Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Holloway
Hudon – De la Rose – Andrighetto
McNally – Dumont – Thomas
Gregoire – Eisenschmid – Neilson[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Barberio – Pateryn
Ellis – Dietz
Bennett – Lernout[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Josiah Didier, Ryan Johnston (hernia), Joel Hanley, Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Connor Crisp, Tim Bozon (shoulder), Dalton Thrower, Stefan Fournier
St. John’s came into this game needing a win. They had lost four of the five previous games on this six-day road trip through Pennsylvania. Despite playing well for the majority of games, the IceCaps were having difficulty mustering a consistent effort for 60 minutes.
Saturday night’s game didn’t start well.
Just over two minutes in, Bears centre Carter Camper carried the puck into the St. John’s zone then found the trailer, Stanislev Galiev, who wristed a shot past Zach Fucale.
A short time later, Gabriel Dumont took the first of his two minor penalties. The early goal and a power-play provided momentum for Hershey who led 9-3 in shots before the halfway mark of the period.
Hershey centre Sean Collins out-muscled Sven Andrighetto for the puck chipping it ahead to send Galiev on a breakaway. The former Saint John Sea Dogs forward put it high over Fucale for his second goal of the period. Hershey led 2-0.
Just over a minute later, with Erik Neilson off for boarding, IceCaps penalty-killer Mile McCarron grabbed the puck in his own zone and skated an end-to-end rush. McCarron went around the Bears defenseman and fired a shot past goaltender Justin Peters.
The puck went in and out quickly seeming to bulge the twine on the inside of the post. McCarron celebrated with his arms outstretched but play continued. With just a single referee in the game, Pierre Lambert wasn’t in an ideal position to make the call but signaled no goal.
Hershey carried the puck into the IceCaps zone. Collins redirected Camper’s shot past Fucale and it was 3-0.
At the stoppage, coach Sylvain Lefebvre requested a review. Referee Lambert informed the IceCaps that there was technical problem with the video equipment. There would be no review.
The officials were aware of the problem. The system failure required a reboot and the referee decided to proceed with the game rather than cause a stop in play. With the extended delay during the discussions, the system was rebooted but too late to review the McCarron goal.
The decision by the referee caused a two goal swing. Rather than a 2-1 game, it was 3-0 with 5:07 remaining in the first period.
Shots on goal were 16-9 for the Bears after one period of play. The IceCaps regrouped in the intermission.
Zach Fucale made a big glove just moments into the second period. St. John’s came out a very determined bunch. Brett Lernout scored his first goal as a pro with a blast from the point to put the IceCaps on the board.
At 13:38 of the second, Morgan Ellis’ point shot beat Peters top-shelf and it was a one-goal game. Assists went to McCarron and Daniel Carr.
Shots on goal in the second period were 15-11 for the IceCaps.
St. John’s continued their pace in the third period holding a shot advantage. With 2:56 left, Daniel Carr willed the puck into the net banging a Peter’s rebound across the line following a shot from Mac Bennett. The IceCaps had tied it 3-3.
After an exciting, scoreless 3-on-3 overtime, the teams went on to a shootout. Gabriel Dumont got the game-deciding goal and Fucale made a final save on Collins for the victory.
It truly was a character win for the IceCaps.
The team will fly out of Philadelphia on Sunday heading back to St. John’s. The IceCaps will have a few days of practice to prepare for a four-game homestand starting with two-game series against the Toronto Marlies next weekend.
▲ Daniel Carr, Mike McCarron, Brett Lernout, Zach Fucale, Morgan Ellis
▼ Mark Barberio, Sven Andrighetto, Charles Hudon