Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Hudon – Terry – Carr
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Scherbak – Audette – Farnham
Veilleux – MacMillan – Gregoire[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Hanley – Lernout
Lowe – Johnston
Brouillette – Didier[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Tom Parisi, David Broll, Anthony Camara, Markus Eisenschmid, Zach Redmond (undisclosed)
Injured Reserve: Martin Reway
After a pair of disappointing losses earlier in the week, both in overtime or shootout fashion, to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the IceCaps got back to work on Saturday afternoon against the visiting Hershey Bears.
The penalty killers were tested early when Stefan Matteau sat for two minutes after being called for kneeing. The Bears did not score on the man advantage, but Julien Brouillette took a smooth backhand pass from Nikita Scherbak after the penalty was over to put the IceCaps on the board 1-0.
Their lead would not last long, however, after Ryan Johnston turned over the puck down low leading to a quick goal by Hershey. That was followed about a minute later by another Bears goal that looked to be an easy save for netminder Charlie Lindgren.
With under five minutes remaining in the opening period, turnovers became an issue yet again as Stefan Matteau overskated the puck as it rebounded off the end boards. That allowed Chris Bourque to rifle the puck past Lindgren to give the Bears a 3-1 lead.
In the second period, Johnston and Matteau redeemed themselves a bit on a rush with Jeremy Gregoire who picked up a big rebound off the Hershey netminder and blasted the puck home to bring his team within one goal. Captain Max Friberg did some strong work in the corners to free the puck a few minutes later and fed the puck to Yannick Veilleux in the slot, who fired it home to tie the game 3-3.
The remainder of the middle frame, and most of the third period, was a display of tight hockey albeit with some ramped up physicality. The real excitement came in the last minute of the game when it looked like the IceCaps were destined to head to overtime yet again. Josiah Didier funneled the puck from point to point over to teammate Keegan Lowe who fired the puck home to win the game in the waning seconds.
There’s not much time for the IceCaps to celebrate as they get right back to action on Sunday afternoon for a matinee rematch against the Bears.
▲ Josiah Didier, Nikita Scherbak, Julien Brouillette, Keegan Lowe, Charlie Lindgren
▼ Ryan Johnston, Stefan Matteau