The St. John’s IceCaps start the new year by finally wrapping up a ten-game road trip that began way back on December 14. Winning the majority of their first seven games bumped them up to second place in the North division, just one point behind the Syracuse Crunch. Heading into the final week of the trip, the IceCaps currently sit in third, behind the Crunch and Albany Devils. Both of whom they’ll be facing this week.
Albany Devils - Wednesday, January 4th
NHL affiliate: New Jersey Devils
Head-to-head: 2 GP (0-2)
Last time they met: November 12th
Blake Pietila scored the lone goal for the opening period at 12:51, to give the Devils a 1-0 lead heading into the second. After the first intermission, the IceCaps quickly fought back with three unanswered goals.
Nikita Scherbak tied it up just 1:57 into the middle frame, with Michael McCarron and Mark Barberio each potting a power-play goal. There was just 36 seconds left on the clock when Pietila slipped another one past Yann Danis to make it a one-goal game.
Over halfway through the third period the Devils tied it up and, and two minutes later Pietila completed his hat trick with the winning goal to grab the 4-3 win over the IceCaps.
Binghamton Senators - Friday, January 6th
NHL affiliate: Ottawa Senators
Game record: 2 GP (1-0-1)
Last time they met: December 14th
The Senators were the first on the docket when the IceCaps kicked off their month-long road trip. This was a fast battle, going neck-and-neck straight into overtime.
David Broll opened the scoring just under five minutes in. Thirty seconds later, Guillaume Lepine went top shelf to beat Charlie Lindgren. By the end of the first, Chris Terry had put the IceCaps back in the lead with a power-play goal.
Binghamton tied it up halfway through the middle frame, then took the lead mid-way in the third. With the man advantage, Sven Andrighetto made it a 3-3 game, to push the contest into overtime.
The Senators dominated the extra minutes, beating Lindgren - who stopped 37 shots during the contest - two minutes in, to take home the 4-3 victory.
Syracuse Crunch - Saturday, January 7th
NHL affiliate: Tampa Bay Lightning
Game record: 3 GP (0-2-0-1)
Last time they met: December 31
When these two teams faced off on New Years Eve, it was quite the battle. The Crunch were just one point ahead of the IceCaps in the standings and both teams desperately wanted the coveted number one spot.
It was a fight right out of the gate. Literally. Fourteen seconds in Bobby Farnham, Joel Hanley, Jeremy Morin and Luke Witkowski were all sent to the sin bin. A total of 20 PIM were being dished out before the first goal was even notched.
The Crunch were the first to find the back of the net, then scored three more unanswered goals. Before the first period ended, the IceCaps responded with three unanswered goals of their own.
By the final buzzer, there were only 42 shots on goal combined (IceCaps: 16, Crunch: 26) with the final score being 7-5 for Syracuse. To top off the 12-goal game, there was a total of 96 PIM awarded (IceCaps: 64, Crunch: 32).
Their next contest should make for another exciting round.
The IceCaps will head home and get a much needed five-day break before taking on the Hartford Wolfpack on Friday the 13th.