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.
For the last 15 years, Ian Walsh has crisscrossed the United States as an NHL official. In this Part 2 of our conversation with Walsh, the 42-year-old Philadelphia native fielded a series of questions discussing life on the road, his conditioning schedule, mentors, on-ice struggles, the evolution of the game and advice for aspiring officials.
USA Hockey: How do you think you've been able to maintain all of the officiating success you've had over the last 15 years?
Ian Walsh: I believe one of my strengths as an official is my work ethic. I come to the rink every night ready to work hard and give 100 percent. I also believe I am very coachable, and when I'm offered a suggestion for improvement, I try very hard to implement that advice into my game.
USAH: What is your conditioning schedule like during the NHL season? How about during the off-season?
Walsh: During the season, conditioning work is more about maintaining what you built up over the summer. The workouts aren't as intense but you must continue to take good care of your body. Game-day workouts usually include a 30-minute bike ride or a couple miles run at the hotel gym. I also like to do some core work and light strength training on top of that.
The weather in Portland is amazing in the summer, and I prefer to be outside and on my road bike. I usually get in about four days a week of riding outdoors to help build my endurance and strength. I try to play hockey a few days a week as well to help work on my skating.
USAH: When did you realize you finally had cemented your career as an official? What was that feeling like?
Walsh: I don't know if you ever get that feeling. Every night is a different challenge in our league. It is a hard, hard league to officiate. The scrutiny of every call, every goal, ever non-call is such a challenge for all of us. The best players and coaches in the world expect us to perform at such a high level every night, and we have to be ready for anything that comes our way. It’s a privilege to be on the ice in the NHL, and I think that is something no official takes for granted.
USAH: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date as an official?
Walsh: Being chosen to participate in four Stanley Cup playoffs is what I'm most proud of. It’s an incredible honor to be selected and that’s the goal for every official each year. Also, being part of the team that was chosen to represent the NHL at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a phenomenal experience and a great opportunity.
USAH: What has been the biggest hurdle/obstacle you've had to overcome in your officiating career?
Walsh: I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood, that I haven’t had any serious injuries. Other than some bumps and bruises, I’ve been relatively injury-free in my career. The biggest challenge is to be able to bounce back from calls you made that aren't correct. In this day and age, we usually know within minutes after the game if we made a wrong decision. When you make a call that impacts the game, it’s hard on the mind. Unfortunately, we make mistakes and what most people don't understand is that nobody takes it harder than the official making that mistake. Being able to bounce back from a mistake is something all officials must learn to do.
USAH: Who has had the most impact on your officiating career over the past 15 years? What has that person or those people taught you?
Walsh: Nobody has helped me more over my NHL career than fellow referee Paul Devorski. I've worked a lot of games with Paul and we’ve had the opportunity to travel together on the road. As an elite, veteran referee, he has been able to pass down some of his knowledge to me to help me become a better official. Paul is retiring this year, and our staff will sorely miss him.
USAH: How has the game changed, besides speed, since you started in the early 2000s?
Walsh: I would say the biggest change besides the speed of the game would be the use of technology. It is amazing what you see at rink – teams have iPads on the bench, super slo-motion video replays, hi-def video scoreboards, etc. With all that technology, it makes the officials job appear easy. People forget that the official on the ice sees a play one time, in real time, and must make a split-second decision on that play. It often appears quite different when you see a replay in super slo-mo on hi-def after a game.
USAH: What advice can you give aspiring NHL/professional league officials as they progress in their career?
Walsh: I would say make sure you have a backup plan. Making it to the NHL is everyone’s goal, but there are very few jobs available. There are so many factors that go into hiring an official and a lot of those are out of your control. Go and work the highest level available to you. Don't worry about other officials, if you are good enough, the NHL will find you. Also, control what you can control – always work on your skating, know your rules and come to the rink every night with a strong work ethic and a great attitude.