Following a great December that saw St. John’s climb to second place in the North Division, the team was back at in the new year against the Albany Devils. After an average month by his standards, Charlie Lindgren was between the pipes for the IceCaps, while across from him was Ken Appleby.
Unfortunately for the IceCaps their new year did not get off to a great start, as Carter Camper would open the scoring in under two minutes for Albany. Lindgren responded by shutting down the Devils for the remainder of the period, facing nine total shots. Despite the early deficit the IceCaps had the better chances of the period, with both Stefan Matteau and Sven Andrighetto being turned away on breakaway chances.
The second period was one to forget for the IceCaps. 33 seconds inBlake Coleman beat Lindgren to double the Albany lead. Three minutes later it would be Nikita Scherbak who finally got the IceCaps on the board. A gorgeous individual effort gave Scherbak his team leading tenth goal of the year, with the assists going to Jacob de la Rose and Daniel Audette.
Albany, however, went right back at Lindgren, with Brian Gibbons and Blake Pietila giving the Devils a three goal lead. Brett Lernout managed to cut the lead to two with a rocket of a slapshot.
Brett Lernout goes top shelf to bring the IceCaps within two goals! pic.twitter.com/Rmhhnef5mV— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 5, 2017
It was not Lindgren’s night though, with Coleman scoring another goal and forcing a goalie change for the IceCaps. Yann Danis was just as unlucky, as Ben Sexton tallied the fifth goal of the frame for Albany, putting the IceCaps in a massive hole to end the period.
Compared to the opening periods the third was much quieter for both sides. Despite the big lead the Devils limited the IceCaps to just five shots on net, while tallying twelve shots themselves. A scary moment occurred late in the third period involving Scherbak, as he was blindsided by Brian Gibbons and remained on the ice for several minutes. Scherbak was on the ice for the closing minute of the game. Hopefully there are no long term ill effects from the dirty hit.
Nikita Scherbak was down on the ice after being blindsided by a Devils player pic.twitter.com/zSoIp2xxKz— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 5, 2017
The IceCaps will look to end their two game skid on Friday night when they clash with the Binghamton Senators. Thereafter the team will head to Syracuse for a showdown with the division leading Crunch. St. John's will finally return home on January 13th for a two game series against Hartford.