The St. John’s IceCaps kicked off a busy two-week stretch of games against the North Division on Friday night, squaring off with the Rochester Americans. Sitting just one point up on the first non-playoff spot, and with eight games against divisional opponents coming up, last night was an important contest for St. John’s.
The opening period offered little in terms of offence for either side, as penalties broke up any flow of play. The IceCaps’ penalty killers handled several short-handed opportunities with ease, including a long 5-on-3 kill as Keegan Lowe went off for a delay of game penalty. On the flip side, the vaunted power play had a few chances at the other end, but a brilliant Linus Ullmark glove save kept the score knotted at zero.
Not too many people have stopped this Chris Terry shot, Linus Ullmark is one of them. pic.twitter.com/xArCZCRuLc— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 4, 2017
The second period was all St. John’s from the outset, as the visitors fired 11 shots at Ullmark, squeaking two past the Amerks’ netminder. The first came on a great all-around effort as Chris Terry chipped the puck out of the zone, Jeremy Gregoire scooped it up and dished off to Jacob de la Rose, who buried his sixth goal of the year.
The IceCaps weren’t done there, as the line of Bobby Farnham, Daniel Audette, and Nikita Scherbak managed a long period in the Rochester end. At the end of it, Audette fed the puck to Brett Lernout who rocketed his third goal of the year past Ullmark and doubled the lead midway through the period.
A late chance by Julien Brouillette was wiped out when an Amerks player pushed the net off its moorings. Scherbak dangled through the defence and fed the puck into the slot, but alas the goal would not count.
The final frame was all St. John’s again as their deep forward corps racked up numerous chances against a depleted Rochester team. As the game wore on the officials were determined to let the two teams play, and after Eric Cornel took a run at team captain Max Friberg, Lernout had seen enough.
Following the tussle the Farnham/Audette/Scherbak line would strike yet again. This time Farnham dished off to Scherbak who roofed the puck short side on Ullmark.
Charlie Lindgren held the fort and turned away all 10 shots in the final period to collect the shutout for the IceCaps.
Head coach Sylvain Lefebvre was extremely pleased with the team’s effort tonight in a post game interview.
“We have to do our job, and that’s to win hockey games. To come up with a performance like this, I like it. It was a full 60 minutes; we played hard for all 60 minutes“
1st: Charlie Lindgren (29 saves, 1 SO)
2nd: Jacob de la Rose (1 G)
3rd: Daniel Audette (2 A)
The IceCaps are right back at it today at 5:00 PM EST as they square off with the team they’re chasing for the third seed, the Toronto Marlies.