Coming on the heels of a 3-2 win in Rochester on Friday, the IceCaps traveled to Syracuse to finish off their two-week trek through the North Division.
Syracuse played the previous night as well, dropping a 3-2 contest to Springfield. Yann Danis got the start for the IceCaps and Josiah Didier drew in for Ryan Johnston. Opposing them would be Mike McKenna who was a late deadline add for the Crunch.
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley was on hand for the ceremonial face off. The Hardcore Legend himself went to college in the Central New York area, so he was met with a warm welcome.
While the IceCaps have been prone to slow starts in games recently, St. John’s and Syracuse tested the goalies early and often. Danis stopped 12 out of 13 shots in the first period, while McKenna turned away 10 of 11 shots.
The Crunch struck first when Henri Ikonen sped in and found a wide open Byron Froese, who had an empty net for his 26th goal of the year.
St. John’s would push back immediately, as the line of Chris Terry, Charles Hudon and Nikita Scherbak came alive after a short slump. A quick turnover translated into a three-on-one rush for the IceCaps, Hudon found Terry on the wing, and moments later he had his 23rd goal of the year.
Much like the previous night the IceCaps used a strong second period to take the lead.
While the shots were flying in the first, the second period was far more subdued, until a big hit on Bobby Farnham set off the powder keg. Keegan Lowe took exception to Daniel Walcott’s hit on his teammate, and threw a number of uppercuts in the ensuing tussle.
Keegan Lowe isn't happy with a hit on Farnham, proceeds to punch Daniel Walcott's ribs into dust pic.twitter.com/SxX6vkUXvu— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 12, 2017
On the penalty kill it was Josiah Didier of all players who helped give the IceCaps the lead. Didier collected a loose puck, and alley-ooped it to Jacob de la Rose. The Swede made no mistake, deking past McKenna and backhanding his ninth goal of the year to give his team the lead.
The IceCaps battled hard in the third period, but the red-hot Tye McGinn scored for the fifth time in eight games on the power play to reset things once again.
Despite a shaky start Danis stood tall in net over the final minutes, especially on a late Crunch man advantage while Scherbak served a penalty.
Regulation wouldn’t be enough to solve this game, so with one point in the bank the IceCaps and the Crunch had a back-and-forth affair in overtime.
Danis made several big stops at one end, and then after being thwarted on the breakaway, Daniel Audette found Hudon all alone, and the the IceCaps star notched the victory.
Coupled with a Utica loss, the IceCaps move closer to the final North Division playoff spot. The team is now finally headed back to Newfoundland for an eight-game homestand through the end of the month. First on the schedule is the final meetings between St. John’s and Rochester on the 17th and 18th.
1. Charles Hudon (1G, 1A)
2. Byron Froese (1G)
3. Yann Danis (31 Saves)