It was a do-or-die situation for the IceCaps coming into Saturday night’s game.
A win would secure the final playoff spot in the North Division; a loss would mean not just the end of the season, but the end of the Montreal Canadiens affiliated IceCaps in Newfoundland.
The IceCaps got off to a quick start when leading scorer, Chris Terry, buried his 29th of the season past Toronto Marlies starter, Garrett Sparks. Terry’s goal was the only one of the first period.
Chris Terry with a great move scores his 29th of the year to open the scoring. pic.twitter.com/1PnUUedSWd— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 16, 2017
In the second, the IceCaps once again came flying out of the gate. Less than three minutes in, Anthony Camara slotted home a one-timer off a feed from Daniel Audette, giving the IceCaps a 2-0 lead.
Anthony Camara scores what would stand as the game winner, as Sparks can't handle the shot. pic.twitter.com/gclljjMopN— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 16, 2017
A few minutes later, Marlies winger, Brendan Leipsic, found himself on a short-handed breakaway. But Charlie Lindgren denied him with a two-pad stack poke check. The play went back up the ice and Terry released a shot from the top of the circle, beating Sparks to make it a 3-0 game.
With the goal, Terry became the first IceCap in franchise history to hit the 30 goal plateau.
Chris Terry, 30th goal, and a new franchise record for goals in a season. pic.twitter.com/kIA1lZ7pGA— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 16, 2017
That would be the end of Sparks’ night, as Kasimir Kaskisuo was sent in to replace him mid-way through the period.
The switch seemed to spark the visitors. Not long after the switch, Andrew Nielsen unloaded a cannon of a shot from the point which beat Lindgren and pulled the Marlies within two.
In the third period, the Marlies fired 16 shots at Lindgren. The rookie netminder stood tall and pushed aside every attempt.
Daniel Audette added a goal at 5:23, giving the IceCaps their three-goal lead back and make it 4-1. Audette’s 10th of the season made him the eighth IceCap to reach double digits in goals (Terry, Charles Hudon, Nikita Scherbak, Jacob de la Rose, Max Friberg, Bobby Farnham, and Stefan Matteau being the others).
Daniel Audette seals the deal, after the Marlies goalie struggles to play the puck behind the net. pic.twitter.com/g3XrAQsNA1— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 16, 2017
STJ: Charlie Lindgren (W) 31/32
Tor: Garret Sparks (L) 9/12
Kasimir Kaskisuo 13/14
- Chris Terry |STJ| 2G
- Charlie Lindgren |STJ| 31 SVS
- Daniel Audette |STJ| 1G 1A
The IceCaps begin their quest for the Calder Cup on Friday night, when they host the Syracuse Crunch in the first of two games at Mile One Centre. Games three, four, and five 5 (if necessary) will be in Syracuse.
The IceCaps and Crunch met on eight occasions during the regular season, splitting the wins down the middle with four each.