ICE REMAIN PERFECT AT HOME, DEFEAT TEAM USA 3-2
The Indiana Ice game plan was to take it physically to the Team USA U-17 team and the formula worked in a 3-2 victory Friday at Pam Am Plaza. After building a 2-0 lead in the first period, the Ice needed Brian Morgan’s game-winner to remaining perfect on home ice.
“They are a huge team but primarily 16-year olds,” commented forward Drew Smolcynski. “We took it to them hard and we knew that would rattle them.”
Morgan’s tally gave Indy a 3-1 lead at 4:14 of the third period after he stuffed home a rebound off Zach Aman’s shot on goal. Smolcynski was credited with an assist on the play.
Morgan’s second goal in the season’s first three games was needed after Team USA narrowed the lead to 3-2 just over a minute after Morgan’s tally.
“They played really hard and battled back,” stated Morgan, who also scored the game-winner in the Ice’s home opener last Saturday. “We held them off after we came out quick with our first two goals.
Indiana built a 2-0 cushion after 20 minutes of play with a pair of quick strike goals. Woody Hudson potted his second goal of the season after Canon Pieper won a face-off in the Ice offensive zone. Hudson took the Pieper feed and buried his shot 3:52 into the first period.
The hosts needed only seven seconds of their first power-play opportunity to double the lead. Robbie Baillargeon won a draw and set up a Matt Krug slap shot from the blue line. Smolcynski put home the rebound of Baillargeon ’s shot which sent Indy into the first intermission leading 2-0.
The visitors cut the deficit in half when they scored the only goal of the middle stanza. Sonny Milano converted on a USA power play at 9:37 of the period. His goal ended an 89-minute stretch of holding opponents without a goal on Pan Am Plaza ice.
The Team USA score with the man advantage ended Indy’s streak of successful penalty kills to open the season at 11.
Dalton Izyk earned the victory in net and made several highlight reel saves including a momentum changing stop in first minute of the second period. The Ice net-minder went stick side post to stop a point blank shot and over to the glove side pipe to snuff out the rebound.
Izyk stopped 19 shots as Indiana improved their early season record to 2-1. The team departs on a six-game road trip before returning to Pan Am Plaza on Saturday, October 20th for a tilt with their foes from Cedar Rapids. Face off set for 7:05.