by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report
ST. JOHN’S, NL. — After a successful opening weekend at home, the IceCaps hosted the Binghamton Senators for a Tuesday – Wednesday series at Mile One Centre in St. John’s.
Game one was a back and forth affair which saw the lead change a few times before heading to overtime. In the second period alone, we witnessed a combined five goals and three fights. The IceCaps carried a two goal lead into the final 10 minutes but the Senators tied it up late, and managed to score in overtime to take the win.
The real star of this game however was Captain Gabriel Dumont. Registering two goals, he was an assist shy of the Gordie Howe hat-trick after dropping the gloves with David Dziurzynski. Dumont standing a mere 5-foot-10-inches stood in with the 6-foot-3-inch Dziurzynski Although mismatched, Dumont demonstrated once again why he’s the leader on this young team, a true demonstration of what it means to put your team first.
Game two was a similar story, but different result. The IceCaps once again took a lead, this time up 3-0 heading into the second period. The Senators took over in the second to pull it back to one, however that was as close as they would get as Zach Fucale held the fort.
There is no way to overplay how significant Fucale’s play was in this game. Encouraging for IceCaps and Habs fans alike, Fucale stopped 40 of 42 shots on goal for the win. Although he stopped 34 of 36 on Friday night, the game was never truly in reach on Friday, as opposed to this game which had a single goal differential through the entirety of the third period.
Additionally in Fucale’s debut he appeared shaky, at times giving up sloppy rebounds and was fortunate that the defence was able to clear the puck from the crease, however Wednesday night he just dominated. Looking calm and collected, Fucale is making an early case to take the reigns as the No. 1 guy in St. John’s after Dustin Tokarski lost on Tuesday night.
Fucale would be wise to emulate the poise and mindset as Carey Price. Over the next few years with the IceCaps, Fucale will have plenty of opportunity with coach Lefebvre to hone his physical and mental skillsets.
St. John’s is now off to a 4-1-1 start, and will have their hands full when they take on the 5-1-0 Bridgeport Soundtigers on Friday and Saturday night at Mile One Centre. This will be a reunion of sorts for Sebastien Collberg. The Islanders prospect was traded to the Islanders in the Thomas Vanek trade in 2014. He played two games with the Bulldogs in 2012-13 but went through a couple rookie camps with other Canadiens prospects now calling St. John’s home.