Miron Cup Final opener, Marc Lamothe posting a shutout and Craig Mills scoring in 2OT to give the Ice their final win as an IHL club in 1999, Red Laurence scoring the final goal in the 21-year history of the old Central Hockey League in 1984, and the Racers scoring four second-period goals to stay alive in 1976. Wish happy birthdays to George Harrison, John Blessman, Yves Heroux, Kent Paynter, Jamie Carroll and Robert Polesello.   

Fuel hosting open house at Coliseum Sunday

The Indy Fuel will host an open house at the newly-renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

The event will be held in two parts -- the first will be an open house and select-a-seat event for season ticketholders, who have been contacted and given times. The second part will be open to the public from 3-5 p.m. The merchandise store, dubbed "The Garage" will be up and running during the event, and fans will get a peek at the new Coliseum, which has undergone an extensive renovation into a virtually new, modern arena since summer 2012. The Coliseum officially opened last week, and will be the Indiana State Fairgrounds' concert venue. The Fuel will open the 2014-15 ECHL season at the Coliseum in October.

Late lineup addition helps lead Ice to 2-0 series lead

Sam Kurker made the most of an opportunity Saturday night in Game 2 of the USHL Eastern Conference Final. Originally listed as a scratch, Kurker was a game-time addition to the lineup. It paid off for the Indiana Ice, as the St. Louis Blues prospect potted two goals -- including the third-period game-winner -- in a 3-2 victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 26

Today sees Todd White scoring an OT goal in 1998, Brad Lauer and Dave Roche team up to end a great Ice season in 1997 in double OT, the 1990 Ice continue their title march behind a GWG from Mike Eagles, and the 1985 Checkers finish their inaugural IHL season. Also, a number of birthdays -- former Capitals Sandy Ross, Cecil Dillon, Red Almas and George Blake, ex-Chief Ed Calhoun, former Checker Pat Ribble, former IHL Ice Shane Doyle and ex-USHL Ice Joshua Shellman.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Special teams, 3rd period carry Ice to G1 win

Special teams play and a dominant third period for the Indiana Ice led them to a 4-1 victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints Friday night in Game 1 of the USHL Eastern Conference Finals.

Scott Conway scored the game-winning goal on the power play late in the second period. Brian Pinho added a goal and an assist for the Ice, who had four different goal-scorers. The Ice were 2-3 on the power play, killed both penalties they faced, and controlled play as the game went on.

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is Saturday at Pan Am Pavilion.

Ice, Saints open 2nd round series tonight

The Indiana Ice & Dubuque Fighting Saints open their USHL Eastern Conference Final series tonight. The best-of-5 series will feature games at Pan Am Pavilion on Friday and Saturday, with the puck dropping at 7:05 p.m. The series shifts to Dubuque next weekend for Friday and Saturday games. If necessary, Game 5 will be at Pan Am Pavilion on May 6.

Official Ice team preview
Indy Hockey series preview
USHL conference finals preview

NOTE: Parking is EXTREMELY LIMITED for both of this weekend's games due to the National Rifle Association convention going on across the street at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, which is expected to have attendances numbering 70,000. The $5 parking vouchers will be available for the Pan Am Garage, but access to the garage is NOT GUARANTEED due to the heavy volume of guests and the Pan Am garage's proximity to the convention site. There are other parking options in the area, but it is likely that they will be charging high event rates. Arrive early. Parking map.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 25

The Ice become the first -- and as of 2014, only -- road team to win a game in Dubuque in 2012, Brad Lauer's two goals can't prevent an Ice loss in 1993, the Checkers close an era in 1987, and the Racers' Reggie Thomas has a three-point night in 1977. Rick Barkovich and Dominic Panetta celebrate birthdays.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Players/coaches with Indy ties in the playoffs

As the playoffs begin, here is an update on players with Central Indiana ties -- either former Indianapolis players/coaches or those who were born and/or raised in Central Indiana -- who are participating in various professional league postseasons.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 24

Today's entry sees the Indianapolis Ice win an epic 1-0 game to oust Cincinnati in 1999, Jim Malwitz and Neal Coulter score two goals each to lift the Checkers to a playoff win in 1985, the Checkers completing a sweep of Wichita in 1982, and Jim Park posting a playoff shutout in 1976. Also, birthday celebrations for Joe West, Doug Weiss, Craig Channell, Jeff Jackson, Frederic Barbeau, Drew Smolcynski and the late Thain Simon and Jack Douglas.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Indiana Ice weekly release

From the Indiana Ice PR staff, the official team release previewing this weekend's games & the second-round series vs. Dubuque.

Our preview of the Ice-Fighting Saints series can be found here.

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE                                            SERIES TIED 0-0
Friday, April 25                                                    DUBUQUE (PAN AM PAVILION)                  7:05 pm
Saturday, April 26                                               DUBUQUE (PAN AM PAVILION)                  7:05 pm
Friday, May 2                                                      at Dubuque                                                           8:35 pm
Saturday, May 3*                                               at Dubuque                                                           8:05 pm
Tuesday, May 6*                                                DUBUQUE (PAN AM PAVILION)                  7:05 pm
*If necessary


Ice advise limited parking this weekend

The Indiana Ice have advised fans that parking at the garages adjacent to Pan Am Pavilion will be limited this weekend due to the National Rifle Association national convention taking place across the street at the Indiana Convention Center.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 23

In today's look back at history, Brett Bennett leads the Ice to a key Game 1 win over Green Bay in 2009, John Kemp caps an Ice sweep over the Gamblers with two third-period goals in 2007, Nathan Perrott scores an OT goal to keep the Ice season alive in 1999, the Checkers play the final CHL game at the Coliseum, and the Racers suffer two playoff defeats.  Also, birthday celebrations for former Indianapolis Ice coach Ken McRae, and four players who saw a handful of games in Indy -- Dale Smedsmo, Patrick Poulin, Greg Smyth and Jim Stewart.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 22

Today's entry sees Tony Horacek scoring two goals to lead the Ice to a series win in 1993, the last-ever win for the Indianapolis Checkers in 1987, the first step in a best-of-9 championship series win for the Checkers in 1983, and another big playoff victory for the 1982 champs. Birthday recognition for five players: Jack Hewson, Mike Barron, Marc Dupuis, Jason Carriere and Tyler Andrew.

Monday, April 21, 2014

On to the next round: Ice vs. Fighting Saints preview

It's on to the next round for the top-seeded Indiana Ice, who meet up with the third-seeded Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL Eastern Conference Final. Both teams won their opening-round best-of-5 series in four games -- the Ice beating fourth-seeded Green Bay behind three shutouts from goaltenders Hayden Stewart and Jason Pawloski, and the Fighting Saints upending second-seeded Cedar Rapids.

The schedule is as follows -- as has been the norm, stacked with weekend games (all times EDT):
Friday, April 25: at Pan Am Pavilion, Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 26: at Pan Am Pavilion, Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, May 2: at Mystique Ice Center, Dubuque, 8:35 p.m.
Saturday, May 3: at Mystique Ice Center, Dubuque, 8:05 p.m. (if necessary)
Tuesday, May 6: at Pan Am Pavilion, Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)

Series preview follows after the jump.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 21

April 21 in Indianapolis hockey history. Daniil Tarasov tallies a 5-point night in a big playoff win in 2012, John Kemp has four assists in a 2007 postseason victory, an epic playoff series goes the wrong way for the Ice in 1991, and a Brass Bonanza reference.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Indy hockey-related links

A few potpourri items for the week: Looking back at the Ice-Green Bay series, a few Jeff Blashill Coach of the Year links, and items on Torey Krug & Paul Carey, two Ice alumni competing for the Stanley Cup; and another Ice alum scores his first pro goal.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 20

April 20 in Indianapolis hockey history
A lot of playoff updates, with Christian Hilbrich getting the Ice off on the right foot in 2011, Eric Kattelus scoring in OT in 2007, Jim Waite blanking Detroit in 1996, Dominik Hasek standing on his head in Fort Wayne in 1991, Darren Pang clinching a series against Peoria in 1990, Bob Lakso scoring a key goal in 1985 and the Checkers beating Andy Moog seven times in 1982, as well as four birthdays. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: April 19

April 19 in Indianapolis hockey history
Jim Waite has 26 saves in an epic victory, Fred Creighton replaces his coach with himself mid-series, the last championship series in the old CHL begins on Indy ice, and Red Laurence has a five-point game. Also, happy birthday to Ken Leiter, Lynn Powis and Darwin McCutcheon. 

Ice shut out way to series win

Stop us if you've read this before. Denis Smirnov scored a first-period goal, Matt Roy assisted on it, Jason Pawloski and the Indiana Ice defense made it stand up, and the Ice won 1-0 in Green Bay.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smirnov, Pawloski lead Ice to 1-0 Game 3 win

Denis Smirnov and Jason Pawloski led the Ice to a 1-0 victory in Game 3 of their best-of-5 Eastern Conference semifinal series, and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Smirnov scored in the second period and Pawloski made it stand up -- only being called on to stop 12 shots in his first playoff start.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 17

In today's edition, we have the Racers' first playoff win, several Checkers entries, and visits by the Indianapolis and Indiana Ice, as well as birthdays for Marty Wilford, Jimmy Mann, Bill Dowd and the late Herb Lewis.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ice-Gamblers mid-series update

Official Indiana Ice team release


News update: Blashill coach named AHL Coach of the Year

Former Indiana Ice coach Jeff Blashill was named the American Hockey League's Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Jeff Blashill
Blashill is the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, and has his team two points away from a division title. Grand Rapids is the top affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, where Blashill had previously served as an assistant coach.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 15

April 15 in Indianapolis hockey history
2011: The Ice sweep the Waterloo Black Hawks in a best-of-3 series, winning 6-3 at the Coliseum. Sean Kuraly and Alex Barron score 1:36 apart late in the first, and Blake Coleman and David Johnstone both scored PPGs 1:16 apart in the second. Daniil Tarasov (G, 2A) and Brian Ferlin (3A) each had three-point games, and Casey DeSmith made 27 saves.
1991: Brian Noonan scores with 18 seconds left in regulation to give the Ice a 2-1 win and a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. Sean Williams - who tied the game at 6:32 of the period - and Mike Peluso assisted on the goal.
1981: An epic playoff series between the Checkers and Wichita Wind needs overtime. However, Ron Roulston spoils the party at Market Square Arena, scoring at 14:42 of OT to complete a hat trick and send the Checkers to a 6-5 defeat in the deciding fifth game of the series. Monty Trottier had two goals and an assist, Charlie Skjodt three assists for the Checkers.

