After a hard-fought victory in Rochester on Friday night the St. John's IceCaps travelled into Toronto to start a two-game series with the Marlies. After Eddie Pasquale manned the net for St. John's on Wednesday and Friday, Zachary Fucale was given the start.
The rookie netminder got some early goal support, as Brett Lernout registered his second goal of the year, with the red-hot duo of Nikita Scherbak and Charles Hudon collecting assists on the play.
The high-powered Marlies offence would not be held in check for long, with Colin Smith tying the game, followed by T.J. Brennan and Josh Leivo adding goals to propel Toronto to a 3-1 lead.
The second period was more of the same, as Leivo tallied his second goal to increase the Marlies' lead to three.
The IceCaps would pull a goal back when Bud Holloway scored his 19th goal of the year, with Gabriel Dumont and Brandon McNally added helpers on the play.
Fucale was under constant siege in the game, having faced 28 shots through just two periods of play.
It was a slow-paced final period for both teams as the Marlies were comfortable to sit back and defend their lead, and the IceCaps struggled to breaking out of their own zone.
Once they figured out an exit strategy, Charles Hudon was the catalyst for St. John's as they attempted to mount a comeback. With roughly eight minutes to go, the IceCaps' leading goal-scorer broke in on Antoine Bibeau and wired a wrist shot past the netminder to bring the IceCaps within one. That was as close as the team to tying ti up, however, as a harmless shot deflected off Brandon Leipsic's skate and into the IceCaps' net, sealing the game for Toronto.
These two teams will reconvene in Toronto for a rematch on Tuesday, March 29.
St. John's - Zach Fucale 35/40 (L)
Toronto - Antoine Bibeau 16/19 (W)
1. T.J. Brennan (1G, 3A)
2. Josh Leivo (2G)
3. Charles Hudon (1G, 1A)