Ice celebrate the victory (Photo: USHL Images)
The Indiana Ice, featuring Washington Capitals draft pick Brian Pinho, have won the Clark Cup. In game five of a best-of-five series, the Ice rallied to beat Waterloo Black Hawks 3-2 to win the USHL championship. Pinho scored the game-winning goal with just over two minutes to go in the third period.
Pinho is in white, wearing #26.
Pinho also had an assist in the first period. Pinho’s shot from the high slot was stopped by Waterloo’s Cal Petersen, but Mitch Hults was first on the rebound.
Pinho scored the game-winner after Aldan Muir made a drop pass to him. Petersen was caught off-guard by the sudden change of angle and left part of his net wide open.
Following the game, Pinho told USHL’s official site, “We battled so hard all year, went through so much adversity, to play a good third period like that was unbelievable.”
“I just got the puck, passed it on to my linemate in the neutral zone,” said Pinho about the championship-winning goal. “I hopped up on the rush and he kicked it out on the wing for me and I just took a quick shot on net looking for a rebound and it actually went in, pretty fortunate.”
Another Caps prospect, Zach Sanford of Waterloo, scored a second-period goal that gave his Hawks an early 2-1 lead.
Sanford is in red, wearing #12.
Jake Horton picked off Indiana’s breakout pass and fed the puck to Sanford who tipped it in front of the net.
The Ice are coached and managed by Jeff Brown, a veteran of more than 700 NHL games who finished his career with the Capitals during their Stanley Cup run of 1998. With the Caps, Brown appeared in nine regular season games and two in the playoffs.
The speedy center Pinho, almost a point-per-game producer during the regular season, had just six points in 12 playoff games. The lanky forward Sanford, on the other hand, improved on his regular season stats, finishing with 12 points in 12 games.
Next season, the two will meet again in Hockey East conference in NCAA: Pinho is committed to Providence College, while Sanford will join Boston College.
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