KEARNEY – Indiana’s four-goal outburst in the third period might appear to be the biggest reason the Ice topped Tri-City 7-4 on Saturday.
But Storm coach Drew Schoneck points to Indiana’s last goal in the second period to tie it up at 3 as the catalyst to the Ice’s victory.
Chris Martin scored a shorthanded goal with 31 seconds left in the second, then Indiana (17-11-2) exploded for its four goals in a span of 9:46 of the final period to easily pull away in a game that saw the teams combine for 91 shots.
“I think the whole thing (in the third period) began when we gave up a shorthanded goal with 30 seconds left (in the second),” Schoneck said. “I’m not sure what the five guys on the ice were doing at that time, but one guy managed to run into three (teammates). We’d dominated the period, then we turn around and give up the momentum at the end of the second period by giving up a shorthanded goal.”
Tri-City (13-10-6) had quickly made Indiana’s 2-0 lead evaporate by scoring three times in a span of 3:15 earlier in the second period.
Alex Carpenter got the hot streak started by beating Indiana goaltender Jon Gilles with a backhanded shot low to his glove side at 4:51.
Michael Montrose sent a slapshot from the left point past Gilles at 6:21, and Nick Lappin scored for the second straight game with a shot from the right circle at 8:06.
But the Storm wasn’t able to maintain its 3-2 lead into the third period.
Martin scored his shorty after a path opened up when Storm forward Derik Angeli collided with a teammate. Martin’s goal was greeted with a round of boos from Storm fans, who believed the net was dislodged before the puck went in.
The Ice went on to dominate the third, with two of its four goals coming on the power play from Brian Ferlin. Daniil Tarasov added a goal and two assists in the period.
“The difference in the hockey game was giving up the shorthanded goal and going 0-for-2 (on the power play), and them going (2-for-4),” Schoneck said. “That’s a three-goal swing. That’s what we lost by. ….Our power play has to find a goal or two here every game.”
Tri-City did get a shimmer of life in the third when Zack Rall dove to send a rebound into an open net at 14:40 to close the gap to 5-4.
But Rall was called for a hook 23 seconds later, and Ferlin needed just 14 seconds to convert on the ensuing power-play opportunity.
Indiana scored twice in the opening 10:26 to take control early.
Tarasov converted from the low slot at 4:48. Then, after Gillies stopped a Storm scoring chance, Indiana rushed up the ice on a 2-on-1 and converted with a Christian Hilbrich goal.
“We didn’t come out with the jump we did against Cedar Rapids (on Friday),” Schoneck said. “We took a wait-and-see (attitude), and they jumped on us.”
Tri-City has scored first in only eight out of its 29 games. …For the second straight week, the Storm will take a Wednesday trip to play at Sioux Falls. … That game begins a stretch where Tri-City plays 10 of its next 12 on the road. Its only home games during that stretch is Jan. 29 against Chicago and Feb. 11 against Sioux Falls. “We’re going to have to find points on the road,” Schoneck said. “Everybody goes through it. Everybody gets a slew of road games and ours is coming up.”
Indiana 2 1 4—7
Tri-City 0 3 1—4
First period—1, Indian, Tarasov 14 (Coleman, Ferlin), 4:48; 2, Indiana, Hilbrich 4 (Tarasov, Panetta), 10:26. Penalties—Martin, Indiana, major (fighting), 16:34; Millisor, Tri-City, major (fighting), 16:34.
Second period—3, Tri-City, Carpenter 2 (Denis, Dorantes), 4:51; 4, Tri-City, Montrose 1 (Murphy, Lappin), 6:21; 5, Tri-City, Lappin 3 (Carpenter, Millisor), 8:06; 6, Indiana, Martin 7 (Coleman), 19:29 (sh). Penalties—Binkley, Tri-City (cross checking), 1:38; Jonzzon, Tri-City (cross checking), 12:53; Obuschowski, Indiana (hooking), 15:39; Brooks, Tri-City (roughing), 18:56; Erne, Indiana, double minor (roughing), 18:56.
Third period—7, Indiana, Ferlin 13 (Coleman, Tarsov), 8:10 (pp); 8, Indiana, Tarasov 15, 13:45; 9, Tri-City, Rall 2 (Jonzzon, Brooks), 14:40; 10, Indiana, Ferlin 14 (Tarasov, Obushcowski), 15:1 (pp); 11, Indiana, Schneider 15 (Kuraly), 17:56. Penalties—bench, Indiana (too many men), 2:35; Zharkov, Tri-City (interference), 7:12; Rall, Tri-City (hooking), 15:03.
Shots-on-goal—Indiana 12-17-14—43, Tri-City 16-19-13—48.
Power-play opportunities—Indiana 2 for 4, Tri-City 0 for 3.
Goaltenders—Indiana, Gillies 6-5-1 (48 shots-44 saves). Tri-City, Holden 5-4-1 (43-36).
Referee—Steve Thomson. Linesmen—Nate Williams, Scott Zingerman.