The St. John's IceCaps returned home to Mile One Centre on Friday night to play host to the Rochester Americans. The game marked the return of prospect, Jacob de la Rose to the Icecaps lineup, and it didn't take long for the young swede to make an impact.
Even though they're missing four of their most offensive players through call-ups, the IceCaps dominated the first frame, with the shots finishing 22-4 in their favour. But Rochester goaltender, Nathan Lieuwen stood tall. That was until 16:06 of the period, when de la Rose fired home his first goal of the season. Darren Dietz and Gabriel Dumont picked up the assists. That was the lone goal in the period, although the IceCaps had plenty of opportunities, going 0 for 5 in the first 20 minutes.
In the second period, the tides began to turn. Zachary Fucale had to be sharp, as the Americans pressed for a tying goal. St. John's defensemen Joel Hanley, who was arguably the most solid IceCap on the night, made a goal line clearance after Fucale was beat. Hanley then put his body on the line to make a save, when it looked like the Americans had an easy goal.
Midway through the second, Josiah Didier in the box, the visitors finally got their goal. Phil Varone threw the puck on net from the half wall, which hit a skate in front of Fucale's goal and squeaked by the rookie net minder. The game remained tied at one heading into the intermission, which featured the IceCaps annual Teddy Toss.
In the third, Rochester forward Jerry D'Amigo scored the game winner with only a minute and two seconds left on the clock. Darren Dietz turned the puck over behind the net. and D'Amigo, all alone in front, beat a helpless Fucale. Colby Robak sealed the victory for the Americans with an empty net goal.
The IceCaps will look to bounce back tomorrow night, when they take on Rochester again at Mile One Centre.
STJ: Zachary Fucale 25 Saves
RCH: Nathan Lieuwen 38 saves
1. Nathan Lieuwen
2. Gabriel Dumont
3. Phil Varone