The St. John’s IceCaps kicked off their six-game home stand with a 5-2 win over the Rochester Americans, in front of a sold out crowd of 6,296 at Mile One Centre.
Hockey Hall of Famer and Canadiens legend Yvon Cournoyer was on hand to drop the ceremonial first puck, alongside IceCaps Owner and former Premier of Newfoundland Danny Williams. After a lengthy player introduction ceremony, the game got underway.
It didn’t take long for the fans on the rock to get a taste of the action. Just over five minutes into the first period, Sven Andrighetto finished off a tic-tac-toe with Bud Holloway and Charles Hudon for a beautiful opening goal. Dan Catenacci replied late in the period to even the score heading into the break.
The line of Andrighetto, Hudon, and Holloway was buzzing all night. Andrighetto added his second tally early into the second frame, finishing a tap in on the doorstep after a Hudon shot hit the iron. Christian Thomas also scored his first of two on the night with a perfectly placed shot, beating goaltender Linus Ullmark upstairs on the short side.
Thomas wasn’t done there. In the third period, the fourth-year pro batted the puck out of mid-air for his second, putting the IceCaps up 4-1, and defenseman Morgan Ellis picked up his second of two assists on the goal. Jack Nevins scored for the Americans mid way through the period, but it wasn’t enough. Holloway would put the game out of reach thanks to an empty netter with just under two minutes to play.
Highly touted rookie goaltender Zachary Fucale was able to earn his first professional win. The 20 year old was good when called upon, making multiple key saves throughout the contest. He stopped 31 of 33 shots directed his way. His counterpart, Ullmark, stopped 29 of 33.
The powerplay was invisible, going 0/5 on the night, but the same cannot be said for the penalty kill. Captain Gabriel Dumont made some crucial blocks, helping the shorthanded unit keep a perfect 4/4 record on the day.
1. Christian Thomas, St. John's
2. Sven Andrighetto, St. John's
3. Jason Akeson, Rochester