[one_half_last]Dietz – Lernout
Hanley – Johnston
Brown – Didier[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Shane Bakker, Angelo Miceli, Mac Bennett, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (concussion), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
It had been almost a week since the last time the IceCaps took the ice for a game. After finally grabbing a win in Syracuse at the end of a disappointing road trip, the team had a few days to rest and practice before welcoming the Albany Devils to the Mile One Centre.
The first period was rather sluggish, with St. John’s only getting four shots on goal. Only one penalty, against Gabriel Dumont, was called in the opening frame – a quiet 20 minutes to be sure.
The second period, however, was the polar opposite. Charles Hudon scored his 19th goal of the season during a power play, assisted by Dumont and Nikita Scherbak. The goals came fast and furious after that, with Alexander Ranger and Brandon McNally both scoring within another minute or so.
Then things got pretty intense. Five fights were recorded in the period, with Mark MacMillan and John Scott both getting thrown out with game misconducts. Scherbak was the victim of a dirty hit from behind which tossed him toward the visiting bench and into the stanchion. Scott took exception and landed a flurry of solid left jabs onto the face and head of Ben Thomson.
The Devils managed to get one goal on the board in the third period, but the IceCaps didn’t let them get any farther in the scoring race. It was a solid team win to kick off this home stand as they try to make a push toward the playoffs down the stretch.
The Icecaps face the Albany Devils again on Saturday night for the second game of the back-to-back and the final game in the season series.
▲ Bud Holloway, Eddie Pasquale, Charles Hudon, John Scott, Darren Dietz
Scratches: Jeremy Gregoire, Ryan Johnston, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (concussion), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed), Gabriel Dumont (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
Friday night’s loss in Binghamton left the IceCaps looking for a solution to the persistent problem of how to get a win against the Senators. They came out in Saturday night’s game with a lot of energy, obviously frustrated with their inability to find a way to get pucks past Chris Driedger.
That frustration spilled over early on in a game that saw three fights and a number of boarding and roughing calls. Darren Dietz, Shane Bakker, and Michael McCarron all dropped the gloves with opponents. Senators captain Zach Stortini tried numerous times to get John Scott to go as well, but with no luck.
Casey Bailey got the home team on the board late in the first period after McCarron made a bad drop pass behind the net to a Binghamton player who fed the puck right to Bailey in the slot. After that, the goals kept coming for the Senators and it wasn’t until the third period when the IceCaps finally got on the scoreboard with a goal by Morgan Ellis.
The third period looked like a completely different game, with St. John’s getting 19 shots on goal compared to a cumulative nine shots on goal in the first forty minutes.
A highlight reel moment came in the dying moments of the game as Bud Holloway sprawled across the ice deflecting the puck with an outstretched stick away from the IceCaps empty net.
Once again, however, it was too little too late and the IceCaps left the ice with another loss.
The Icecaps continue their road trip by heading to Albany next for a game against the Devils on Wednesday night.