St. John's, Albany combine for 124 penalty minutes in IceCaps' home win
IceCaps get a much-needed 3-1 victory in the first game of a six-game homestand.
The St. John's IceCaps returned to Mile One Centre on Friday night for the first of two games against a North Division rival: the Albany Devils. The IceCaps were happy to return to The Rock after a long and unsuccessful road trip.
After a miserable first period, which saw the home side produce only four shots on goal, the IceCaps produced one of the more entertaining periods of the season in the middle frame.
Nikita Scherbak took a shot from the top of the circle, and it fell to Gabriel Dumont, who slid the puck to Charles Hudon for a tap in for his 19th goal of the season to put the IceCaps in the lead.
The power-play goal injected some energy into the team, who found the back of the net again just 50 seconds later. Alexandre Ranger, recently signed to a professional tryout contract, scored his second of the season, with assists going to Mark MacMillan and Tim Bozon.
The IceCaps weren't done there. Under a minute later, Brandon McNally finished off a great passing play by Andrew Yogan and Bud Holloway.
From that point on, the Devils, clearly frustrated, turned to a more physical style of play. After Ranger was caught with his head down by Jim O'Brien, rookie defenceman Brett Lernout attempted to avenge his teammate, and ended up taking on two Devils. Eventually, all five skaters on each teams had their mitts off for a good old fashioned line brawl.
Things didn't settle down after that. Devils blue-liner Dan Kelly laid Nikita Scherbak out with a vicious hit from behind. IceCaps defenceman Darren Dietz came to the defence of the rookie forward, who stayed down before being helped off the ice by the trainer. Thankfully, Scherbak did return for the start of the third.
Nikita Scherbak down after this brutal hit from behind. No penalty. pic.twitter.com/XoAsIV0Al1— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) March 5, 2016
The fighting wasn't done. Off the next face-off, IceCaps forward, and reigning NHL All-Star MVP, John Scott, dropped his gloves and began pounding on Devils forward Ben Thomson. That would be the last thing Scott did, as he was assessed two minutes for instigating, five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct for instigating, and slapped with a game misconduct for abuse of an official. In total, 94 penalty minutes were handed out during the second period.
In the third, Blake Pietila brought the Devils within two with a power-play goal, but that would be the only time they'd beat goaltender Eddie Pasquale on the night.
STJ Eddie Pasquale 26/27 ALB Yann Danis 24/27
1. Gabriel Dumont
2. Andrew Yogan
3. Eddie Pasquale