Happy birthday to ... 
Sergei Krivokrasov: A perennial Iceman, Krivokrasov was the 12th overall pick in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, and immediately had a stellar rookie year, with 36 goals, 69 points and 157 PIMs for the Ice in 1992-93. He played 169 games for the Ice from 1992-96, with 71 goals, 79 assists and 374 PIMs. He split time between Indianapolis and Chicago throughout his Ice tenure, but stuck in the NHL in 1996-97. Krivo played 450 NHL games, with 86 goals and 195 points for Chicago, Nashville, Calgary, Minnesota and Anaheim through 2002, playing in the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, and won the silver medal with Russia in the 1998 Winter Olympics. He played six more seasons in Russia before retiring in 2008 and settling in Denver. A native of Angarsk, Russia, he is 40. 
Jim Waite: Another Ice mainstay, Waite is best-known for backstopping the Turner Cup championship team in 1990. He was the eighth overall pick by the Blackhawks in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Waite had a 2.53 GAA in 54 games with the Ice in the Turner Cup year, in which he won the James Norris Trophy as top goaltender. He also had a 3.47 GAA the following season in 49 games, in which he split net time with Hasek and Ray LeBlanc. Waite played briefly in 1991-92 before the Blackhawks dealt him to San Jose. He returned to the Ice in 1994-95 and played three more seasons with the team. His 215 games were the most ever played by an Ice goaltender. He also played 106 NHL games with the Blackhawks, Sharks and Coyotes between 1988-99. Waite played another decade in Germany before retiring in 2010. A native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, he is 45. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 14

April 14 in Indianapolis hockey history
2012: Ice goaltender Jon Gillies is credited with a goal in a 6-3 victory over Des Moines in the Ice's first-ever home game played at the University of Notre Dame. Gillies was the last Ice player to touch the puck before the Buccaneers misfired on a pass that ended up in an empty net. Daniil Tarasov closes out a 47-goal regular season with a goal and an assist.
2011: The Ice open the playoffs with a 4-0 shutout of Waterloo. Casey DeSmith made 38 saves for the shutout. Dan Cesarz,  Brian Ferlin and David Johnstone scored second-period goals and Blake Coleman added a third-period power play goal. Daniil Tarasov had two assists.
2010: The Ice complete a rally from two games down to beat the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders 3-2 in both the game and the series. Anthony Bitetto's unassisted goal at 4:09 of OT vaults the Ice into the next round.  Brian Ferlin and Jacob Fallon staked the Ice to a 2-0 second-period lead, but Cedar Rapids tied the game with 5:08 left in regulation. Casey DeSmith made 37 saves for his third straight win. Ferlin (G, A) and Alex Wideman (2A) had multi-point games. It marked the second straight year the Ice had eliminated Cedar Rapids in a fifth game on the road.
2007: Eric Kattelus scores twice and assists on another goal, and John Kemp adds a goal and two assists as the Ice beat the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets 7-2 to close out the season at the Coliseum. Cody Reichard makes 27 saves for the win.
2000: The Ice open the CHL semifinal series against Oklahoma City with a 3-1 victory, backstopped by a fine performance by Jamie Morris. Yvan Corin scores the game-winner.
1990: The Ice rout Peoria 7-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their IHL division semifinal series. Jim Waite gets the win in net and Bob Bassen tallies the game-winner. 
1984: The Checkers take a 3-2 edge in their first-round series against Colorado, winning 6-5 on Kevin Devine's goal 8:58 into overtime. The Checkers stormed back from a 5-2 deficit in the third, with Red Laurence, Roger Kortko and Monty Trottier scoring in the final period, the latter coming on the power play with 1:34 left. Laurence had two goals in the game. Todd Lumbard stopped 17 shots in relief to get the win.
1977: The Racers take a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round series against Cincinnati, winning 5-3 at Market Square Arena. Brian McDonald scores a shorthanded goal to break a tie at 7:10 of the third, assisted by Nick Harbaruk and goaltender Paul Hoganson. Blair MacDonald adds an insurance goal with seven minutes left to net the hat trick. The McDonald/MacDonald combo scores all five goals.

Happy birthday to ... 
Mark Lomenda: Right wing who played 58 games for the Racers -- all but two in the 1976-77 season. He also played two games the prior year. He had nine goals and 21 assists. His claim to fame is assisting on Gene Peacosh's 3OT goal that ended the longest game in WHA history, as the Racers beat Cincinnati 4-3 in the opening game of the 1977 playoffs. Lomenda played 164 WHA games from 1974-77, with 31 goals and 61 assists. He retired after 1979. A native of Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, he is 60. 
Richard Adolfi: Right wing who played 21 games for the Checkers in 1985-86, shortly after turning professional. He had two goals and two assists with the Checkers, and played three full minor pro seasons, all in the IHL. A native of Rome, NY, he is 49.
Dave Allison: Defenseman who finished his 10-year pro hockey career with the Ice in 1988-89, tallying seven assists and 105 PIMs in 34 games. He played in the AHL & IHL for his entire career, and played three NHL games with Montreal in 1983-84. He was a player-assistant coach for the Ice. and became a head coach the year after in the ECHL, and has had a long coaching career since, including a 22-game NHL stint with the Ottawa Senators in 1995-96. He is currently an assistant with the AHL Chicago Wolves. A native of Fort Frances, Ontario, he is 55.
Lonnie Loach: Remembered primarily for his exploits with the Fort Wayne Komets - especially in ending the Ice's stellar 1990-91 season in the playoffs (a year in which he was the IHL's leading scorer with 131 points) - Loach played three games for the Ice in 1989-90. He spent nearly all of his 16-year professional career in the IHL, playing for Saginaw, Flint, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Phoenix, San Diego, Detroit, San Antonio, Long Beach, Kansas City and Chicago alone in the IHL. He also played for two AHL teams and parts of two seasons in Europe. He played 56 NHL games between 1992-94, playing 50 for the Los Angeles Kings in 1992-93 on a team that went to the Stanley Cup Final. He also played three games each for Ottawa and Anaheim. He finished his career in 2005-06 playing in the UHL for Missouri. A native of New Liskeard, Ontario, he is 46.
Brett Peterson: Forward who played 56 games for the Ice in 2006-07. He had 12 points and 78 PIMs in that stint, before playing two collegiate seasons at Minnesota State-Mankato. A native of Elk River, Minnesota, he is 26. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 13

April 13 in Indianapolis hockey history
1984: The Checkers tie their first-round series against Colorado at two games apiece with a 6-3 victory. Red Laurence, Kevin Devine and Roger Kortko score in the second to give Indy a 3-1 lead. Bob Hess' shorthanded goal at 8:07 of the third ends up the game-winner, as it gave the Checkers a 4-2 edge at the time. After Colorado scores a power play goal to close to one, Garth MacGuigan scores two empty-netters to seal the win. Gerald Diduck assists on three Checkers goals.
1950: In front of 7,727 fans at the Coliseum, the Indianapolis Capitals clinch their second Calder Cup title, sweeping Cleveland with a 3-2 victory. Terry Sawchuk stops 37 shots, Fred Glover scores twice, Pat Lundy adds a goal with a breakaway tally, and Gerry Reid assists on two goals. It marks the first time in AHL history a team sweeps through the playoffs unblemished, as the Caps win all eight postseason contests.

Former Iceman Matt Krug an NCAA champion

Union College's Dutchmen won the NCAA championship with a 7-4 victory over Minnesota in the NCAA Frozen Four final Saturday night.

It was the first national title in men's hockey for Union, a small college in Schenectady, N.Y. which does not offer athletic scholarships.

Former Iceman Matt Krug, a defenseman who played two years in Indy, is a member of the Dutchmen roster and is an NCAA champion.

Furious rally falls short in Game 2 Ice loss

The Indiana Ice had a furious rally, scoring four third-period goals -- including two in the final 1:38 -- but it was unable to come all the way back in an odd 6-5 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers in Game 2 of their USHL Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. The best-of-5 series, now tied at 1-1, heads to Green Bay for Games 3 and 4, which will be Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18.

Aidan Muir and Matt Roy scored goals in the closing seconds with the goalie pulled, and the Ice's Tyler Pham had another doorstep chance as the buzzer sounded, allowing Green Bay to survive.

The Ice dominated the third period, outshooting Green Bay 19-5 in the final 20 minutes. They nearly rallied from two different three-goal deficits. But the Gamblers scored three power play goals -- one of which was an own goal by the Ice on a delayed penalty -- and an empty-netter to seal it.

The Ice had life early in the third, with Matt Roy scoring a power play goal from the high slot at 1:55, and they kept buzzing. Sam Kurker finally solved Rutledge with 8:02 left, as a rebound popped to him at the left side of the net and he put it into an open side, making it a 4-3 game. The Ice continued to pressure the net, but couldn't get the equalizer. Instead, they got a penalty -- a slashing call that came from behind the play that was vocally disputed. Matthew Weis cashed in on a perfect cross-ice feed to make it 5-3, and Ryan Lough scored an empty-netter with 2:12 left to make it a 6-3 game, before the final scramble.

The first goal came out of a netmouth scramble that saw Muir pounce on the puck on a 6-on-4 with 1:22 left. With goaltender Jason Pawloski remaining out of the net for an extra attacker, Roy fired a shot over Rutledge's shoulder from the center point to make it 6-5 with :52 left. The Ice again had a chance at the buzzer, but couldn't get the equalizer.

Green Bay scored two goals off deflections in the opening period. Patrick Newell scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the second to cut what had been a two-goal deficit to one, and the Ice had a good chance to tie with several opportunities on a penalty to the Gamblers' Anthony Walsh. But Gamblers' goaltender Jared Rutledge stood tall, and a minute after the penalty was killed, Green Bay's Nick Schmaltz pounced on a loose puck in the high slot and put a shot just under the crossbar to make it 3-1.

Green Bay took a three-goal lead on an odd sequence. The Ice had a power play when Jordan Gross was called for slashing at 5:50. Just 19 seconds later, the Ice's Jason Salvaggio was whistled for a high sticking penalty in the offensive zone, and Scott Conway was whistled for a slash 17 seconds later, giving the Gamblers a 4-on-3. The Ice killed it brilliantly, and Aidan Muir had a partial breakaway that drew a penalty on Green Bay's Connor Hurley. As Ice goaltender Hayden Stewart came off for an extra attacker, the Ice tried to play the puck back to a point that had been vacated. The puck went straight to the back of the net, giving the Gamblers a 4-1 lead.

