SportsOne Canlan Ice Arena
Fort Wayne, IN
Indiana and IPFW Face-Off in ICHC Regular Season Finale
Regular season play in the inagural year of the ICHC comes to a close this weekend when the Hoosiers travel to Fort Wayne for a pair of contests against IPFW.
The ICHC kicks off the season with the preseason showcase in October, which is followed by a weekend series between each of the conference's four teams before the conference tournament at the end of the year.
It was at the showcase in October that these two team's last met.
October's contest between the two teams saw IPFW winning 6-2 due in large part to a fluery of goals in the 2nd period.
IU scored the first and only goal of the first period to take a 1-0 lead, but four unanswered goals in the second created a deficit too large for the Hoosiers to comeback from.
This time when the two teams play the stakes will be high as both teams will be looking to build momentum going into next month's conference tournament.
IPFW currently is undefeated in conference regular season play, and would clinch the #1 seed in the tournament as well as the regular season title with just two points this weekend.
Although IU can't win the regular season title, to win the Crossroads Cup they will most likely have to go through IPFW, so a win or two will go a long way for the Hoosiers if they can come away in the win column this weekend.
The Hoosiers will be well rested coming into this contest, having only played two games in the past 47(!) days.
They'll rely heavily on those fresh legs over the next month as IU heads into the home stretch of the 2014-2015 season.
Following this weekend's matchup with IPFW is a pair of home games against Michigan, a three game weekend in South Bend against Holy Cross and Notre Dame, topped off by the ICHC Tournament.
In the 3rd ACHA Rankings, the Hoosiers picked up votes from the voting committee for the 2nd time this season. Although they didn't crack the Top 15, getting the voters attention is a great start. Before this season the last time the Hoosiers even recieved votes was in 2010.
With three of their final four opponents being ranked (IPFW #13, Michigan #14, Holy Cross #11), the Hoosiers could very well climb their way into the Top 15 with a strong finish. Although the odds of qualifying for the regional tournament remain slim as the team would have to climb all the way into the Top 10, a Top 15 finish would be a big step for the program.
The final ACHA Rankings will be released on February 13th. The path to crack the Top 15 starts this weekend against the Dons.
What to Watch For
The last time the Hoosiers took the ice it was outdoors against Northwestern, a game they won 7-4. The Hoosiers did a good job of shaking off the rust from the long winter break, rust that was apparent in their 8-1 loss the night before to DePaul. The well rested Hoosiers will have an advantage over the Dons, who have played 5 games in their last 7 days.
In the third ACHA rankings, the Hoosiers sit just on the outside having recieved votes for the second time this season. A win over the ranked Dons would be a big boost for the Hoosiers who look to move into the Top 15 in the final rankings next month.
The Hoosiers are averaging 4.25 goals per game coming into this weekend, while allowing 4.3. Their PP% is 22.43%, and PK% 78.31.
Nick Kleva is on the verge of program history. The captain is just one point and one goal away from the triple crown; the single season record for goals, assists, and points.
The Mastadons come into this weekend sitting at 14-10-2 on the season, and are currently ranked #13 in the north region. Last weekend IPFW played 4 games in 4 days participating in Northwestern's MLK Tournament. The Dons finished in 1-2 in pool play beating Nebraska 5-4, but losing to Aurora 9-5 and Notre Dame 6-4. They beat Michigan 10-3 in the 5th place game on Monday.
On Thursday night, IPFW began a three game weekend beating Indiana Tech 10-3 in preperation for Friday's contest vs. IU. With Thursday's game, IPFW has now played 5 games in the past 7 days. Whether or not the Dons have gas in the tank for a whole weekend will have a large affect on the outcome.
The Dons are averaging 5.07 goals per game, while allowing 5.11. Their PP% is 17.12%, and their PK% is 78.62%.
The leading scorer for the Dons is Brendan Lewis, who has 21G, 25, 46P in 24 games.
IPFW leads the all time series over IU 6-2-1.
12/11/09 - Indiana 5 IPFW 2
12/12/09 - Indiana 3 IPFW 3
10/1/10 - Indiana 2 IPFW 7
10/2/10 - Indiana 4 IPFW 7
2/4/11 - Indiana 2 IPFW 5
2/5/11 - Indiana 5 IPFW 3
1/27/12 - Indiana 1 IPFW 9
1/28/12 - Indiana 2 IPFW 6
10/11/14 - Indiana 2 IPFW 6
2010 - present
2010 - present