Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Holloway
Hudon – De la Rose – Andrighetto
McNally – Dumont – Thomas
Gregoire – Eisenschmid – Fournier[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Barberio – Pateryn
Ellis – Dietz
Bennett – Lernout[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Josiah Didier, Dalton Thrower, Joel Hanley, Ryan Johnston (hernia), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Connor Crisp, Tim Bozon (shoulder)
For the first time on the road trip, coach Sylvain Lefebvre made changes to his top-6 forwards, In order to get more scoring from Daniel Carr, playmaker Bud Holloway was added to the Mike McCarron line. Jacob De La Rose was moved up to center the second line with Charles Hudon and Sven Andrighetto having a quiet road trip so far.
Just over eight minutes into the game, the strategy paid off with Carr picking up his fourth of the year assisted by McCarron and Holloway.
Less than a minute later, Andrighetto took a hooking penalty. A 10-minute misconduct was tacked on for abuse of officials.
It was a strong first period for the IceCaps using their speed and being physical while outshooting the Penguins 11-6. After 20 minutes, St. John’s enjoyed a 1-0 lead.
With seconds left in the first period, Darren Dietz was clipped by a stick. He headed down the tunnel to the dressing room for repairs. Dietz sat at the end of the bench missing a couple of shifts to begin the second period after getting a few stitches during the first intermission.
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton pushed back in the second period going on to outshoot the IceCaps 12-5. But it wasn’t as one-sided as it sounds with the IceCaps skating well and being physical. The McCarron line was the best on the ice for St. John’s.
With 1:11 remaining in the period, a Penguins player fell into goaltender Matt Murray after a scrum in the crease. Former Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos took exception engaging Mike McCarron. The two dropped the gloves with McCarron landing a few solid rights.
The pair received five minutes each for fighting with McCarron getting an extra two for roughing. The league’s best power-play tied the game with 9.1 seconds left in the second.
With new life, the Penguins started to take control in the third period. Almost seven minutes into the frame, Stefan Fournier took a penalty for cross-checking. The IceCaps killed off the penalty but momentum had fully turned.
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton had extended periods in the St. John’s zone dominating play. With just over five minutes left, goaltender Eddie Pasquale was guilty of over-playing the puck. The Penguins Tim Erixon banked a shot off the skate of Morgan Ellis and into an open net.
The Penguins scored two more times, including an empty-netter, with the three goals coming in a span of just 2:22. The 4-1 final did not reflect the tightness of the game.
The IceCaps have just one win in five games in Pennsylvania. The will play their final game of the road trip on Saturday against the Hershey Bears. Nikita Scherbak is not yet ready to return and will not play on Saturday.
We learned that Greg Pateryn will be heading back to Montreal on Sunday after playing three games with the IceCaps for conditioning.
▲ Daniel Carr, Brett Lernout, Mike McCarron, Brandon McNally, Matt Bennett
▼ Gabriel Dumont, Mark Barberio, Charles Hudon, Christian Thomas