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.

Scott Conway and Matt Roy assisted on the goal, which came at 8:31 of the second period. The Ice had to kill a penalty to Sam Kurker five minutes later, but it was their only PK of the night. The Ice have had the advantage 5-on-5, and keeping Green Bay's potent PP off the ice in two of the three games has been to Indy's advantage. In those two games, the Gamblers have been shut out. The Ice themselves had one power play -- an early first-period minor to Green Bay's Evan Tironese.

Game 4 is Friday in Green Bay at 8:05 p.m. EDT. If necessary, Game 5 is scheduled for Monday at Pan Am Pavilion at 7:05 p.m. EDT.

9 takeaways
  1. Lineup changes from Games 1 & 2: RW Tyler Andrew & LW Mitch Hults were in the lineup Thursday night after being scratched for the first two games, in place of RW Dwyer Tschantz and LW Jason Salvaggio. It appears Jeff Brown juggled his lines a bit again as he did in the third period of Game 2. The combo of Smirnov, Scott Conway and Kurker was on ice for the only Game 3 tally. 
  2. Smirnov's goal was his first since he returned from a 13-game absence at the end of the regular season due to injury. 
  3. The Stewart-Pawloski tandem now has 5 shutouts each -- four in the regular season, one in the playoffs for each goaltender. Pretty impressive, but credit also has to go to the guys in front of them -- Ryan Mantha, Mike Preston, Matt Roy, Austin Kosack, Josh Jacobs & Tim Shoup, an Ice defense that's been airtight. 
  4. Conway's assist was his third in three playoff games -- no surprise for the team's leading scorer in the regular season -- but Matt Roy has become a scoring machine. He now has two goals and an assist in the series after tallying four goals in the entirety of the regular season. 
  5. Shots in the first period were 17-2. They were 25-6 at the end of two.
  6. Sam Kurker, who had a four-point third period in Game 2, had a team-high five shots. 
  7. Jason Pawloski got a shutout -- and wasn't one of the game's three stars according to Green Bay's minor officials who choose such honors. Smirnov was the #1, Conway the #2 and GB goaltender Jared Rutledge (31 saves) was the #3. 
  8. The Ice are 3-0 in Green Bay this season.
  9. A win in Game 4 or 5 would allow the Ice to win their nearly-annual playoff series with the Gamblers for the first time since the Clark Cup year of 2009. The Ice also beat Green Bay in a best-of-7 series in 2007. The Gamblers have gained the upper hand in 2010. 2011 and 2012.
Box score

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