Taking three of a possible four points from a team two spots above you in the standings makes for a pretty good weekend. But the St. John’s IceCaps will feel they let Friday’s game slip through their fingers.
Friday: Devils 3, IceCaps 2
St. John’s jumped to an early lead, with goals coming from Charles Hudon and Mark MacMillan in the first period.
Nikita Scherbak steals the puck on the boards, dishes off to Charles Hudon who scores his 19th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/zOXgWbjT2W— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 25, 2017
Ken Appleby should probably get an assist on this play, his errant pass makes it's way to Mark MacMillan who buries it. pic.twitter.com/HnmkoMETgk— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 25, 2017
They dominated the second frame as well. Through two, the IceCaps had outshot the Devils 27-8. Albany’s goaltender, Ken Appleby, kept his team in the game, and they eventually rewarded him for his stellar play.
The third period was like a different game. Albany looked dangerous, and the IceCaps did themselves no favours, with sloppy play in their own end. Goals from Ryan Kujawinski and Ben Thomson tied things up at two, and sent the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, Albany looked the most likely to win. Charlie Lindgren made a few fantastic saves, including a two-pad stack poke check. But a weak defensive play by Chris Terry opened up a lane for Kevin Rooney, who cut inside before sliding the puck through the legs of Lindgren.
A deflating loss for St. John’s was due to, once again, the team’s inability to compete for the full 60 minutes. Something that will need to change if they want to keep playing into May and June.
ALB: Ken Appleby (W) 32/34
STJ: Charlie Lindgren (OTL) 23/26
- Kevin Rooney ALB
- Charlie Lindgren STJ
- Ken Appleby ALB
Saturday: IceCaps 5, Devils 4
Fast forward to Saturday. This time it was the IceCaps’ turn for a third-period comeback. Terry and Hudon continued their torrid pace, picking up three points each.
Brett Lernout got things going for St. John’s with his second of the season, to give the IceCaps an early 1-0 lead.
Albany’s Reece Scarlett responded midway through the first. IceCaps netminder Yann Danis, was unable to track Scarlett’s shot through a screen, and just like that, it was tied at 1-1.
In the second, the IceCaps took a two-goal lead when Hudon ripped his 20th of the season past Mackenzie Blackwood.
Charles Hudon's 20th of the year is an absolute rocket of a shot. pic.twitter.com/8Pxqcsh5yC— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 26, 2017
Five minutes later, Stefan Matteau was was the beneficiary of a great Terry pass. Matteau’s wrist shot beat Blackwood, making it 3-1 IceCaps.
Stefan Matteau wires home his tenth of the year, his play has been a lot better as of late for St. John's. pic.twitter.com/kSDqvCHn8P— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 26, 2017
Like Friday’s game, the IceCaps had an awful start to the third period. Goals from Luke Gazdic, Petr Straka, and Nick Lappin pulled Albany ahead with a 4-3 lead. It looked like the IceCaps were going to let yet another game slip away.
But with less than five minutes remaining, Hudon found himself on the end of a stretch pass from Zach Redmond. Hudon, who was on a partial breakaway, fired a slapshot over the glove hand of Blackwood, tying things at 4-4.
Who else but Hudon? His 21st comes on a breakaway that tied the game 4-4. pic.twitter.com/N769xSERN6— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 26, 2017
Just 30 seconds later, with the line of Scherbak-Hudon-Terry still on the ice, the IceCaps found their game-winner.
Scherbak made a fantastic play, drawing both defenders his way, before feeding Terry with a backdoor pass. The goal was Terry’s 21st of the season to give the IceCaps a 5-4 victory.
ALB: Mackenzie Blackwood (L) 28/33
STJ: Yann Danis (W) 29/33
- Charles Hudon STJ
- Chris Terry STJ
- Luke Gazdic ALB
- Newcomer Keegan Lowe looked solid in his first pair of games. The 23-year-old defenceman had a +2 rating on the weekend.
- Yannick Veilleux, Redmond, and Julien Brouillette all had two assists over the two games.
- Hudon continued his red-hot scoring. Over his last nine games, he has eight goals and five assists.
- Terry’s point streak ended at five games after going pointless on Friday. He responded with a goal and two helpers on Saturday. Also, he currently sits second in league scoring, 11 points behind Kenny Agostino with Terry playing 12 fewer games.
- The IceCaps are sitting in fourth place in the North Division with 58 points (25-23-7-1). They’ll look to grab some points when they hit the road for six games, with their first contest on Friday, March 3 against the Rochester Americans.