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St. John's IceCaps recap: A collapse of epic proportions

It was a collapse of indescribable magnitude in the third period, as the IceCaps blew a 5-1 lead in a crucial game against Rochester.

St. John's IceCaps/Jeff Parsons

After a disappointing weekend in Syracuse, the IceCaps rolled into Rochester for a two-game series against another playoff hungry team in the Amerks.

After Zach Fucale surrendered six goals on Sunday, the veteran netminder Eddie Pasquale got the start for St. John's, and he was tested early and often against a high-powered Rochester attack.

Thankfully, the IceCaps found their offense early. Charles Hudon took a feed from Nikita Scherbak to open the scoring just 2:15 into the game, with ATO signee Cory Ward collecting an assist on the play. From there, the teams would trade penalties, with the Amerks killing a pair of IceCaps power plays in a row. Jeremy Gregoire also took a beating at the hands of Brady Austin, with the Rochester player launching Gregoire into the bench mid-fight.

The second period started with Tim Bozon serving a double minor for high sticking, but some solid play from the IceCaps penalty killers and Eddie Pasquale killed off the penalty. Not long after that, Scherbak and Hudon connected again on a beautiful play to double the IceCaps lead.

The offensive onslaught continued, with Gregoire and Gabriel Dumont adding to the lead, before Daniel Catenacci tallied a goal late in the period to break Pasquale's shutout bid.

The third period started with Morgan Ellis's 13th goal of the year, but from there the Amerks took over, and pulled off one of the most insane comebacks in AHL history. Rochester tallied five goals in the third period, including the game-winner by Chad Ruhwedel with just four seconds left on the clock. To rub some salt in the wound, the Amerks' victory tonight put Randy Cunneyworth in first place for wins among Rochester coaches.

The two teams square off again on Friday night at 7:05pm EST. The IceCaps will be looking to avoid the proverbial nail in the coffin.

Goaltenders:

St. John's-Eddie Pasquale 28/34 (L)

Rochester- Linus Ullmark 13/17 Andrey Makarov 7/8 (W)T

Three Stars

1. Chad Ruhwedel

2. Dan Catenacci

3. Matt Donovan