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IceCaps vs. Thunderbirds recap: Despite strong effort from Jacob de la Rose, St. John’s falls in defensive clash

After an offensive onslaught on Friday, Saturday’s affair was all about defence.

St. John’s IceCaps/Colin Peddle

After a back and forth affair on Friday night, which featured 11 total goals, the rematch between the St. John’s IceCaps and Springfield Thunderbirds was much more subdued. Charlie Lindgren got the start in net, and opposite him for the Thunderbirds was Reto Berra.

While Friday night was all about the offence, and continuous string of leads gained and lost, Saturday’s contest didn’t pick up until late in the third period.

The primary highlights from the first two frames are a pair of fights featuring Springfield’s Ed Wittchow, who threw down with both David Broll and Jeremy Grégoire. Wittchow was ejected under the new AHL fighting rules following his second bout.

After 40 minutes, the teams were tied up at 16 shots apiece, but Berra and Lindgren stood tall.

However, the third period would be less kind to St. John’s as they battled tooth and nail to create any kind of scoring opportunity. In the end, it was a former IceCap Chase Balisy who cashed in on a rebound to put Springfield up 1-0.

Less than two minutes later, Balisy struck again to double the Thunderbirds’ lead, and put the IceCaps’ winning streak in serious danger.

With Eric Robinson serving a two-minute penalty, St. John’s battled back into the game, with Jacob de la Rose being rewarded for an outstanding game. Chris Terry fired a shot on net, and the Swedish forward jumped all over the loose puck and tallied his first goal of the season.

The goal proved too little and came too late for the IceCaps, however, as Springfield held on to their 2-1 lead for the win. St. John’s threw 31 shots at Berra, while Lindgren stopped 24 of the 26 he faced.

The IceCaps now head out on the road for almost a month, first landing into New York this upcoming week for games against Binghamton, Utica, and Rochester. They won’t be back at Mile One Centre until January 13 when they meet the Hartford Wolfpack.