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Assessing the Ice After the 1/3 Mark

December 9, 2009

The defending Clark Cup Champions have found themselves with few returning players from last season’s title run, but fortunes haven’t really changed in the Circle City. Currently the Ice stand at 12-8-1, which is good enough for second place in the USHL’s East Division.

Defense has been the key factor for Indiana this season. Currently the Ice rank second in the league in penalty kill percentage and fourth in goals allowed. Goalie Cab Morris leads the league with a save percentage of .919. Another key to the success of the Ice this year is their generally unselfish play. Indiana has nine players in double digits in the points column and shot distribution is about even throughout the club.

Antti Roppo is proving himself to be a goal scoring machine as he has posted 12 goals in 21 games, which currently places him tied for fifth in goals scored.

I understand that the USHL is a developmental league and Coach Blashill is trying to give both of his young goaltenders equal time in net, yet I hope that Cab Morris starts to see more time in net than his counterpart Casey DeSmith. Morris has been outperforming his teammate and in games against some of the league’s upper crust he should be looked to for the start. This is not to disparage any of the effort put forth by DeSmith this season, who has played admirably considering he’s been facing more shots on average than Morris.

Indiana at this point stands to be one of the better teams in the USHL this season and a strong contender for the Clark Cup. If the Ice can continue winning and if the returning members from last season can provide leadership in the locker room, then this team looks to have a leg up over the competition. Only time will tell if there will be another championship banner hanging from the rafters of Pepsi Coliseum.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Moosie permalink
    December 16, 2009 2:33 pm

    The Ice benefits greatly from having Nick Bailen back this year. I’m also liking the physical play of Anthony Bitetto. Experience and physicality on defense: can’t beat that combination.

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