Friday’s game was the long-awaited home opener for the St. John’s IceCaps. Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur, was on hand to kickoff the weekend series with the ceremonial puck drop.
The six game home stand didn’t start as planned for St. John’s. Within just seven minutes elapsed, Rochester had goals from both Evan Rodrigues and Justin Bailey. But the home team was able to grab one back before the first intermission. Nikita Scherbak squeaked one through Jason Kasdorf on the powerplay to cut the lead in half.
In the second period, sophomore forward, Mark MacMillan, came bursting down the wing before feeding another sophomore, Jeremy Gregoire in front of the net. Gregoire made no mistake to tie the game at two apiece. It didn’t take the Americans long to respond, however. Evan Rodrigues’ second of the game sent the visitors into the dressing room with another lead.
Gorgeous set up by Mark MacMillan on Jeremy Gregoire's game-tying goal: pic.twitter.com/Ry9IBzH4Lw— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) October 28, 2016
The third period was all IceCaps. Newcomer Philip Samuelsson registered his first of the season, and a few minutes later Sven Andrighetto extended his goal streak to four games, when he slotted home a great pass from rookie Daniel Audette on the way to a 5-3 victory.
IceCaps starter, Charlie Lindgren, was fantastic yet again in the St. John’s crease. The rookie made 32 saves, good for third star of the game.
1. Mark MacMillan – STJ
2. Evan Rodrigues – RCH
3. Charlie Lindgren – STJ
Full game highlights:
The second game was a different story for St. John’s. Special teams were the downfall of the IceCaps. The team was 0/5 on the powerplay, while also allowing a shorthanded goal. The penalty kill was no better than the powerplay, allowing two goals on Rochester’s four opportunities .
Once again, the home team got off to a slow start. William Carrier beat IceCaps starter Yann Danis high to give Rochester a 1-0 lead. The goal was shorthanded. The IceCaps were able to tie the game before the end of the period. Daniel Audette, who was probably the best of all St. John’s players on the weekend, opened his professional goal scoring account with his first of the season.
From the second period on, it was all Rochester. Powerplay goals from Cole Schneider and William Carrier put the visitors up 3-1.
Nikita Scherbak was able to pull the IceCaps within one when he riffled home a wrist shot over the glove hand of Americans starter, John Muse.
The comeback was short-lived. Nick Baptiste added a goal late in the period to regain the Americans two goal lead. Baptiste would add an empty net goal late in the third, to seal the 5-2 win for the visitors.
1. William Carrier – RCH
2. John Muse – RCH
3. Daniel Audette – STJ
Full game highlights:
The IceCaps now sport a 3-4-1 record through eight games, good for 5th in the North Division. Their next game up is versus Utica, on November 1st.