Ten takeaways
1. The Gamblers now have home-ice advantage in the series, and the Ice need to win at least one of the two games in Green Bay. If they can win both -- which they did during their regular-season visit to the Resch Center -- they'll advance to the next round. A split would mean a Game 5 on April 21 at Pan Am Pavilion.
2. The key for the Ice? Keep the game 5-on-5. They did so in Game 1, and killed off the two first-period penalties they committed. But both teams' power plays have been potent against each other -- Green Bay was 3-5 on the PP tonight and is 5-11 in the three meetings between the teams the last two weeks. The Ice are a healthy 25% clip at 4-16. But of Green Bay's 10 goals against the Ice in that stretch, three have come 5-on-5 -- in addition to five PPGs, they have an ENG and a 4-on-4 goal. Of the Ice's nine goals in that same stretch, four are 5-on-5. Four come via PP and one was an extra-attacker goal.
3. The Ice are 2-0 in the Resch Center this season.
4. Both goaltenders were used tonight. Hayden Stewart made 11 saves in the first two periods and allowed four goals, but two were deflected on their way in, a third was a perfect shot from the high slot, and the fourth was an own-goal that went in while he was heading to the bench -- all unstoppable. Jason Pawloski saw five shots, stopped four, and again, the one goal was a virtually-unstoppable shot off a cross-ice feed into the open side. Jeff Brown has a pretty good luxury with two solid goaltenders.
5. The Ice's strength and desperation showed in the third period. Follow that template, and it will likely be a happy bus ride home from Green Bay. 6. Sam Kurker had his best period as an Iceman in that third period. The St. Louis Blues' second-round pick in 2011, he factored into all four goals -- scoring once and assisting on the other three.
7. Matt Roy scored four goals in the regular season. He had two in the third period tonight. Again, in the playoffs, matchups are critical, as is depth. Roy and defense partner Mike Preston were both +2 tonight, combined for eight shots and each had two points.
8. The third-period pairing of Jacob Pritchard-Tyler Pham-Sam Kurker was solid, as Jeff Brown made some tweaks to the Ice lines in the final 20 minutes, and found quite a spark offensively.
9. Lots to be confident about after the Ice's third-period performance. Repeat that -- and the Game 1 performance -- and the Ice will have the upper hand next week.
10. Conner Hurley emerged for Green Bay with a four-point night -- two goals and two assists. Nick Schmaltz, who is one of the top players in the USHL, had a goal and two assists. 

Box score game story

Series schedule
April 11: Indiana 2, Green Bay 0
April 12: Green Bay 6, Indiana 5
April 17: at Green Bay, 8:05 p.m.
April 18: at Green Bay, 8:05 p.m.
April 21: at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
Elsewhere in the USHL
In the other Eastern Conference series, Cedar Rapids defeated Dubuque 6-5. The Riders lost a 5-0 lead, but Corey Petrash scored with 53 seconds left to win it for CR. Their series shifts to Dubuque tied 1-1.

In the West, Waterloo took a 2-0 lead on Sioux Falls with a 6-3 victory. Sioux City got a road win in Game 1 of its semifinal series, beating Omaha 5-4 on Avery Peterson's unassisted goal in OT.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 12

April 12 in Indianapolis hockey history
2010: The Ice emphatically tie their first-round series with Cedar Rapids, winning 6-1 at Pan Am Plaza. Max Cook (2G, A), Nic Dowd (G, 2A) and Kevin Goumas (3A) all tally three-point nights. Casey DeSmith makes 41 saves in net. 
2008: John Kemp assists on three goals and both Jake Skjodt and Paul Carey post a goal and two assists as the Ice rout the Chicago Steel 7-2 at the Coliseum to even their first-round playoff series at 1-1. Scott Darling stops 25 shots in net. The joy would be short-lived, as the Steel would win the next two games in Chicago to win the series 3-1. 
2005: The Indiana Ice host their first playoff game, but fall 5-4 to Cedar Rapids when Phil Axtell scores at 4:16 of overtime to clinch a three-game sweep for the Riders. Tomas Klempa scores twice for the Ice as they rally from a three-goal deficit to take a third-period lead. Future Red Wing Justin Abdelkader had two assists, including a helper on the game-tying goal in the third for Cedar Rapids.
2000: An epic - and brutal - series-clinching 7-0 win for the Ice over Tulsa at the Coliseum. Jamie Morris posts the shutout in his first playoff start in the winner-take-all Game 5. But the Ice get rolling quickly and build an insurmountable lead. In the third period, everything breaks loose as the Ice and Oilers combine for a CHL playoff record 312 penalty minutes - nearly all in the final period. The Ice's Mike Berger scores two goals against his former team.
1994: Sergei Krivokrasov tallies a goal and three assists to help the Ice beat Milwaukee 5-2 and close the season with a 28-46-7 record. Shawn Byram had two assists. Karl Dykhuis and Rob Cimetta also had two-point nights. Chris Rogles had to make 43 saves in net.
1991: Martin Desjardins scores at 12:22 of overtime, unassisted, to give the Ice a 1-0 lead over Fort Wayne in the playoffs. He also scored the game-tying goal late in the second. Brian Noonan also scored for the Ice, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit and used a 37-save performance by Jim Waite.
1986: Mike Zanier posts a solid game in net and Paul Skjodt scores the shootout winner as the Checkers win 2-1 in Kalamazoo, helping them clinch an IHL playoff spot. 
1977: The Racers take a 2-0 lead over the Cincinnati Stingers in the first-round playoff series, winning 7-2 at Riverfront Coliseum. Reggie Thomas and Mark Lomenda score 43 seconds apart in the first period. Rene LeClerc, Nick Harbaruk and Michel Parizeau all score in the second to give the Racers a 5-0 edge. Thomas would finish the night with two goals and an assist. Michel Dion stops 30 shots.

Happy birthday to ... 
Al Dewsbury: A big, imposing, 6-2, 205-pound defenseman who played parts of four seasons with the Capitals from 1946-50 -- splitting time with the Detroit Red Wings in each of those years. He played 159 games in the Circle City, with 29 goals and 56 assists (and 2-7-9 in 10 playoff games). In his final season with the Caps, he had 15 goals, 22 assists and 76 PIMs in 50 games from the blueline. He also had seven points in the playoffs that season as the Caps swept their way to the Calder Cup -- and then played four playoff games with the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. He was dealt to Chicago after the 1949-50 season, and played six more full seasons in the NHL with the Blackhawks. He had 30 goals, 78 assists and 365 PIMs in 378 NHL games. A native of Goderich, Ontario, he was born in 1926. He passed away in 2006.
Dave Hanson: Member of the Checkers from 1982-84 -- playing a full 80-game season during the 1982-83 Adams Cup year, and one more game the following season. He had 18 goals, 21 assists and 285 PIMs in the blue-and-orange. He also had a goal and three assists in the 1983 playoff run.  The latter isn't shocking if one looks at the name -- Dave is one of the three hockey-playing "Hanson Brothers" from the movie Slap Shot! (but the only one whose given name was Hanson), and his career actually did begin in Johnstown, PA with a team in the then-pro NAHL in 1974. No word on whether he actually put the foil on for the Checkers, but he played 136 NHL/WHA games, with the Minnesota Fighting Saints, New England Whalers, Birmingham Bulls and Minnesota North Stars, tallying 562 PIMs in those games. He retired from playing hockey after the 1983-84 season. A native of Cumberland, Wisconsin, he is 60.
Dan Miele: Played 55 games for the Checkers in 1985-86, the last of his five pro seasons. He had five goals and 11 assists. A native of LaSalle, Quebec, he is 52.
Torey Krug: Captain of the Ice in 2008-09, Krug had 10 goals and 37 assists in 59 games that season. He also had a goal and six assists in 13 postseason games -- the goal being one of the biggest in franchise history. He scored the third-period game-winner in Game 5 against Cedar Rapids that sent the Ice into the next round. The Ice went on to win the Clark Cup that season. Krug had 83 points in three seasons at Michigan State University before signing a free-agent deal with the Boston Bruins in 2012. He emerged as a mainstay with the Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, with four goals and two assists in the postseason run as the Bruins got to the finals. A native of Livonia, Michigan, he is 23.
Austin Ortega: Forward who scored 24 goals and assisted on 18 for the Ice over 44 games in 2012-13. He finished the season with Fargo, and was nearly a point-a-game player as the Force got to the Clark Cup Finals. Ortega recently completed his freshman season at Nebraska-Omaha, with 19 points in 35 games. A native of Escondido, California, he is 20. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Former Iceman Brian Ferlin signs with Bruins

Former Indiana Ice forward Brian Ferlin signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on Friday.

The Bruins drafted Ferlin in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Ferlin led Cornell with 13 goals and 27 points this season as a junior. He had 31 goals, 72 points and a +25 rating over 92 games at Cornell.

Ferlin announced the news on Twitter, saying "With an amazing opportunity at hand, I have decided to sign with @NHLBruins. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me throughout my career. I especially would like to thank Coach Schafer and Cornell University for giving me an unbelievable three years that I will cherish for the rest of my life."

Ferlin played for the Ice between 2009-11, tallying 25 goals and 73 points in the 2010-11season.

He is a native of Jacksonville, Fla.

Ferlin is the fourth former Iceman to sign an NHL entry-level deal this spring, joining Nic Dowd (Los Angeles), Kevin Goumas (Philadelphia) and Adam Erne (Tampa Bay). He'll join Torey Krug as the second former Iceman in the Bruins organization.

Florida Times-Union

Newell's stick, Stewart's saves lead Ice to Game 1 win

Patrick Newell scored two goals, and Hayden Stewart had a 22-save shutout as the Indiana Ice won Game 1 of their USHL Eastern Conference semifinal series over the Green Bay Gamblers by a 2-0 score.

Both of Newell's goals came from right in front of the net on Green Bay goaltender Jared Rutledge, in a second period dominated by the Ice.

Stewart was solid much of the night -- as was an Ice defense that allowed few scoring chances, especially in the opening two periods -- and spectacular when needed.

The two teams felt each other out through a scoreless first, in which Green Bay outshot the Ice 7-6. The Ice seized momentum after killing off their second penalty of the night early in the second. Within a minute of Josh Jacobs coming out of the box, Scott Conway put a pass from the corner onto Newell's tape, and Newell buried the shot at 7:24 of the second. The Ice continued to press the momentum and controlled play for much of the rest of the second period, drawing another Green Bay penalty on Anthony Walsh. Again, the power play came up empty, but the Ice scored in the ensuing minute. This time, Alex Talcott was able to feed Newell -- who had come off the bench for a chance. Newell had a hair of room to get the puck between Rutledge and the post he was trying to seal off, and managed to squeeze it into that small area.

