It wasn’t always pretty, but Stefan Matteau scored the winning goal in a shootout and Charlie Lindgren made 27 saves as the St. John’s IceCaps beat the Rochester Americans 4-3 on Friday night.
The IceCaps were fresh off a 4-1 win in Binghamton against the Senators, while Rochester was looking to rebound after a 3-1 loss to Albany.
After a slow opening, the Americans quickly took over the first period with Alex Nylander sliding in behind the defence and converting a Justin Bailey pass into the opening goal of the game.
With Bobby Farnham serving a roughing penalty, Rochester would take advantage of their high powered man advantage and double their lead with 6:38 left in the opening frame. The IceCaps however, used their own top rated power play to cut the Rochester lead in half when Nikita Scherbak set up Mark Barberio for his third goal of the season.
Barberio with an absolute rocket to cut the Amerks lead in half pic.twitter.com/pSYDf5mjQW— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 19, 2016
The second period was another back and forth affair with both teams taking penalties. Casey Nelson scored from a sharp angle less than five minutes in, restoring the Americans’ two goal lead. Markus Eisenschmid and didn’t let that stand long, as the German found a soft spot in the slot and scored his second goal of the year.
All alone in front and Markus Eisenschmid goes top shelf on Linus Ullmark pic.twitter.com/xbukivf7CD— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 19, 2016
The third period continued the same trend as the second period with teams trading penalties, including several in the final five minutes of play. However the strong play of Ryan Johnston was finally rewarded as he rifled a shot through Ullmark and a mass of bodies in front of the net, which led to Jeremy Gregoire burying the puck.
With a late power play in their pocket the IceCaps pushed the Amerks to their limits in overtime with Jacob de la Rose missing a few key chances in addition to Matteau having a goal waved off. Scherbak was a constant thorn in the side of Rochester, leading odd man rushes and breakaways, but he couldn’t solve Ullmark as the teams entered the shootout.
Nick Baptiste beat Lindgren high in the first round, while Daniel Audette responded for the IceCaps. After his ten minute misconduct, and disallowed goal Matteau got a small measure of redemption beating Ullmark low and securing two points for his team.
Stefan Matteau responds after his earlier misconduct and grabs the win for St. John's. pic.twitter.com/EZrJ8MycqX— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 19, 2016
St. John’s now heads off to Toronto to play a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday against the Marlies. The team will return back home on November 25th when they open up a four-game home stand against the Providence Bruins.
Tom Parisi, Yannick Veilleux and Jonathan Racine were healthy scratches for the IceCaps. Though it’s likely with three games in three days we’ll see them in the lineup this weekend.