INDIANAPOLIS — The door to the ISHSHA hockey state championship closed on the Columbus Icemen after they dropped their first two games of pool play in the Class 4A state tournament.
Coach Isaac Coy said the eighth-seeded Icemen came out flat in their first game against fifth-seeded Fort Wayne Carroll, which cost them in a 6-0 loss. The Icemen came out with more energy and intensity in Saturday’s game against fourth-seeded Lakeshore/St. Joseph (Michigan) in an 8-5 losing effort.
The Warriors had the first score four minutes into the game, but the Icemen responded with back-to-back goals from Matt Jordan and Jordan Kelley 41 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead.
“I was excited,” Coy said. “Our whole team was pumped up. Hockey is a game of few goals, and to come back to pop two back to back like that, that’s incredible.”
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A total of seven goals were scored in the opening period, and the Icemen managed to maintain a 4-3 lead by the end of it. Lakeshore/St. Joseph regained the lead after scoring two consecutive goals and kept the Icemen scoreless for the second period.
The Warriors gained full control after scoring two goals in the first minute of the final period for a 7-4 lead. Evan Shaw scored the Icemen’s last goal of the game with just over a minute left, and Lakeshore/St. Joseph ended the game by scoring its final goal with 45 seconds remaining.
Jordan led the Icemen with two goals while Noah Carlock, Evan Shaw and Kelley all had one goal each.
“I felt like we started the game really well, but I think we let the officials beat us this game,” Coy said. “It’s hard to compete when your penalties are 10-2 or 12-2. Unfortunately, the state tournament comes down to that. It is what it is, but we’ll try to pick our heads up and come out (today) strong.”
The Icemen, which made it to the 4A championship game last year, will finish its season with a pool play game against top-seeded and defending champion Carmel Gold at 9 a.m. today at the Pop Warner Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.