Forward lines and defense pairings:
Andrighetto – Audette – Scherbak
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Crisp – Farnham – Gregoire[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Barberio – Johnston
Hanley – Lernout
Parisi – Didier[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Philip Samuelsson, Jonathan Racine, Markus Eisenschmid, David Broll, Mark MacMillan
This was likely not the season start that Sylvain Lefebvre and his coaching staff would have hoped for. After dropping their first two games Friday and Saturday night, the IceCaps headed to Providence, RI for a matchup against the Bruins. Not only did they lose this game as well, they also may be losing a key player due to suspension.
Again it was early in the first period that the IceCaps opponents got a puck past their goaltender, off of a big rebound given up by Zach Fucale. Former IceCaps Shane Bakker sat in the penalty box a couple of times, once for a nasty boarding call where he slammed Bobby Farnham into the glass and another minor for slashing.
Despite the physicality, the IceCaps stayed disciplined but couldn’t seem to get out of their own end. They only mustered three shots-on-goal in the opening 20 minutes of play.
The Bruins got up by two goals in the second period, but the IceCaps started to grind it out a bit and managed to pull within a goal on a power play tally by Ryan Johnston. Still they weren’t doing much offensively, with only eight shots in the second period. The power play looked sluggish and unorganized, resulting in very few scoring chances on the man advantage.
The tension ramped up in the third period as St. John’s fought to tie the game. Nikita Scherbak, Mike McCarron, Charles Hudon, and Mark Barberio all had prime scoring chances late in the game, but puck luck was not on their side to find mesh.
Officiating was sub-par throughout this game, missing boarding calls and penalizing the IceCaps after one of their own was dangerously hit, but the poor reffing came to a head after the final horn sounded.
Hudon found himself surrounded by yellow jerseys as he fought to bang in a rebound on a rocket shot by Sven Andrighetto, to no avail. McCarron stepped in to wrap up one of the players attacking Hudon, Justin Hickman, who took to punching McCarron repeatedly in the head and then ripping off his helmet. The refs didn’t step in to break things up and McCarron finally joined the fight, which ended with him getting a game misconduct and a match penalty for headbutting. A potential league suspension may be forthcoming.
The IceCaps now have the rest of the week to regroup, rest, and get some much-needed practice time under their belt before a rematch with the Providence Bruins on Friday night.
▲ Max Friberg, Nikita Scherbak, Ryan Johnston
▼ The officiating crew