Conway and Dwyer Tschantz had the assists on the first goal. Talcott and Tyler Pham had the assists on the second.

Green Bay had the better of the chances in the third, but Stewart was strong -- stopping a couple of heavily-screened point shots -- and impressive. Danny Tironese had a shorthanded breakaway from center ice early in the period, but Stewart stayed with him and was able to make a left pad save to deny the threat.

3 stars
3. Alex Talcott (Ice), assist on Newell's second goal
2. Patrick Newell (Ice), 2 goals
1. Hayden Stewart (Ice), 22 saves, shutout

Boxscore game story

Nine takeaways
1. The Ice are happy to turn fortunes -- the road team won all four regular-season meetings.
2. Indiana University men's basketball coach Tom Crean was in attendance and spoke to the Ice team after the game.
3. Stewart returned to his midseason form, getting the start after allowing four goals to Green Bay a week ago. This time, he shut the door. Stewart has allowed more than two goals only twice since joining the Ice, and had four regular-season shutouts. Stewart and running mate Jason Pawloski - the reigning USHL Goaltender of the Week - have combined for eight. Coach Jeff Brown has two very solid options in net this playoff year.
4. Stewart's shutout was the first playoff shutout for an Ice goaltender since Casey DeSmith blanked Waterloo on April 14, 2011 -- the first game of that run.
5. The Ice and Gamblers are no strangers to each other in the playoffs. This is their sixth meeting in the last seven years. The Ice won the 2009 series en route to the Clark Cup.
6. It's always interesting to see who steps up in the postseason. Newell was second on the team with 30 assists, mostly in setting up linemates Scott Conway and Dwyer Tschantz.
7. Aidan Muir likely had the best scoring chance that didn't go, a partial breakaway midway through the third that went wide.
8. Denis Smirnov returned to action after missing the last 11 games of the regular season due to injury. He skated on a line with Tyler Pham and Sam Kurker, and tied Newell with a team-high three shots.
9. Austin Kosack led the USHL in +/- with a +40 rating this season. The defenseman was a +2 tonight.
10. The Ice killed off two first-period Green Bay power plays, and did not commit a penalty the rest of the game. The Ice were 0-for-3 with the man advantage. 

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series will be Saturday night at Pan Am Pavilion. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

USHL scoreboard
(1) Indiana 2, (4) Green Bay 0 (Indiana leads 1-0)(3) Dubuque 2, (2) Cedar Rapids 1 (Dubuque leads 1-0)
(1) Waterloo 7, (4) Sioux Falls 4 (Waterloo leads 1-0)
(2) Omaha vs (3) Sioux City begins Saturday

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 11

April 11 in Indianapolis hockey history
2009: Stanislav Galiev scores two power play goals -- both assisted by Brandon Richardson and Mike Cichy. But Cedar Rapids' Kyle Flanagan outduels him with a hat trick as the Rough Riders beat the Ice 3-2 in overtime and tie the first-round series at 1-1. A penalty-filled game features 64 minutes in PIMs between the two teams.
1998: The Ice close out the season with a 5-0 shutout win over Kansas City. Jani Hurme turns aside 47 shots to record his first shutout in an Ice uniform. Ryan Huska scores a first-period goal, while Kent Paynter, Ryan Vandenbussche, Petri Varis and Todd White all score in the third. David Ling adds two assists. White's goal Is his 46th, closing out an outstanding rookie year.
1997: Kip Miller has a goal and three assists. Steve Dubinsky has two goals and an assist. Fred Knipscheer scores the game-winner in his hometown as the Ice break open a 2-2 game going into the third and turn it into a 6-3 win over Fort Wayne. The Ice trailed 3-2 when Craig Mills scored at 9:06. Knipscheer scored at 12:38. Dubinsky added two goals in the final six minutes to ice it. 
1990: The Ice open the IHL playoffs with a 6-3 win over Peoria. Bob Bassen scores the game-winner and Jim Waite outduels Pat Jablonski in net.
1981: The Checkers take a 2-1 lead in their playoff series with a 4-2 win in Wichita. Bruce Affleck scores the game-winner in the second and adds an assist. Dave Cameron also has a goal and an assist. Kelly Hrudey makes 28 saves.
1978: The Racers' final full season ends with a 6-3 loss at New England. The team finishes with a record of 24-51-5.

Happy birthday to ... 
Andy Branigan: Defenseman who played 62 games for the Capitals in 1945-46, tallying four goals, 17 assists and 71 PIMs. He also had an assist in five playoff games. He played six NHL games with the New York/Brooklyn Americans prior to WWII, but embarked on a long minor-league career after the war, playing for AHL Hershey & Providence through 1958 and two more seasons as a player/coach in the EHL before retiring in 1960. A native of Winnipeg, he was born in 1992. He passed away in 1995.
Gordon Haidy: Right wing who had two stints in Indianapolis separated by a decade. Haidy played three seasons for the Capitals from 1948-51, scoring 60 goals and assisting on 38 in 154 games in those seasons. He was especially key in the Caps' eight-game Calder Cup run in 1950, where he scored four goals. He also played one game for the Red Wings in their 1950 Stanley Cup run, his only NHL action. Haidy played several years of senior hockey in the 1950s, and he returned to Indianapolis in 1960-61 to play briefly for the IHL Chiefs. He retired from hockey in 1964, 19 seasons after beginning his career. A native of Windsor, Ontario, he was born in 1928. He passed away in 2004. 
Terry Sargent: Left wing who played three games for the Checkers in 1984-85. He played 56 games in the IHL that season after three 20+-goal seasons in junior. A native of Edmonton, he is 51.
Chris Norton: Defenseman who played briefly for the Ice in 1991-92, with one assist in eight games. Norton played four seasons professionally in North America from 1998-92, all in the AHL/IHL, after a career at Cornell University. He played six seasons in Britain after his North American career. A native of Oakville, Ontario, he is 49.
Peter Jas: Left wing who played two seasons for the Ice from 1999-2001. He was a key player on the team's 2000 Miron Cup championship run, with 7 goals and 5 assists in the 15 postseason games. Jas had 18 goals and 35 assists in 96 games with the Ice, and 13 points in 18 playoff games. He played four further games with the Tulsa Oilers the following year, capping a five-year pro career, all in the WPHL/CHL. A native of Presov, Slovakia, he is 40.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 10

April 10 in Indianapolis hockey history
2012: The final regular-season game at the pre-renovation Fairgrounds Coliseum is a 3-2 Ice victory over Team USA. Daniil Tarasov scores twice and Sean Kuraly has a three-point game, assisting on both Tarasov goals and potting an empty-netter that turned out to be the game-winner. Jon Gillies stops 32 shots.
2010: The Ice beat Cedar Rapids 3-1 in their first home playoff game, cutting the series deficit to 2-1 and starting a comeback that would eventually lead to a series victory. Max Cook and Shane Berschbach each score goals, while Nic Dowd has an assist and puts the exclamation point on with an empty-netter. Casey DeSmith makes 27 saves for the win. 
2009: The Ice begin their march to the Clark Cup with a 7-2 rout of Cedar Rapids on the road, backed by three shorthanded goals. The Ice are outshot 39-23, but Brett Bennett makes 37 saves in net. Brent Gwidt and Zach Golombiewski both tally shorthanded goals for the Ice, and then Gwidt and Sebastian Geoffrion score with 54 and 11 seconds left in the opening period to make it 4-0. Gwidt had two goals and an assist. Golombiewski had a goal and two assists. Torey Krug had two assists and was a plus-5 on the night. Ben Albertson also had a shorty, scoring one in the third period.
2003: One of the longest playoff games played in Indianapolis, the Ice fall to Memphis 2-1 in double OT as Jonathan Gagnon scores the game-winner at 3:46 of the second OT for the RiverKings. Memphis would win the next game to pull off a four-game sweep.
1987: The Checkers play the final regular-season game in their history, and Mike Zanier outduels former Checker Rob Holland in net for a 5-4 win in Milwaukee. Tim Helmer scores the game-winner for the Checkers.
1984: The Checkers come alive against the heavily-favored Colorado Flames. Mark Hamway's goal 100 seconds into the second period gives the Chex a 3-0 lead, but Colorado scores twice to cut it close. Rob Holland makes nine third-period saves to preserve a 3-2 victory that cuts the Flames' lead to 2-1 in the semifinal series. Ron Handy and Garth MacGuigan score first-period goals against Colorado's Mike Vernon.
1983: The Checkers explode offensively in an 8-3 victory over the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. Red Laurence tallies a hat trick and assists on two other goals. Scott Howson, who scored a hat trick the night before, assists on three goals. 
1981: The Checkers tie the Wichita Wind 1-1 in their first-round playoff series. Alex Pirus scores the game-winner midway through the third in a 5-4 victory, his second goal which gave the Checkers a two-goal edge at the time. He also had an assist. Bruce Affleck assisted on three tallies.
1980: The Checkers sweep the Tulsa Oilers in three games by winning 4-3 at Tulsa. Yvon Vautour scores the clincher with 1:43 to go in the game. Vautour and Alex McKendry each tally a goal and an assist.

