Forward lines and defense pairings:
Hudon – Terry – Scherbak
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Veilleux – Audette – Farnham
Broll – MacMillan – Camara
Redmond – Brouillette
Parisi – Didier
Lowe – Johnston
Scratches: Joel Hanley, Markus Eisenschmid, Jeremy Gregoire, Niki Petti, Tim Billingsley, Daniel Carr (undisclosed)
Injured Reserve: Martin Reway
Friday night’s game against the Albany Devils was an important one for the IceCaps as they looked to keep pushing towards clinching a berth in the playoffs. A win in regulation was desperately needed to gain ground on the Utica Comets and the Devils in the standings. St. John’s put up a good fight, but in the end suffered a heartbreaking loss.
The opening period was very sluggish, with a lot of dump-and-chase and no real sustained offensive pressure. The IceCaps didn’t even register a shot on goal until almost half the period had passed. Then the Devils struck first, putting them up 1-0. Nikita Scherbak immediately drew a tripping penalty after that, and St. John’s went on the first power play of the game. However, the man advantage wasn’t successful as they looked disorganized and couldn’t properly get set to cycle the puck and put it on net.
Later in the period, Scherbak gave up an ill-timed turnover in the neutral zone which led to a good scoring chance for Albany but Yann Danis turned them aside.
In the middle frame, things went from bad to worse as the Devils scored twice in quick succession. Trailing Albany 3-0, the IceCaps were getting outshot 15-5 after about 23 minutes of play. A vigorous tilt between Josiah Didier and Blake Pietila woke the bench up and shortly thereafter Chris Terry buried a shot from the point on a power play to put the IceCaps on the board.
Later in the period, on a five-on-three advantage, Zach Redmond blasted the puck from the high slot and brought his team within one goal of the Devils. Keegan Lowe tied things up in the third period, and the IceCaps had gained momentum.
It was looking like the game would head to overtime, when Jacob de la Rose took a hooking penalty with about a minute remaining. The Devils scored seven seconds into the power play. St. John’s tried to get back into the offensive zone and at the very last second Redmond fired the puck into the Albany net. The play went under review, but it was determined that the puck had not quite crossed the line before the final horn sounded and the IceCaps were dealt a defeating blow.
St. John’s now travels to Binghamton to take on the Senators in another vitally important divisional matchup. They’ll need a win to have a chance to keep hopes alive for the postseason.
▲ Max Friberg, Chris Terry, Zach Redmond
▼ Stefan Matteau, Nikita Scherbak, Daniel Audette, Yann Danis