After a tough weekend series in Hershey the IceCaps returned to Wilke-Barre/Scranton for another meeting with the Penguins. Their last meeting saw them walk away with a 5-2 victory earlier in the month. This time, however, Michael McCarron and Daniel Carr, two key cogs in a suddenly hot IceCaps offense, were missing. Jacob de la Rose was set to join the team, but he didn’t make it to the arena in time and was not a part of the lineup.
Charlie Lindgren was in nets for St. John’s and opposite him was Casey DeSmith for the Pens. The first period would be all about the netminders, with Lindgren turning away all eleven shots faced, while DeSmith stopped nine shots in the scoreless period.
While the offense was limited in the opening period, the middle stanza was the exact opposite. The IceCaps exploded for four goals from four different players, in a display of skills. Charles Hudon kicked the onslaught off by corralling a loose puck, breaking in alone, and roofing one past DeSmith for his fourteenth goal of the season.
The goal would momentarily tie him with Chris Terry for the team lead, until Terry converted a Nikita Scherbak pass into his fifteenth of the season, putting St. John’s up 2-0. Later in the period, following a spirited fight between Jeremy Gregoire and Tom Sestito, and a Steve Oleksy penalty the IceCaps converted on the 5 on 3 power play. Zach Redmond found some open space in the middle of the ice and scored his first goal of the year.
Zach Redmond gets his first goal as an IceCap on a 5 on 3 power play! pic.twitter.com/epXolPc0Ee— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 9, 2017
Even while down a man due to a Stefan Matteau slashing penalty, the IceCaps would not be denied as Yannick Veilleux slotted home a Max Friberg pass to put his team up 4-0 heading into the third period.
It was a relatively quiet final period, at least on the scoring front for both sides. Lindgren stopped the final twelve shots of the game to secure the thirty one save shutout for his team.
The game was not without it’s ugly moments though, as Tom Sestito kicked off a pair of incidents in the third. The first coming when he checked Bobby Farnham from behind into the open IceCaps bench and kicked off a wild melee. While Sestito was tied up with Farnham, David Broll was apoplectic and was fighting through multiple players to get to him.
Yikes, Broll is extremely unhappy with Sestito. pic.twitter.com/sQYBXE6itY— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 9, 2017
Sestito, Broll and Farnham would all receive ten minute misconducts for their roles, and the game went on normally. That is until Sestito and Broll returned from the penalty box and immediately began shouting at each other on the bench, racking up another pair of misconducts.
The IceCaps players would sweep the three stars of the game, with Lindgren receiving first star for his shutout, Chris Terry the second for his goal and assist, and Max Friberg the third star for his two assists.
St. John’s now travels to Allentown where they will face off against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday and Saturday. They currently sit third in the North Division, with a 22-20-6 record.