Happy birthday to ... 
Rob Brown: Right wing who played 19 games for the Ice at the end of the 1992-93 season while a part of the Blackhawks organization. He made a significant impact, with 14 goals and 19 assists to help the Ice clinch a playoff berth. He also had an assist in two playoff games against the Atlanta Knights that season. Brown was in his eighth pro season when joining the Ice, and it was his first minor-league stint. He continued to play in the NHL through 2000, and played three more seasons for the AHL Chicago Wolves. His NHL career took him through Pittsburgh (twice), Hartford, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, scoring 190 goals in 543 games. He also was the IHL's leading scorer three times in 1994, 1996 and 1997, and the league MVP in 1994 with the Kalamazoo Wings. He is also the namesake for the hockey humor blog "Down Goes Brown," referencing a lost fight when playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs. A native of Kingston, Ontario, he is 46.
Mike Beck: Defenseman who scored five goals and assisted on 20 in 56 games for the Ice in their inaugural 2004-05 USHL season. He played four full USHL seasons before embarking on a four-year career at the University of New Hampshire. A native of Long Beach, California, he is 26.
Mike Phillippi: Defenseman who played two seasons for the Ice from 2005-07. In 108 games, he had 13 goals and 43 assists. He also tallied 168 PIMs. He went on from the Ice to play three seasons for Nebraska-Omaha in college. A native of Shoreview, Minnesota, he is 27.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 9

April 9 in Indianapolis hockey history
2011: Brian Ferlin assists on four goals and Blake Coleman tallies a goal and two assists as the Ice close out a successful regular season with a 6-1 win in Muskegon. Casey DeSmith stops 24 shots. For Ferlin, it caps a 73-point (25-48) season. Coleman finishes the year 34-58-92 and would later be named the U.S. Junior Player of the Year for his efforts. The Ice finished the season 37-19-4.
1994: Zac Boyer and Rob Cimetta score goals 22 seconds apart late in the first period to give the Ice a 3-2 lead in Fort Wayne, but the Komets explode for four goals in each the second and third periods, and beat the Ice 11-5. Boyer has two goals and Cimetta and Yves Heroux have a goal and two assists each.
1999: Geoff Sarjeant stops 36 shots to post his second shutout as an Iceman, beating Cincinnati 3-0 at the Coliseum. Nathan Perrott, Dave Hymovitz and Craig Mills all score for the Ice.
1989: The Ice conclude their first season with a 26-54-2 record after a 7-3 loss in Fort Wayne. Alain Lemieux and Rick Barkovich each complete strong offensive seasons with goals. Late-season pickup Bruce Rendall also scores for the Ice.
1983: The Checkers' second Adams Cup run gets off to a thrilling start, as Scott Howson scores 6:08 into OT to clinch a hat trick and a 5-4 victory over Salt Lake. He also had an assist in the game. 
1982: The Checkers clinch their first-round series, sweeping Tulsa in three games with a 6-1 road victory. Bruce Affleck, Steve Stoyanovich and Lorne Stamler score first-period goals. Darcy Regier tallies a goal and two assists, as does Stoyanovich. Kelly Hrudey makes 22 saves. 
1980: The Checkers take a 2-0 playoff series lead by thumping Tulsa 6-1 at Market Square Arena. Neil Hawryliw scores twice and assists on Ed Pizunski's third period goal. Pizunski adds two assists for a three-point game. Dwaine Lowdermilk also tallies a goal and two assists. Richard Brodeur makes 27 saves for his second straight win in net. 
1977: The longest game in WHA history is ended when Gene Peacosh slams home a rebound at 8:40 of the third overtime, giving the Racers a 4-3 victory over Cincinnati at Riverfront Coliseum. Paul Hoganson made 56 saves for the Racers. The OT was set up when Reggie Thomas scored with 1:04 left in the third to tie the game. Mark Lomenda, who assisted on the game-winner, scored twice in regulation for the Racers. His overtime shot took a wild carom and was kicked out by Stingers goaltender Norm LaPointe, but the rebound came right to Peacocsh, who buried it at 1:16 a.m. after 108:40 of hockey.
1974: The Indianapolis Racers sign their first player, goaltender Ed Dyck. 
1950: The Capitals take a commanding 3-0 lead over the heavily-favored Cleveland Barons in the Calder Cup Final, winning the game 4-3. Pat Lundy breaks a 2-all tie with a shot that deflects off Barons goaltender Johnny Bower's skates. Gordon Haidy adds an insurance goal that becomes the game-winner. 6,922 jam the Coliseum to see the victory.

Happy birthday to ... 
Tony Licari: Right wing who played 107 games for the Capitals from 1946-48. Known as a strong scorer, he had 41 goals, 57 assists and just 16 PIMs in those two seasons. He also played nine NHL games for the Red Wings in 1946-47. After one season in the AHL with St. Louis, Licari played several years in Britain in the 1950s. A native of Ottawa, he was born in 1921. He passed away in July 2013.
Michel Parizeau: Left wing who played for the Racers in their final four seasons. He joined the team midway through the 1975-76 season and helped push them to a WHA Eastern Division title, with 13 goals in 23 games. The following year, he had 55 points as the Racers made the playoffs again. In total, he played 190 games for the Racers, scoring 48 goals and assisting on 88. He also was a point-a-game player in the postseason for the Racers, with seven goals and 10 assists in 15 playoff contests. After three minor-league seasons, Parizeau broke into the NHL with St. Louis and Philadelphia in 1971-72 before jumping to the WHA. He played three and a half seasons with Quebec before joining the Racers, and finished his career with the Cincinnati Stingers in 1978-79 after the Racers folded. Parizeau played 567 NHL/WHA games, with 145 goals and 266 assists, and continued as a coach after retiring as a player. A native of Montreal, he is 66.
Scott Howson: Howson played parts of three seasons with the Checkers, and was a critical part of the 1983 Adams Cup championship run. From 1981-84, Howson played 146 games for the Checkers, tallying back-to-back 34-goal seasons in 1982-83 and 1983-84. He had 70 goals and 75 assists in the blue and orange. He remained in the Islanders' system for two years, and played 18 games on Long Island from 1984-86, scoring five goals. He later became one of several former Checkers to enter NHL management, and served as the Columbus Blue Jackets' general manager. He is currently Senior VP of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers. A native of Toronto, he is 54.
Kerry Toporowski: "Topper" was a fan favorite for the Ice from 1991-94. Never afraid to drop the gloves, Toporowski only played 67 games for the Ice in those three seasons after joining the Ice from junior, but amassed 389 PIMs in those games. The year before turning pro, he had a whopping 505 PIMs in junior for Spokane. He continued to play in the IHL, AHL, UHL, ECHL and Russia through 2004, and had 15 goals and 2,825 penalty minutes in his 13-year pro career. After retiring, he remained in Davenport, Iowa -- where he finished his career -- and is a financial adviser. A native of Paddockwood, Saskatchewan, he is 43.
Derek Young: Defenseman who played two games for the Ice in 2001-02. A native of Whitby, Ontario, he is 38.
Mike Blundon: Defenseman who had 11 assists in 50 games for the Ice in 2006-07. He went from the Ice to Canadian Junior A and Ontario's Concordia University, where he had eight goals and 49 points in four years before graduating in 2012. A native of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, he is 27.
Jacob Pritchard: Ice forward who joined the team in 2013-14. He is committed to play collegiately at St. Lawrence University. A native of Macomb, Michigan, he is 19.
Scott Conway: Ice forward who has posted a 30-goal season in 2013-14. He is committed to play collegiately at Penn State University. A native of Kissimmie, Florida, he is 19.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ice's Jacobs, Mantha among CSS top 150

Two current Indiana Ice players and three more with ties to the franchise were rated in the final NHL Central Scouting Service pre-draft rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft. The rankings list the top players eligible for the NHL Draft -- generally 1996 birth-year players.

The full CSS list is here

Defenseman Josh Jacobs is ranked 43rd on the CSS list among North American skaters -- which would project him to be picked somewhere between the second and fourth rounds. Jacobs, who stands 6-2, 193 pounds, has been a member of the Ice for two years. He has five goals and 18 assists this season, posting a +36 rating that was second to defensive partner Austin Kosack among USHL defensemen. A right shot from Shelby Twp., Mich., Jacobs is committed to Michigan State University. Jacobs is the seventh-highest rated USHL player (and the second-highest rated from a team other than the USNDTP -- Green Bay's Nick Schmaltz is ranked 19th. The highest-rated USHL player is forward Alex Tuch of Team USA, ranked 12th among North American skaters).

Ice Defenseman Ryan Mantha ranks 149th on the list. The 6-5, 225-pound rearguard joined the team halfway through the season in a trade with Sioux City. A physical, big defender, he has two goals, nine points and a +11 rating in 24 games with the Ice. In two USHL seasons, he has played 103 games, with four goals and 22 points. Mantha is a right-shot defender from Clarkston, Mich.

Mitch Slattery is an affiliate list player who played one game with the Ice this season. He's a 6-0, 185-pound left wing from Hill-Murray High School in Minnesota.

Among former Ice players, defenseman Blake Siebenaler is rated 55th among North American skaters. The Fort Wayne native played 11 games for the Ice in 2012-13 before moving to Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League this year.  He has six goals and 30 points for the IceDogs this season. Siebenaler stands 6-1, 192.

Defenseman Rinat Valiev ranks 83rd on the CSS list among North American skaters. He had six goals and seven assists in 36 games for the Ice in 2012-13. This year, he had five goals and 23 assists to go along with a +27 rating for the Western Hockey League's Kootenay Ice. He's a 6-1, 190-pound left-shot defenseman from Russia. 

Three current members of the Ice roster have already been drafted -- right wing Sam Kurker was taken in the second round of the 2012 draft by the St. Louis Blues, forward Aidan Muir was taken in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Edmonton Oilers, and center Brian Pinho was taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft by the Washington Capitals.

Indiana Ice in the NHL Draft 
Round/pick: Player (drafted team) (years w/Ice) (current team)
2R/33: Adam Erne (Tampa Bay) (2010-11) (AHL-Syracuse)
4R/113: Aidan Muir (Edmonton) (2013-14) (USHL-Ice)
6R/174: Brian Pinho (Washington) (2013-14) (USHL-Ice)
20122R/56: Sam Kurker (St. Louis) (2013-14) (USHL-Ice)
2R/59: Cristoval "Boo" Nieves (NY Rangers) (2011-12) (NCAA-Michigan)
3R/75: Jon Gillies (Calgary) (2010-12) (NCAA-Providence)
5R/136: Robbie Baillargeon (Ottawa) (2011-13) (NCAA-Boston U.)
3R/62: Samu Perhonen (Edmonton) (2013-14)
3R/75: Blake Coleman (New Jersey) (2009-11) (NCAA-Miami)
4R/101: Brian Ferlin (Boston) (2009-11) (NCAA-Cornell)
5R/133: Sean Kuraly (San Jose) (2009-12) (NCAA-Miami)
3R/86: Stanislav Galiev (Washington) (2008-09) (AHL-Hershey)
6R/168: Anthony Bitetto (Nashville) (2008-10) (AHL-Milwaukee)
6R/180: Nick Mattson (Chicago) (2009-11) (NCAA-North Dakota)
7R/183: R.J. Boyd (Florida) (2011-12)
7R/198: Nic Dowd (Los Angeles) (2009-10) (AHL-Manchester)
7R/199: Mike Cichy (Montreal) (2008-09) (NCAA-Western Michigan)
20081R/27: John Carlson (Washington) (2007-08) (NHL-Washington)
3R/81: Corey Fienhage (Buffalo) (2007-08) (ECHL-Orlando)
7R/183: Garrett Roe (Los Angeles) (2004-07) (Austria-Salzburg)
4R/108: Brett Bruneteau (Washington) (2007-08)
4R/120: Ben Blood (Ottawa) (2007-08) (AHL-Binghamton)
5R/135: Paul Carey (Colorado) (2007-08) (NHL-Colorado)
6R/153: Scott Darling (Phoenix) (2007-08) (AHL-Milwaukee)
5R/135: Alex Kangas (Atlanta) (2006-07) (ECHL-Alaska)
6R/157: Brent Gwidt (Washington) (2006-09) (ECHL-Utah)
3R/85: Brian Gifford (Pittsburgh) (2004-05)
7R/218: Sergei Kukushkin (Dallas) (2004-05)

