Forward lines and defense pairings:
Terry – Audette – Friberg
Farnham – de la Rose – Gregoire
Broll – Eisenschmid – Veilleux
Crisp – MacMillan – Samuelsson
Brouillette – Hanley
Parisi – Lernout
Racine – Johnston
Scratches: Josiah Didier, Matthieu Gagnon, Stefan Matteau, Charles Hudon (undisclosed), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed)
Injured Reserve: Martin Reway
What a night for the St. John’s IceCaps! From the first puck drop, the Utica Comets came out flying – both with their skates and with their checks. The game moved quickly and proved to be very physical and aggressive. The IceCaps met their opponent head on.
Neither team scored in the opening 20 minutes of play. The puck moved back and forth down the ice with each team delivering hits and tensions simmering early.
Then in the second period, St. John’s turned up the heat and started pressuring the Comets. Each team was itching for a fight and a goal and six players were sent to the penalty box to serve roughing minors during the period. The penalty killing for St. John’s was locked in all night, denying the Comets any good looks at netminder Charlie Lindgren on the man advantage.
The IceCaps came away with the only goal of the frame when Yannick Veilleux potted his first of the season to give his team the lead.
In the final period, the Comets pushed back hard while attempting to get on the scoreboard. Jeremy Gregoire was visibly excited when his fourth goal of the season came to fruition, giving the IceCaps a little more breathing room with a 2-0 lead.
Later in the third, Philip Samuelsson was dangerously hit by Utica’s Alexandre Grenier which immediately drew a crowd. Samuelsson and Grenier dropped the gloves for a healthy scrap, and the latter earned an extra two minutes for boarding. On the ensuing power play, Daniel Audette combined with Ryan Johnston and Chris Terry for his third goal of the season.
Lindgren was exceptionally strong in net once again. He made some highlight-reel saves throughout the game, especially in the third period when the Comets were pressing hard. He earned his first professional shutout when the final buzzer sounded.
The IceCaps immediately headed to Rochester, NY after the game where they’ll face an equally tough team on Saturday night when they play the Americans.
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Jeremy Gregoire, Chris Terry, Jacob de la Rose, Max Friberg, Brett Lernout
▼ Power-play unit