The Indiana Ice skated into Pan Am Plaza struggling on a four-game losing streak. The opponent, the Lincoln Stars, came into the tilt undefeated (7-0-0). The Stars were not the remedy that the doctor ordered as the Ice dropped a 4-3 decision Saturday night.
Indy kept it close most of the night. The Ice narrowed a 4-2 third period deficit to a single score on Brian Morgan's second goal of the evening 2:56 into the final stanza, but the hosts never could pull even.
Lincoln controlled the play most of the evening as evidenced by the fact that they kept the puck in the Indiana defensive zone the entire final minute of the game, prohibiting the Ice from pulling net-minder Dalton Izyk in lieu of another forward.
Morgan's power play goal came was assisted by Rinat Valiev and Joshua Jacobs. The Western Conference leaders kept plenty of pressure on Izyk throughout the final 17 minutes.
Izyk had a busy night facing 37 Stars shots. Indy managed only 21 shots in 60 minutes.
Indiana was staring at a 4-2 visitor advantage after 40 minutes. The Stars potted a pair of second period goals. Morgan sandwiched his first of the game in between the two visitor lamplighters at the 11:36 mark.
The Ice's first shot did not come until 7:05 mark, following the opening puck drop. Six seconds later they scored on their second attempt.
After Alex Talcott won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Mikhail Plotnikov picked up the draw and planted a wrap-around shot past Lincoln goalie Jackson Teichroeb to even the score at one-all.
It was the Russian forward's second goal of the season.
The game started with two of the league's toughest skaters dropping gloves at the opening faceoff. The host's Woody Hudson tangled with Lincoln's 6'4", 205 lb. Mike McKee five seconds into the game. McKee amassed 237 penalty minutes in the 2011-2012 season.
The opening frame was punctuated with two slashing calls, a boarding penalty, and a subsequent game ejection of McKee for spearing midway through the first period.