Non-drafted Ice NHL players
Torey Krug (Boston) (2008-09)
Cameron Schilling (Washington) (2007-08)
Joel Rechlicz (NY Islanders) (2005-06)

Ice's Pawloski, Conway USHL Players of the Week

Indiana Ice press release 

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Ice announced today that forward Scott Conway and goaltender Jason Pawloski have been named the USHL Players of the Week for their respective positions.
This marks the third time Pawloski has received weekly honors after being selected in late October and early January while Conway was picked following another seven-point week in early March.
Conway logged yet another career week as the first-year forward exploded for seven points (6G, A) in the final three games of the regular season.  The stretch started with Wednesday’s 9-1 drubbing of the Dubuque Fighting Saints where the rookie  forward potted the first four-goal game in franchise history while tying a franchise record with five points (4G, A) in a single game.  The Penn State commit then extended his goal streak to three games with single markers in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers and Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Chicago Steel.
Through 57 games this season, Conway finished near the top of the league in several offensive categories with 68 points (4th), 33 goals (T-2nd) and a +40 plus-minus rating (T-1st) while leading the team in all three fields.  He further etched his name in the Ice record books after tying Daniil Tarasov’s (Worcester-AHL) mark with a 13-game point streak.
Pawloski notched his 26th and 27th wins of the season last week as the first-year netminder blocked 56 of 59 shots in a pair of contests on Wednesday and Saturday.  The Omaha, NE-native limited Dubuque to a single goal on 26 attempts to score a 9-1 victory on Wednesday.  He then faced 33 shots in the season finale against Chicago, surrendering two in the 5-2 win.
Following a rough 1-2-2 start in his first five games, Pawloski rebounded to finish the season tied for the league lead in wins (27) and fifth in GAA (2.46).  His four shutouts put him at third in the USHL while matching a franchise high set by fellow goaltender Hayden Stewart and Ice alum Brett Bennett, set during the 2008-09 Clark Cup Championship season.
Conway, Pawloski and the Indiana Ice look to continue their hot streak as the team hosts the Green Bay Gamblers in games one and two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals from Pan Am Pavilion on Friday (4/11) and Saturday (4/12) at 7:05 pm.
Tickets for the Clark Cup playoffs, presented by Ivy Tech, remain the same at $15 for reserved seating and $10 for standing room only and can be purchased on Ticketmaster or through the Indiana Ice office at (317) 925-4423.
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This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 8

April 8 in Indianapolis hockey history
2011: The Ice drop a wild 8-6 game in Youngstown in which the Phantoms' Mike Ambrosia nets a natural hat trick in the first period and Dylan Margonari scores 14 seconds into the game. Blake Coleman (2G, A) and Brian Ferlin (G, 2A) have three-point nights as the Ice nearly rally from deficits of 6-1 and 7-2.
1989: The Ice explode for five first period goals and don?t let up in an 11-2 win over the Denver Rangers. Ron Handy and Alain Lemieux score 30 seconds apart in the first to make it 3-0 and chase starter Ron Scott. Lemieux and Dwaine Hutton each have a hat trick, Lemieux adds two assists, and Rick Barkovich has two goals and two assists. It's the first time in team history two players scored a hat trick in the same game.
1950: The Capitals score four times in the third period to break a tie and beat Cleveland 6-2 in the second game of the Calder Cup Final, with Pat Lundy scoring a hat trick and Al Dewsbury assisting on three goals. Terry Sawchuk makes 37 saves. The Caps take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Happy birthday to ... 
Gordon "Moose" Sherritt: Defenseman who played two and a half seasons with the Capitals from 1942-45. He scored five goals in his tenure in Indy. He also had a brief eight-game stint with the Red Wings in 1943-44. He was a rugged player, becoming one of the first century-mark PIM players. He continued to play professionally through 1949, primarily in Minneapolis. He was born in Oakville, Manitoba in 1919, and passed away in 2005.
Randy Wyrozub: Center who played 55 games with the Racers in their division championship season of 1975-76. He had 11 goals and 14 assists that season. He broke into the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres in 1970-71, and played parts of four seasons with the Sabres before jumping to the WHA in 1974-75 with Cincinnati, and the next season with the Racers. He played in the minor leagues through 1979. He had 19 goals and 25 assists in 155 NHL/WHA games. A native of Lacombe, Alberta, he is 64.
Bruce Rendall: Winger who played 15 games with the Ice in 1988-89, tallying two goals and two assists. He retired as a player in 1990, but played games in 1992-93 and 1998-99 in the Colonial/United Hockey Leagues when teams he was coaching ran short of players. The Philadelphia Flyers' second-round pick in 1985, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native turns 47 today.
Robert Gawron: Defenseman who played six games for the Ice in 2011-12, with one goal and one assist. A native of Lemont, Illinois, he is 20.
Sam Kurker: Ice right winger in the 2013-14 season. He joined the team midway through the season and played the final 24 games of the year after playing a season and a half at Boston College. Kurker was the St. Louis Blues' second-round pick in 2012. A native of Reading, Mass., he is 20.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Playoff preview: Ice vs. Green Bay

The regular season has ended: time to take a peek ahead to the 2014 USHL Playoffs, as the Ice make their return after a one-year absence. It's the team's eighth playoff appearance in its 10-year history.

As regular-season champions of the Eastern Conference, they'll have the top seed through the first round (and if they win, the second), and therefore home ice advantage in the best-of-5 series.

The matchup
Indiana Ice vs. Green Bay Gamblers
Game schedule
Game 1: April 11 at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2: April 12 at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.
Game 3: April 17 at Green Bay Resch Center, 8:05 p.m.
Game 4: April 18 at Green Bay Resch Center, 8:05 p.m.
Game 5: April 21 at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.

Previous meetings
April 4: Green Bay 4, Indiana 2 (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse). A huge crowd of 6,404 saw the Gamblers take an early lead and not let up in a 4-2 victory. Special teams were critical -- both teams scored two power play goals, and Green Bay added a 4-on-4 goal. A Green Bay team that was desperate for a playoff bid was able to ride a solid goaltending performance by Jared Rutledge and get goals from Ryan Siroky, Anthony Walsh, Nick Schmaltz and Matthew Weis. Scott Conway and Alex Talcott scored for the Ice. Rutledge stopped 29 shots, Ice goaltender Hayden Stewart made 21 saves.

March 15: Indiana 2, Green Bay 0 (at Green Bay). Green Bay threw the kitchen sink at the Ice, with 21 third-period shots on goal. Jason Pawloski stopped them all -- as well as the other 11 he faced -- for the shutout. Alex Talcott and Dwyer Tschantz scored second-period goals for the Ice. Jared Rutledge made 22 saves for the Gamblers.  
March 14: Indiana 5, Green Bay 2 (at Green Bay). The Gamblers took an early lead on Nick Schmaltz's first-period goal, but the Ice seized the lead with two second-period goals by Tyler Pham and Matt Roy. Scott Conway scored the game-winner, breaking a 2-all tie on the PP with 7:27 left. Jacob Pritchard added two goals, the latter an empty-netter, in the final three minutes. Brian Pinho had four assists. Pritchard (2G) and Aidan Muir (2A) had two-point games. Hayden Stewart (18 saves) outdueled the Gamblers' Cam Hackett (24 saves) in net. 

Dec. 5: Green Bay 4, Indiana 3, OT (at Pan Am Pavilion). A back-and-forth game where the Ice rescued a point with Alex Talcott's goal with 1:38 left, but Green Bay's Matthew Weis controversially ended the game with a power play goal in OT that appeared to come after the net was knocked off (a similar Ice goal was disallowed in the third period). Jacob Pritchard scored a first-period goal for the Ice, and Patrick Newell scored 14 seconds into the third. Junior Gates, Ryan Lough (2) and Weis scored for Green Bay. The Ice outshot Green Bay 35-19, but Gamblers goaltender Jared Rutledge made 32 saves. Samu Perhonen - who is no longer with the team - had 15 saves for the Ice.
Head to head
Power play
GB 3-17 (17.6%), IND 4-22 (18.2%)

Goals by period
GB 3-3-3-1 -- 10
IND 2-5-5-0 -- 12

Shots on goal
GB 23-32-39-2 -- 96
IND 35-42-36-6 -- 119
Ice leaders: Alex Talcott (3-2-5, +3), Jacob Pritchard (3-2-5, +3), Brian Pinho (0-5-5, +2), Scott Conway (2-1-3, -2), Patrick Newell (1-2-3, +1), Aidan Muir (0-3-3, +3).
Active goaltenders: Hayden Stewart (1-1-0, 3.05, .867); Jason Pawloski (1-0-0, 0.00, 1.000)
Gamblers leaders: Ryan Lough (3-1-4, +1), Matthew Weis (2-2-4, E), Jordan Gross (0-4-4, +1), Drew Best (0-4-4, +1), Nick Schmaltz (2-1-3, +1), Connor Hurley (0-3-3, +1)
Active goaltenders: Jared Rutledge (2-1-0, 2.29, .922); Cam Hackett (0-1-0, 4.11, .857)

Indiana Ice (42-11-7, 1st USHL East)
Home: 21-5-4; Road: 21-6-3
Last 10: 8-2-0
Goals per game: 3.88 for (3rd USHL)/2.35 against (t1st USHL)
Power play: 18.6% (53-285) (8th USHL)/Penalty kill: 85.7% (233-272) (3rd USHL)
Top scorers: Scott Conway (33-35-68, +40); Brian Pinho (28-28-56, +29); Dwyer Tschantz (24-20-44, +31), Patrick Newell (13-30-43, +24)
Goaltenders: Hayden Stewart (14GP, 13-1-0, 1.29, .945, 4SHO); Jason Pawloski (42GP, 27-8-6, 2.46, .904, 4SHO)

Green Bay Gamblers (30-24-6, 4th USHL East)
Home: 18-10-2; Road: 12-14-4 
Last 10: 5-5-0
Goals per game: 3.05 for (10th USHL)/2.93 against (6th USHL)
Power play: 19.1% (47-246) (6th USHL)/Penalty kill: 85.3% (215-252) (5th USHL) 
Top scorers: Nick Schmaltz (18-45-63, -3), Matthew Weis (23-34-57, -2), Ryan Lough (19-23-42, +15), Evan Tironese (10-28-38, +2), Connor Hurley (10-26-36, -1)
Goaltenders: Jared Rutledge (45GP, 25-16-4, 2.77, .907, 2 SHO), Cam Hackett (18GP, 5-8-2, 2.59, .908).

