INDIANA - Altoona rallied for two second-period goals at heavily-favored Indiana, only to yield four in the third period of an 8-3 loss to the Indians in a PIHL Open Division Chiefs Cup quarterfinal playoff game on Sunday night at S&T Bank Arena.
Senior captain Adam Badorrek finished the year with a team-high 56 points, including 48 goals. He led the Mountain Lions with an unassisted power-play goal and one assist. Christopher Michelone netted a first-period power-play goal, and Matt Dalto also scored for Altoona, which finished 8-13-0.
"These guys have played hard all season long. They never quit, they were there for each other, and they played as a team. And that's the biggest thing you can ask from them," Altoona coach Garth Rhodes said.
Patrick Hunter and Jess Bartholow led the Indians (18-2-1) with three goals apiece. Hunter, who leads Indiana with 45 goals, opened the scoring with a short-handed effort just 1:06 into the match. Michelone tied the score less than a minute later. Bartholow answered at 5:29 of the opening period, however, and Hunter followed suit 20 seconds later. Hunter completed his true hat trick at 9:52 to give Indiana a 4-1 lead after one.
"We came out and really played our kind of game. That was playoff tempo; that's what we were geared for; that's what we peaked at the right time for," Indiana coach Dom Glavach said.
Badorrek's goal 2:48 into the second period sliced the lead in half.
"Their captain is a class act," Glavach said.
Dalto gave Indiana something to think about when he scored with 53 seconds left before the intermission.
"In the second period we knew we had to step up our game; we had to change our style a little bit," Rhodes said. "We had to get bodies in front of the net. I think we did that."
"They had a little bit of momentum," Glavach said. "That squad really brought a playoff-type tempo tonight. We went up on them early and they never stopped coming. That's a good program. They are a really well-coached team."
Whatever momentum Altoona had established evaporated almost immediately, however, when Bartholow opened the third period scoring at 1:35. Camden Lydick added a short-handed goal and Luke Lewandowski netted Indiana's only man-advantage goal 1:49 later to build the Indians' lead to 7-3. Bartholow's third goal came with 33 seconds remaining.
"I think they got a lot of bounces that went their way. And the penalties just killed us," Rhodes said.
Indiana goaltender Austin Moody made 26 saves. Altoona freshman Catcher Cumming stopped 28 of 36 shots.
"Their goaltender faced 36 good shots," Glavach said of Cumming. "Those aren't just 36 pucks to the net. Those are 36 good shots."
Altoona1 2 0 - 3
Indiana4 0 4 - 8
First period-1. Indiana, Hunter (Lydic), 1:06 (sh). 2. Altoona, Michelone (Badorrek, Schilling), 2:01 (pp). 3. Indiana, Bartholow (Lewandowski, Baylor), 5:29. 4. Indiana, Hunter (Glavach, Lydick), 5:49. 5. Indiana, Hunter (Glavach), 9:52. Penalties: Altoona 2 for 4 minutes, Indiana, 4-8.
Second period-6. Altoona, Badorrek, 2:48 (pp). 7. Altoona, Dalto (Burgmeier), 16:07. Penalties: Altoona 4-8, Indiana 5-10.
Third period-8. Indiana, Bartholow (Lydick), 1:35. 9. Indiana, Lydick (Petro), 7:04 (sh). 10. Indiana, Lewandowski (Bartholow, Baylor), 8:53 (pp). 11. Indiana, Bartholow (Baylor, Lewandowski), 16:27. Penalties: Altoona 5-10, Indiana 5-18.
Shots on goal: Altoona 8-15-7-30, Indiana 13-9-1-36
Goaltenders: Altoona, Cumming (36 shots, 28 saves), Indiana, A. Moody (20-26).
Power-play opportunities: Altoona 2 of 8, Indiana 1 of 6.
Officials: Kyler Speice, David Bozick.