Forward lines and defense pairings:
Matteau – McCarron – de la Rose
Hudon – Audette – Scherbak
Terry – Eisenschmid – Friberg
Farnham – MacMillan – Gregoire
Barberio – Didier
Samuelsson – Lernout
Parisi – Brouillette
Scratches: Ryan Johnston, Jonathan Racine, David Broll
Injured Reserve: Martin Reway
After a difficult start to the road trip in Springfield, the St. John’s IceCaps bounced back Saturday night with a hard-fought game which had energy, discipline, and more success on the man advantage.
The opening period was fairly quiet, with Albany taking three penalties including a bench minor. Blake Pietila got the Devils on the board during one of the period’s two IceCaps penalties, but the St. John’s team kept things close. Albany seemed to be playing with plenty of physicality right out of the gate, but St. John’s wasn’t taking the bait.
Michael McCarron disappeared down the tunnel about halfway through the period but eventually returned for the start of the second. Then Charles Hudon fell awkwardly into the boards and had to be helped off the ice. He didn’t seem to be able to put much weight on his right foot, but Hudon also returned to the bench for the second period and played the rest of the game – although he seemed to favor that right side a bit.
Speaking of the second period, it was a lights-out 20 minutes for the IceCaps. Nikita Scherbak wristed one past Mackenzie Blackwood off a feed by Brett Lernout for his seventh goal of the season. Later, McCarron would tip home his second of the year with the help of Chris Terry and Mark Barberio on the power play. Just a few minutes after that the power play unit continued to surge with Barberio potting a goal of his own as Scherbak and Terry tallied assists.
With 35 seconds remaining in the period, Pietila struck again to pull the Devils back within one goal. After intermission, Albany carried the momentum and severely pinned the IceCaps in their own end, outshooting St. John’s 12-4 in the final frame. Then things unraveled with less than five minutes remaining. Rod Pelley tied the score, giving his team confidence against their former goaltender, Yann Danis. Pietila got the go-ahead goal, and a hat trick, just over a minute later. Despite pushing back in the final minutes, the IceCaps couldn’t get either of those goals back.
The IceCaps have a couple of days of rest and practice before they continue their road trip on Tuesday night in Binghamton.
▲ Nikita Scherbak, Michael McCarron, Mark Barberio, Brett Lernout
▼ Josiah Didier, Julien Brouillette