Beyond this series: the USHL playoffs
Eastern Conference: (1) Indiana vs. (4) Green Bay; (2) Cedar Rapids vs. (3) Dubuque
Western Conference: (1) Waterloo vs. (4) Sioux Falls; (2) Omaha vs. (3) Sioux City

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 7

April 7 in Indianapolis hockey history
2001: The Ice are unable to defend their CHL title, as Memphis sweeps them out of the playoffs in three close games, this time by a 3-2 score in Memphis. Don Parsons scores the game-winner for the RiverKings.
1999: Bob Lachance tallies three assists as the Ice beat Kansas City 6-3 on the road. Dave Hymovitz scores twice and captain Mike Vukonich scores a goal and adds two assists.
1993: Sergei Krivokrasov and Brad Lauer score goals 10 seconds apart in the first period to give the Ice a 2-0 lead in an eventual 5-1 win at Kalamazoo. Lauer has two goals and an assist in the game. Shawn Byram had the first assist on both of the rapid-fire goals.
1991: The Ice beat the Kalamazoo Wings in a game that saw little defense - 10-7 in a regular season finale. The Ice jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 11:01, but Kalamazoo tied it by th end of the period. Indy scored once in the second and five more in the third. Sean Williams had a five-point night with three goals and two assists to finish the year with 46 goals. Marty Nanne had three assists, while Jim Johansson had two goals and an assist. Brian Noonan and Owen Lessard had a goal and two assists each.
1990: The Ice score five times in the first period, including three in a span of 1:46, to beat Phoenix 8-4. Sean Williams (17:39), Jim Playfair (18:01) and Mike Stapleton (19:15) score in rapid succession to make it 5-0. Playfair scores twice. Mike McNeill, Dave Bassegio, Brian Noonan and Guy Phillips each tally a goal and an assist.
1985: The Checkers explode offensively for a 7-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals. Lance Allen, a former star for the IU club team, scores the winner in front of Rob Holland's fine goaltending.
1982: The Checkers need overtime to beat Tulsa 3-2 and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series. Red Laurence scores at 5:08 of the second OT to clinch the victory. Glen Duncan and Lorne Stamler scored in the second to give the Checkers a lead, but the Oilers tied it in the third.
1980: The Checkers win their first playoff game, blanking Tulsa 4-0. Richard Brodeur made 28 saves for the Checkers, Kevin Devine got into a fight five seconds into the game, and Charlie Skjodt scored the Checkers' first playoff goal at 13:11 of the first period. Skjodt adds an assist, and Alex McKendry assists on two goals. 

Happy birthday to ... 
Eric Manlow: Left wing who had 14 goals and 22 assists in 135 games with the Ice from 1995-97, starting a 13-year playing career that took him through the ECHL, AHL and IHL. He did play 37 NHL games with the Bruins and Islanders between 2000-03. He was an AHL All-Star in 2001. Manlow retired from hockey in 2008 and became a police officer in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A native of Belleville, Ontario, he is 39.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ice 1st round playoff dates

The five dates for the Indiana Ice-Green Bay Gamblers 1st-round series are set

Game 1: Friday 4/11 at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday 4/12 at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.
Game 3: Thursday 4/17 at Resch Center (Green Bay), 8:05 p.m.
Game 4: Friday 4/18 at Resch Center (Green Bay), 8:05 p.m.
Game 5: Monday 4/21 at Pan Am Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.

2013-14: Recapping the Ice regular season

Before we dive into the playoffs, it's time to look back at a pretty stellar 2013-14 regular season. It's one that didn't start out terribly well (the Ice started 0-3-1 and were 2-4-2 through eight games), but once this young team found its stride, it really found its stride and ended up posting a 42-11-7 mark. Take out the 2-4-2 start and the 2-2-0 finish, and this team went an amazing 38-7-5 through the bulk of the season. About the only thing standing between this team and the Anderson Cup was a 1-5 OT mark.

Coach/GM Jeff Brown came into this team midway through the 2012-13 season, and spent much of that year tinkering -- a lot of roster turnover, a lot of fan favorites were traded for players and picks, and the Ice got a lot younger. That set them up beautifully for this year, as they were able to stock up on draft picks and use them to augment a team with a small handful of holdovers -- Josh Jacobs, Mitch Hults, captain Tyler Pham among them. The Ice immediately became a team that fit Brown's style -- one that plays disciplined, doesn't make a ton of mistakes, and spreads its scoring out. The Ice could roll out 20-goal scorers on three different lines this year, allowing them to beat people with depth. They won the Eastern Conference regular season title going away, and now turn to the playoffs, which will be a minefield -- the Ice would have to beat two of Green Bay, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque en route to the finals, and those teams all will be tough matchups.

Looking back, this team set a ton of records. Among them:
  • The overall record of 42-11-7 was best in team history (35-19-6, 2007-08, the only other division championship team, which was led by NHLers Paul Carey and John Carlson)
  • The 21-6-3 road record was also a team record (breaking an 18-10-2 mark set in 2010-11). The home mark of 21-5-4 was one game off the 2007-08 team's mark at home (22-4-4).
  • 8 shutouts are the most by an Ice team (the 2010-11 team had six). 
  • For the second time in their history, the Ice were not shutout, tying a mark set in 2011-12. 
  • The 8-0-2 January mark was the best month ever by an Ice team, and the first in team history without a regulation loss. The previous best was a 9-1-0 November of 2007. 
  • The Ice set franchise records with an eight-game winning streak from March 7-28, and a 10-game road winning streak that lasted from Nov. 23 to Jan. 25. 
  • 141 goals allowed was a franchise record -- by far -- breaking the 166 allowed by the 2010-11 team and the goaltending tandem of Jon Gillies and Casey DeSmith. The 233 goals scored were second-most to that 2010-11 team.
  • Individually, Scott Conway's 33-goal season was fifth-most in team history. Daniil Tarasov holds the top two spots, with 47 goals in 2011-12 and 37 goals the previous year. Blake Coleman (2010-11) and Paul Carey (2007-08) had 34-goal seasons. It's the sixth 30-goal season in team history. Sean Kuraly had 32 goals in 2011-12. Conway's 68 points were eighth-most in team history. The recordholder is Blake Coleman, who had 92 points in 2010-11.
  • Conway became the first player in Ice history to score four goals in a game when he did so on April 2 against Dubuque in a 9-1 win. He and teammate Dwyer Tschantz (G, 4A) tied the team mark with five points in that game, which had previously been set by Anthony Bitetto, Blake Coleman (twice), Daniil Tarasov and Brian Ferlin. 
  • On March 22, Brian Pinho scored a natural hat trick in a win over Youngstown. Scott Conway had two hat tricks -- a four-goal game on April 2 against Dubuque, and a three-goal game on March 7 against Lincoln. 
  • Tyler Pham completed his third full season with the Ice, playing 168 games. That is third to Nick Bailen (221) and Brent Gwidt (171). 
  • Hayden Stewart's 13 consecutive wins are the most by an Ice goaltender. He and Jason Pawloski set team marks for best GAA (Stewart 1.29, Palwoski 2.46; previous best was Cab Morris' 2.57 in 2009-10) and tied the mark for season shutouts (each had 4, tying Brett Bennett's number in 2008-09). The four shutouts for each (and Bennett) are a three-way tie for second overall, as Jon Gillies had six during his two-year career with the Ice from 2010-12. Pawloski's 27 wins are third-most in a season for an Ice goaltender (Bennett 35, 2009; Gillies 31, 2012). 
  • Hayden Stewart broke Jon Gillies' record for consecutive shutout minutes at 203:49 -- he blanked Youngstown 3-0 on Feb. 8, beat the same team 2-0 the following night, and had two and a half scoreless periods on Feb. 14 before Tri-City broke the streak. Stewart still won the game 4-1. 
  • Pawloski and Stewart also had back-to-back shutouts on March 15 (Pawloski 2-0 over Green Bay) and 21 (Stewart 5-0 over Muskegon). 
  • The Ice ticket office was at work, drawing several big crowds, including the 12,100 on Pack the House Night, a 4-1 win over Chicago on March 1. They also drew 6,404 on April 4 vs. Green Bay; 5,884 on Feb. 8 vs. Youngstown; 5,226 on Dec. 30 vs. Muskegon; and 5,082 on March 23 vs. Muskegon, Five of their last seven games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse drew crowds in excess of 5,000 fans. 
Full team stats
2013-14 game-by-game results
Time to look ahead to the playoffs. Look for a full preview of the Ice-Green Bay series Monday. Games 1 & 2 will be Friday/Saturday at Pan Am Pavilion, puck drop at 7:05 p.m. for each game.

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 6

April 6 in Indianapolis hockey history
1991: Dan Vincelette has a hat trick, with Martin Desjardins assisting on three goals as the Ice beat Phoenix 6-5 in a shootout. Sean Williams scores the shootout goal. Vincelette scored a shorthanded goal with 3:25 left to get the Ice back in it, and Brian Noonan's 37th goal tied it up with 41 seconds left.
1982: The Checkers opened their first Adams Cup championship run with a 7-0 whitewashing of the Tulsa Oilers at the Coliseum. Kelly Davis scored twice. Dave Simpson had two assists. Kelly Hrudey made 37 saves. 
1976: The Racers are idle, but clinch the WHA's Eastern Division title when the Cleveland Crusaders fall to the San Diego Mariners. Two days earlier, a 4-2 Racers victory put the team in first place. The Racers finished the regular season 12-4-4. 
1975: The Racers' first season ends with a 4-3 loss at Vancouver. The Racers finish 18-57-3.

Happy birthday to ... 
Darryl Maggs: Defenseman who played 167 games for the Racers from 1975-78. He joined the team midway through the 1975-76 season and had 21 points as the Racers won their first division title. His best season came the following year, when he had 16 goals and 55 assists to lead the Racers into the playoffs again. He had 27 goals and 86 assists in his Racers career, as well as two goals and four assists in 16 playoff games. Maggs played nine years of major pro hockey from 1971-80, with Chicago, California and Toronto in the NHL, and Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver and Cincinnati in the WHA. He played 537 NHL/WHA games, with 66 goals and 196 assists. A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he is 67. In retirement, he has settled in Colorado Springs.
Trevor Halverson: Left wing who played 12 games for the Ice -- and five playoff games -- in 1995-96. He had one assist in that span. Halverson played parts of eight seasons professionally, including 17 games with the Washington Capitals in 1998-99, his final year. He was the Caps' first-round pick in 1991. A native of White River, Ontario, he is 43.
Ryan Risidore: Defenseman who played 75 games for the Ice in 1997-98, with three goals, eight assists and 123 PIMs. He also had an assist in four playoff games. It was the second of eight pro seasons for Risidore, who also played in the AHL, ECHL and in Britain. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, he is 38.
Alex Gacek: Forward who played seven games for the Ice in 2010-11 before being dealt to Youngstown. He played two years in the USHL, with 13 goals and 39 points, and recently completed his sophomore season at Miami University, where he has posted a 3-4-7 line in each of his two years. A native of Dracut, Mass., he is 21.

