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IceCaps Game Recap: Charlie Lindgren makes 50 saves to win his AHL debut

Under siege all night, the rookie goalie got the IceCaps their first victory of the season.

Montreal Canadiens v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The last time the IceCaps faced the Providence Bruins it was a heated affair. St. John’s was missing their big center, Michael McCarron, last night as he was serving a two-game suspension after headbutting Justin Hickman during an altercation after their meeting on October 16th. As a result, he sat out last night’s game, and will do so again today. He’s expected to be back on deck to finish up the road trip in their final game on Sunday against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

With McCarron out, Chris Terry was given the opportunity to join the top line alongside Max Friberg and Sven Andrighetto.

After a rocky start to the road trip last weekend for the team, Charlie Lindgren was given the nod to kick off the second half. It was Lindgren’s AHL debut, which actually came after his first NHL start last April.

It was a pretty slow start for the IceCaps in the first half of the period. Things started to pick up about halfway through when Daniel Audette got called for high sticking. Less than a minute later, Peter Mueller evened up the playing field after a tripping call, making it four-on-four.

The IceCaps amped up the pressure at the tail end of the power play but couldn’t find the back of the net. Once back to five-on-five, Nikita Scherbak grabbed his first goal of the season after sliding one through Malcolm Subban’s pads with just under three minutes left in the first.

Even though the IceCaps were out-shot 17-7, they headed to the second period with the lead.

Just 2:20 minutes into the middle period, the Bruins headed to the power play after Jacob de la Rose took a boarding penalty. Mirroring the penalties in the first period, the Bruins were once again called for tripping to make it an even situation.

Once back at full strength, Friberg found Charles Hudon with a stretch pass, and Subban came aggressively out of his net to cut down the angle, but Hudon beat him high to make it 2-0.

Twenty-four seconds later, Marcus Eisenschmid made it a three-goal lead after notching his first goal of the season.

The IceCaps had only those two shots in the frame, but the results saw Subban heading to the bench and being relieved by Zane McIntyre.

The Bruins managed to keep the puck in the IceCaps zone after a hooking penalty went to Eisenschmid. There was a two-on-one rush to the net but Lindgren was in the zone and easily blocked the shot.

Once they hit the final period, the IceCaps finally started picking up their shots on goal — not by much, but more than they had in the first two frames.

There was a close call after an attempted shot by the Bruins was deflected off Brett Lernout’s skate with the rebound causing a pile-up in Lindgren’s net. A replay was required to see if the puck had found it’s way behind the line but it was a no goal. Score remained 3-0 for the IceCaps.

The Bruins went on their fifth power play of the evening after de la Rose got his second penalty of the night. After each of their first 42 shots had been turned aside, they were finally able to get one past Lindgren and get on the board. The goal put an end to the IceCaps’ 100% penalty kill percentage for the season in the process.

McIntyre was pulled for the extra attacker with two minutes left. But it was the IceCaps who hit the mesh, with an empty-netter by Andrighetto.

It’s no surprise that Lindgren earned first-star honours, since he was the one who gave the IceCaps a chance to win. The offence wasn’t up to par, with a final tally of 51 shots against and just 21 on goal from St. John’s. As it turns out, it’s wasn’t the quantity of shots that made the difference in the game.

With three goalies on the IceCaps’ roster this weekend, each is going to have to step up and work hard to keep his spot. I’m pretty confident in saying Charlie Lindgren’s spot will be kept warm.

The team contests the middle game of its three-match weekend series tonight, playing the role of visitor in the Springfield Thunderbirds’ first ever home game.