Coming off two mid-week wins against the Syracuse Crunch, the St. John's IceCaps, led by rookie goaltender, Zachary Fucale, headed into Saturday night's game versus Toronto looking to extend the winning streak.
Fucale produced arguably his best performance of the season, making 32 saves, in a game where the home team was dominated in from the opening puck drop. Andrew Campbell opened the scoring for the Marlies in the first period. Although they outshout the IceCaps, that was the only offence Toronto would capitalize on in the game.
Victor Bartley, who was recently acquired from the Nashville Predators, scored his second goal of the season in the second period.
In the third, a high-sticking penalty to Marlies forward William Nylander, opened a window of opportunity for St. John's, and they took advantage. Charles Hudon's 16th of the season put the IceCaps up one with just over five minutes to play. Michael McCarron and Bud Holloway both picked up their second assists of the game on Hudon's goal.
With Toronto goaltender, Antoine Bibeau, on the bench for an extra attacker, Bud Holloway put the game out of reach with an empty net goal, his 14th on the season.
Saturday night's game also featured the return of John Scott to the IceCaps, and marked his first appearance at Mile One Centre. As he came out for his first shift, the home fans chanted "MVP, MVP", and he also received a standing ovation during a TV timeout.
The big forward looked - as you might expect after 10 days without skating - a bit sluggish. He saw limited ice time and was stuck in his own end for most of his shifts. In the second period, Scott went hard into the boards after falling, and headed to the dressing room. He reappeared a few minutes later.
1. Bud Holloway 2. Zach Fucale 3. Nikita Shoshnikov
The matinee game on Sunday saw the IceCaps again get kept in their own end for a large portion of the game, and were heavily outshot as a consequence.
Eddie Pasquale got the nod from Sylvain Lefebvre between the pipes for St. John's, and for the second day in a row, quality goaltending kept the IceCaps in a game they had no business being in. Brett Findlay had a pair of goals for the Marlies, one in the second and one in the third. That was the only offence that Toronto goalie, Garrett Sparks required.
Bud Holloway managed to pull one back for the IceCaps with three and a half minutes to go, but it was too little too late.
With the loss, the IceCaps record falls to 22-19-7-3 on the season, making them fourth in the North Division.
1. Brett Findlay 2. Eddie Pasquale 3. Garrett Sparks
Special Teams (both games):
PP: 2/6 PK: 11/11