Ice Are USHL Champions
Hollywood couldn't have written a better storybook ending.
The whole Indiana Ice organization needed this win more than anyone could imagine. As they have the whole season, the players stepped up to the challenge and did exactly what they needed to do - win.
As it has been the entire series, neither team was going to let the other just walk out with the Clark Cup. The host Black Hawks controlled a 2-1 advantage going into the third period until a pair of well-fought goals earned Indy the right to etch their name onto the United States Hockey League's top prize.
Jason Pawloski continued his stellar postseason performance, stopping 33 of 35 shots on net for the cup-clinching victory. The University of Minnesota-Mankato commit finished the night not only a champion, but with the Clark Cup Championship Most Valuable Player honors.
Mitch Hults was first to punch in on the scorecard while Alex Talcott and Brian Pinho led the third-period charge for the win.
Down 2-1 with only eight minutes left on the clock, Indy's possession game came into favor for the visitors as constant pressure forced Waterloo netminder Cal Peterson to keep a sharp eye in his own zone for a good portion of the frame.
A low-slot rebound provided the perfect opportunity for the veteran Talcott to knot the contest a 2-2 at the 11:12 mark of the final period.
Minutes passed with the weight of hours as the nail biter continued into the closing ticks of the match.
Finally, with 135 seconds left in the USHL's regulation time - rapture. Pinho's second playoff goal crossed the goalline to stun a majority of the crowd at Young Arena.
The next two minutes and change passed like an eternity as the Black Hawks frantically to even the contest, even pulling Peterson in favor of an additional skater. The gambit never paid off as Indy's defense limited Waterloo to only one shot in the final two minutes.
Facing dormancy in the 2014-2015 season, the Indiana Ice did exactly what every team in the world strives to do - Go out as champions.
Mission accomplished, boys...mission accomplished.
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United States Hockey League Stories from May 20, 2014
- Ice Are USHL Champions - Indiana Ice
- Ice Age Ends with Cup - Waterloo Black Hawks
- U.S. Men's National Team Beats Germany, 5-4, at 2014 IIHF Men's World Championship - U.S. National Team
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