Ice finish with win, fall short in Anderson Cup quest

The Indiana Ice finished their most successful regular season with a strong 5-2 victory over the Chicago Steel on the road, but finished two points short in their quest for the Anderson Cup when Waterloo rallied from two one-goal deficits to defeat Cedar Rapids in a shootout.

The Ice finish the season with 91 points (42-11-7), two back of Waterloo (44-11-5). They also learned their playoff opponent, as they'll face Green Bay (30-24-6) in the best-of-5 Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Ice never trailed Saturday, with five different players scoring goals. Included in that batch were Scott Conway -- who finishes the year scoring six of his 33 goals in the final three games -- and Brian Pinho. The latter's third-period game-winner and an earlier assist gave him 28 of each for the year. The Ice finish the year with three 20-goal scorers -- Dwyer Tschantz (24) being the third. He had an assist this evening.

Also of note, Conway and Austin Kosack each finished the year +40, the top forward and defenseman in the USHL in plus-minus.

Matt Roy and Patrick Newell scored power play goals in the first two periods to give the Ice a 2-0 edge. Pinho scored at 3:14 of the third, just 77 seconds after the Steel had cut the lead to one. Conway added an insurance goal, and Tyler Andrew scored an empty-netter to cap the regular season. Jason Pawloski made 31 saves to register his second victory of the week.

1. The regular season is completed, but the playoffs will be a grind. With only half of the USHL's teams making it, the postseason will be a survival contest. We'll have a more in-depth preview in the week, but the Ice and Green Bay split four games this season, and all of them were close. The road team won all four games.
2. The Ice power play was 2-for-6, the second straight game with two PPGs, even though they didn't convert on a two-minute 5-on-3 in the second period. They were 2-for-7 in Friday's loss to Green Bay.
3. As has been the case all season, great balance keyed the Ice offense, and that will be critical when the postseason begins and matchups become key. Coach Jeff Brown has lots of pieces to mix and match with. Brian Pinho (G, A) and Austin Kosack (2A) were the only two players with multi-point games, but nine different players registered a point in the contest.
4. A nice problem to have: Hayden Stewart finished the year 13-1-0 with a 1.28 GAA and a .945 save % for the Ice. Jason Pawloski is 27-8-6/2.46, but has had five solid games to close the year, going 4-1-0 with a 1.81 GAA and .932 sv% in those games.

Game boxscore

USHL playoff matchups

Eastern Conference: (1) Indiana vs. (4) Green Bay; (2) Cedar Rapids vs. (3) Dubuque
Western Conference: (1) Waterloo vs. (4) Sioux Falls; (2) Omaha vs. (3) Sioux City

Looking ahead
The Ice open the playoffs against the Green Bay Gamblers, with Games 1 & 2 slated to be played at Pan Am Pavilion on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12. Both games will begin at 7:05 p.m. The schedule for the remainder of the series will be announced Monday, with the likelihood that Games 3 and 4 would be in Green Bay the weekend of April 18-19. Tickets are $15 for reserved seats and are on sale at the Ice office (925-4423) and Ticketmaster.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

This date in Indianapolis hockey history: April 5

April 5 in Indianapolis hockey history
2008: A rare two-goalie shutout for the Ice, as the division champions blank the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets 7-0 in front of 5,328 at the Coliseum. Scott Darling plays the first and third periods and stops seven shots, while Matt Hoyle takes over for the second and stops eight. John Kemp (G, 3A) tallies a four-point night, while John Carlson and Will MacDonald each tally a goal and two assists. Ron Cramer puts the exclamation point on with a third-period penalty shot goal.
2000: The Ice take a 2-0 series lead over Tulsa with a 4-1 win. Dan Villeneuve scores the game-winner and Benoit Thibert posts his second straight win in goal.
1991: Sean Williams had two goals and two assists, with helpers on goals by Warren Rychel and Stephen Veilleux in the first 2:11 of the third to tie the game at 5-5. But Muskegon's Dave Michayluk scored with 1:38 left to give the Lumberjacks a 6-5 win in the L.C. Walker Arena.
1959: The Chiefs beat the Fort Wayne Komets 5-2 to stay alive in their Turner Cup semifinal series, but would be eliminated in the next game. Red Leger's game-winner for the Chiefs would mark the franchise's final playoff victory.
1950: The Capitals beat the Cleveland Barons 4-1 in the opening game of the Calder Cup Final. Terry Sawchuk makes 47 saves for the Caps, outdueling Cleveland's Johnny Bower. Seventeen years later, the two together would carry the Toronto Maple Leafs to a Stanley Cup. 
1942: The Indianapolis Capitals bring a championship to the Circle City. In their third season, the Caps beat Hershey 8-3 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum to clinch the title. Jack Keating, Sandy Ross and Joe Fisher score 51 seconds apart in the first period to give the Caps a 3-0 lead. Joe Turner makes 36 saves in what would be the final game of his career. Keating (9-8-17) and Les Douglas (8-9-17) each set AHL records with points in a playoff season. Teammate Roy Sawyer's 14 assists are also a new AHL record.

Happy birthday to ...
Bill Blackwood: Defenseman who played three games for the Racers in 1977-78 after finishing his career at Clarkson University - where he is in the school's Hall of Fame. He would go on to play two seasons with IHL Fort Wayne. A native of Sudbury, Ontario, he is 58.
Gerald Diduck: Defenseman who joined the Checkers for the 1984 playoffs and made an immediate impact, with a goal and six assists as the Checkers made a surprise run to the Adams Cup Finals. It was the start of a professional career that would span 18 seasons and feature 932 NHL games. He had 56 goals and 212 points with the Islanders, Canadiens, Canucks, Blackhawks, Whalers, Coyotes, Maple Leafs and Stars. He played in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final with Vancouver. He was the Islanders' first-round pick in 1983. A native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, he is 49.
Roy Sommer: Center who played 37 games for the Checkers in 1985-86, tallying nine goals, 10 assists and 118 PIMs. It was a later stop in a pro career that spanned from 1977-87. Sommer has made his mark as a coach, where he began as an assistant with Muskegon in 1987 -- the team he joined after playing for the Checkers. Earlier in 2014, he set the American Hockey League record for games coached, a stint that began in 1998 with the Kentucky Thoroughblades. He has coached the Worcester Sharks since 2006. Sommer won a championship in the ECHL with Richmond in 1995. A native of Oakland, California, he is 57.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rutledge, Gamblers stop Ice 4-2

The Ice and Gamblers face off for the 3rd period of the Ice's home regular season finale at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Green Bay won 4-2.
Green Bay goaltender Jared Rutledge was stellar, making 29 saves to give a desperate Gamblers team a 4-2 victory over the Ice Friday night in front of a crowd of 6,404 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Rutledge had several point-blank saves as the Ice buzzed his net in the closing minutes, and the Gamblers potted two power play goals to seal the game.

The loss sends the Ice two points back of Waterloo in the Anderson Cup race with one game to play, as the Black Hawks beat Cedar Rapids 5-1 on Friday night. Waterloo clinches at least a share of the Anderson Cup with 91 points. The Ice have 89 and can only clinch a share with a win Saturday in Chicago and a regulation loss by Waterloo to Cedar Rapids at home.

Scott Conway continued his hot stick, scoring his 32nd goal of the season midway through the first, scoring in the slot moments after an Ice power play commenced. That goal tied the game at 1-1. Green Bay answered on Anthony Walsh's second goal of the season from the high slot in a 4-on-4 situation. Seconds later, the Gamblers took another penalty and the Ice had a 4-on-3/5-on-3, but were unable to beat Rutledge despite getting a couple of good looks. Green Bay's special teams won out -- Nick Schmaltz scored a power play goal at 5:42 of the second to make it 3-1, and after the Ice cut the lead to one again, Matthew Weis scored with the man advantage at 8:57 of the third.

Alex Talcott's ninth goal of the season cut the deficit to 3-2 with 3:02 left in the second. The PPG came as he redirected Jason Salvaggio's goalmouth pass into the net. The Ice had numerous chances, but Rutledge denied a point-blank try by Conway later in the second -- Conway also had a chance with Rutledge out of position on a loose puck, but couldn't get the puck to settle quickly enough to get a shot on net. The Ice peppered the net often late in the third, with Tyler Pham's wraparound that was stuffed at the post the best of several opportunities.

Hayden Stewart stopped 25 shots, but suffered his first loss as a member of the Ice. He is now 13-1-0 in the blue sweater. 

Link to game boxscore

6 thoughts
1. With the Ice no longer in control of their Anderson Cup destiny, it's time to look to the playoffs. A Saturday game against Chicago -- which was eliminated from postseason contention -- will be a solid game to build momentum. Cedar Rapids will face Dubuque in the East's other series, in which CR will have home ice.
2. The Ice's first-round opponent will be either Green Bay or Muskegon. Games 1 & 2 will be at Pan Am Pavilion next Friday/Saturday night, with Games 3 & 4 of the best-of-5 series on the road. Muskegon lead Green Bay by one point, and the two teams face off Saturday night in Muskegon in what is essentially a one-game playoff. Winner heads to Indy next weekend.
3. Conway scored his 12th goal in the last 11 games, and his fifth in the last two.
4. The Ice deployed an all-forward PP unit often on Friday night, which was very good at generating chances and scored the first PPG. The second goal was scored with a traditional 3F/2D alignment on the man advantage.
5. The crowd of 6,404 marked the fifth time this season the Ice have drawn at least 5,000 fans to a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The largest was the traditional Pack the House Night on March 1 (12,100), but tonight's crowd was the second-largest for the Ice and third-largest for the USHL this season.
6. The Ice and Gamblers earned a split in their four-game season series, with the road team winning each game. Indy was 2-1-1 in those games.

Next up: The Ice travel to Chicago on Saturday night to face the Steel in the 2013-14 regular-season finale. Chicago was eliminated from postseason contention with a 3-1 loss to Muskegon.