skip navigation

2014 USHL Clark Cup Final Series Preview

05/08/2014, 8:00am CDT
By bwerger

Clark Cup Final Notes

The series between the Waterloo Black Hawks and Indiana Ice represents the first time in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) that a pair of number one seeds will meet for the Clark Cup.  Waterloo had the best record in the Western Conference during the regular season while Indiana was tops in the Eastern Conference.  Each has lost just one game so far in the playoffs.

Waterloo and Indiana have met in the Clark Cup Playoffs twice before.  The last time was 2011 when the Ice swept the Hawks 2-0 in a preliminary round best-of-three matchup.  The other meeting was in 2007 when Indiana defeated Waterloo during a single game, round robin matchup in the quarterfinals. 

Both Waterloo and Indiana have won the Clark Cup once.  This spring represents the fifth anniversary of Indiana’s 2009 title while it is the 10th anniversary of the 2004 championship for Waterloo.

It is the second time in three seasons that Waterloo has reached the Clark Cup Final while it is the second time in team history that Indiana will play for the championship.

A member from each of the team’s last Clark Cup championship has appeared in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs this year – Joe Pavelski (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2002-04) with the San Jose Sharks and Torey Krug (Indiana Ice, 2008-09) with the Boston Bruins.

A total of five NHL Draft picks are competing in the Clark Cup Final.  Indiana Ice forwards Aidan Muir (Edmonton Oilers – 4th round, 113th overall) and Brian Pinho (Washington Capitals – 6th round, 174th overall) were selected in the 2013 NHL Draft while teammate Sam Kurker (St. Louis Blues – 2nd round, 56th overall) was picked in the 2012 NHL Draft.  Waterloo Black Hawks forward Zach Sanford (Washington Captials – 2nd round, 61st overall) and goaltender Cal Petersen (Buffalo Sabres – 5th round, 129th overall) were both selected in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Five players in the series are ranked as top prospects for the upcoming 2014 NHL Draft as they appeared on the final rankings by NHL Central Scouting.  Indiana Ice defensemen Josh Jacobs (#43) and Ryan Mantha (#149), along with Waterloo Black Hawks defensemen Brandon Montour (#92) and Mark Friedman (#142), and forward Tyler Sheehy (#200) all were among the rankings for the top North American skaters.

Matchup Notes

#1 Waterloo Black Hawks (44-11-5, 93 points) vs. #1 Indiana Ice (42-11-7, 91 points)

-  The teams split their two regular season meetings, each winning on home ice.

-  Both clubs set a team record for victories during the regular season.

-  Waterloo led the USHL with 23 home wins and Indiana tied for second with 21 victories at home.  They tied for the League lead with 21 wins on the road.

-  Waterloo (240) scored the second-most goals in the USHL during the regular season, averaging 4.00 per contest, while Indiana (233) ranked third, averaging 3.88 per contest.

-  So far in the playoffs, Waterloo leads with 4.86 goals per game average and Indiana is averaging 2.71 per contest.

-  Indiana tied for the USHL lead in the regular season by allowing 141 goals, an average of 2.35 per game.  In the playoffs, that average has dropped to a stellar 1.57 goals per game.

-  Indiana gave up the fewest shots per game (25.10) in the regular season while Waterloo fired the most per contest (40.60).  That trend has continued in the playoffs as Indiana is allowing only 21.71 per game and Waterloo is recording 41.14 per contest.

-  Waterloo led the regular season with a 25.2% power play conversion rate and have upped that mark to 32.5% in the playoffs.

-  Waterloo has outscored their opponents 34-17 thus far in the playoffs and Indiana has outscored the opposition 19-11.  Waterloo has scored 14 of their 34 goals in the third period.

-  Jason Pawloski of Indiana and Cal Petersen of Waterloo tied for the regular season lead among USHL goaltenders with 27 victories each.  Pawloski had the fifth-best GAA (2.46) and Petersen ranked sixth (2.50).

-  Pawloski leads all goaltenders in the playoffs with a 1.13 GAA and .947 SV%.

-  Indiana forward Scott Conway tied for second in the USHL during the regular season with 33 goals.  Patrick Russell of Waterloo was fifth with 29 goals and Brian Pinho of Indiana tied for sixth with 28 tallies.  Pinho scored three of his goals for Indiana over the two regular season meetings with Waterloo.

-  Waterloo has the top four scorers in the playoffs thus far.  Defenseman Brandon Montour leads all players with 14 points (5g, 9a), followed by Blake Winiecki (5g, 7a), Tyler Sheehy (5g, 6a), and Liam Pecararo (3g, 7a).

-  Montour has tied the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) for most points by a defenseman in the playoffs.  His 14 points (5g, 9a) over seven games has tied the 14 points by Waterloo defenseman Mitch Witek (4g, 10a) in 15 games during the 2012 Clark Cup Playoffs.

-  The Indiana Ice have three shutouts thus far in the playoffs, tying a USHL record for the most shutouts in one playoff year.  Pawloski has posted two shutouts while Hayden Stewart has recorded one for the Ice.

-  The teams combined to have 13 of the top 20 players in the plus/minus category during the regular season.  Indiana had six of the top 10, including Scott Conway and defenseman Austin Kosack who tied for the USHL lead with a plus-40 rating.  Tyler Sheehy of Waterloo, who was 14th during the regular season with a plus-25 rating, currently leads all players in the playoffs with a plus-eight mark.

Season series stats

Waterloo regular season stats

Indiana regular season stats

Waterloo playoff stats

Indiana playoff stats


Series Schedule

Game 1: Friday, May 9th, 7:05 PM – Indiana @ Waterloo

Game 2: Saturday, May 10th, 7:05 PM – Indiana @ Waterloo

Game 3: Friday, May 16th, 7:05 PM – Waterloo @ Indiana

Game 4: Saturday, May 17th, 7:05 PM – Waterloo @ Indiana**

Game 5: Tuesday, May 20th, 7:05 PM – Indiana @ Waterloo**

 **if necessary

(all times reflect local start time)

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14.  A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (, twitter (, and YouTube (  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

Tag(s): Top Story