Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Hudon – Dumont – Holloway
McNally – Yogan – Friberg
Bozon – MacMillan – Gregoire
Scott – Scherbak – Bakker[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Hanley – Johnston
Joyaux – Ellis
Didier – Lernout[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Shane Bakker, Travis Brown, Dalton Thrower, Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed)
Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (concussion), Michael Bournival (concussion)
Some players will say that the games they’re playing right now are like being in the playoffs. In many post-game interviews we’ve heard the phrase, “We’re playing for our lives.” Every point matters at this time of year, and tonight the IceCaps played against a Crunch team who is chasing St. John’s for that final playoff position.
It was a rough and physical game from the start. Both teams played with a lot of intensity and determination. But the IceCaps struggled all night to get out of their own end. Syracuse maintained control of much of the game, especially in the second period.
Gabriel Dumont did get his team on the board first, assisted by Brett Lernout and Josiah Didier. But the opening frame also gave fans a massive fight between Shane Bakker and David Broll. Bakker didn’t return to the game, injuring a finger in the brawl.
The IceCaps then started taking too many penalties, and although the Crunch didn’t convert any power play opportunities, it kept St. John’s on their heels. The players also seemed to get frustrated with a number of missed penalty calls against Syracuse.
Eddie Pasquale stood tall in net, facing 39 shots total. Brandon McNally got one back for his team midway through the third period, but the IceCaps just couldn’t get the puck into the net one more time for the equalizer. Both benches met at one end of the ice in a massive trash-talking mass after the final horn, providing a likely preview of Sunday’s tilt.
▲ Eddie Pasquale, Morgan Ellis, Josiah Didier, Max Friberg, Jeremy Gregoire, Shane Bakker
▼ Tim Bozon, Christopher Joyaux