The Indiana Ice rallied in the third period and on the road to beat the Waterloo Black Hawks 3-2 in the deciding fifth game of the Clark Cup Final on Tuesday.
Indiana’s Brian Pinho scored with 2:15 remaining to complete the comeback. Clark Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player Jason Pawloski made 33 saves for the Ice, including 14 in the third period, when he did not allow a goal.
The Clark Cup, which Indiana also won in 2009, determines the United States Hockey League playoff title and the USA Hockey Tier I junior national championship.
Pinho, a Providence College recruit who was selected in the sixth round of last year’s National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, put the winning shot low inside the post for Indiana’s first lead of the game.
Indiana came back from two deficits. Pinho assisted on a Mitch Hults goal to force a 1-1 tie in the first period. Then Alex Talcott scored with nine minutes left to force a tie at 2-2.
Cal Petersen made 41 saves for Waterloo in the loss. Patrick Russell and Zach Sanford scored the goals.
Waterloo had forced the deciding game with a 7-2 romp on Saturday in Indiana. The Black Hawks were outshot 15-2 while falling behind 2-1 in the first period. But Zach Sanford, a second-round draft choice by the Capitals, put the Black Hawks in control by scoring twice early in the second period for the tie and the lead. They were the first two of six straight goals scored by Waterloo.
Sanford and Liam Pecararo, who had one goal, each had three points for the Black Hawks and Petersen made 36 saves.
Indiana took the series lead in Game 3 on Friday when four different players scored goals and Pawloski made 27 saves in a 4-1 win.
Pawloski finished the playoffs with eight wins, a 1.80 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage.
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Joe Sullivan, who had an assist for the Ice in Game 5, has committed to St. Lawrence University. The 20-year-old forward from Las Vegas had 22 points in 58 regular-season games.
USHL ALL-STARS: The Omaha Lancers landed half the spots on the all-USHL first team. Forward Jake Randolph, defenseman Tucker Poolman and goaltender Hayden Hawkey represented the Lancers.
The rest of the first team was Waterloo defenseman Brandon Montour, Youngstown Phantoms Kyle Connor and Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Matt Iacopelli.
Waterloo had half the second-team spots in Petersen, defenseman Mark Friedman and forward Peter Krieger. The other second-teamers were Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Alexx Privitera, Team USA forward Jack Eichel and Omaha forward Tyler Vesel.
Seven players were named to the USHL All-Rookie Team for players 18 or younger who were in their first season in the league. The team includes: Hawkey, Chicago Steel forward Robby Jackson, Waterloo forward Tyler Sheehy, Indiana forward Denis Smirnov, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders defenseman Charlie Curti, Waterloo defenseman Hayden Shaw and Indiana defenseman Tim Shoup.
NEW LOOKS: The North American Hockey League will have small changes for it’s 39th season in 2014-15 season. The league features four divisions for 24 teams from 11 states.
The Port Huron Fighting Falcons are relocating to Connellsville, Pa. to become the Keystone Ice Miners. They will remain in the North Division, which the Fighting Falcons won this past season with a 35-15-10 record.
Meanwhile, the Wenatchee Wild are moving from the Midwest Division to the South Division.
The Northern Pacific Hockey League has announced two of the three additions that will be part of its planned expansion from five to eight teams next season. Two Washington franchises, Wenatchee and Tacoma, will be added.
SPRING SHOWCASE: The Eastern Hockey League conducted a Spring Showcase Friday through Sunday with 46 teams and more than 850 players in action. The New York Bobcats captured the U20 title, the Philadelphia Junior Flyers won the U18 title and the East Coast Wizards took the U16 title.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.