To kick off the weekend, the St. John’s IceCaps took on the Springfield Thunderbirds for the second time this season.
These two teams had a pretty civilized affair during their first meeting of the season just a few weeks ago, on October 22. The game was pushed into overtime with the IceCaps putting up a good fight but coming out on the losing end of the 5-4 contest.
Heading into this match-up, the Thunderbirds were looking to put a stop to their three game losing skid. In order to do that, they would have to figure out the IceCaps netminder, Charlie Lindgren who was starting his sixth straight game and brought his 6-1-0 record with him.
During the opening period, both teams were feeling each other out. Then, at 6:18, Chris Terry took a penalty for roughing. With just five seconds left on the powerplay, Sena Acolatse slipped one past Lindgren to be the first to light up the scoreboard.
The IceCaps got their chance to try out their powerplay skills five minutes later. The power play looked promising as the IceCaps kept the pressure on the Thunderbirds, forcing them into their zone but halfway through, McCarron canceled out the power play after getting called for tripping.
Once the four-on-four was over and it slipped into another power play for the Thunderbirds, they really piled on the pressure. As they entered their third powerplay of the period, Lindgren had his work cut out for him. The IceCaps were being out-shot 13-4 with most of those shots coming during the penalty kills, but Lindgren continued to hold his ground, keeping it a one-goal game.
Ex-IceCap, Tim Bozon, took a shot at Josiah Dider after an offside whistle with 12 seconds left in the third, thus beginning the parade to the penalty box.
Just 3:22 into the second, IceCaps took their fifth penalty of the night when Stefan Matteau was called for tripping. Not long into the Thunderbirds power play, they evened up the penalties, making it another four-on-four.
During the four-on-four, Mark MacMillan was pulled down while heading for the net. He was awarded a penalty shot but couldn’t fool Reto Berra.
Nikita Scherbak and McCarron each had great scoring chances but were unable to find the back of the net. Things got even more chippy after McCarron’s close call. Four penalties were handed out with Brett Lernout and Jakub Kindl taking the brunt of them with a 10-minute continuing altercation misconduct each.
When the IceCaps are trailing heading into the final period, it’s not uncommon for them to kick it up a notch.
They entered the final period with 25 seconds left to their power play but out-shot 23-11. Lindgren was doing his part keeping them in the game, but all the IceCaps were producing in return were penalties.
Stephen MacAulay went top corner, beating Lindgren to give the Thunderbirds their insurance goal three minutes into the period.
The IceCaps began to unravel after the two-goal lead. During another scrum, David Broll tried to bait Ian McCoshen into a fight but he didn’t take it. Instead, Broll was sent to the sin bin alone and the IceCaps were forced into yet another penalty kill.
With 1:54 left in the final frame, Paul Thompson was called for interference, Lindgren was pulled and the IceCaps had a chance to get on the board with a six-on-three. But instead, Logan Shaw threw the puck down the ice and straight into the empty-net, making it 3-0.
But the IceCaps couldn’t let them have it all. With less than a minute to go, Matteau finally slipped one past Berra, preventing a shutout and stretching his goal streak to four games.
A total of 20 penalties were handed out between the two teams during this contest, with Scherbak wrapping it up with two minutes for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct for abuse of officials.
It seems the IceCaps have a new rival to add to their repertoire.
Up next: The St. John’s IceCaps will wrap up the weekend against the Albany Devils today.