Dekanich, Jaffray provide heroics in shootout victory
ST. JOHN’S, NL – Mark Dekanich stopped the final four shooters and Jason Jaffray scored the shootout winner as the St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Albany Devils 4-3 Friday night at a sold out Mile One Centre as the IceCaps paid homage to Canadian military personnel on Military Appreciation Night.
Jaffray coasted in on goal and beat Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid with a nice move to the forehand to put St. John’s in the lead, and Dekanich followed that up with a big save on Adam Henrique, the Devils’ final shooter, to send St. John’s (7-7-0-0) to its second straight win and pull the team back to .500. Eric O’Dell picked up two assists while Zach Redmond, Ray Sawada and Carl Klingberg all scored in regulation. Dekanich made28 saves in regulation and overtime before going four-for-five in the shootout to improve his record to 5-1-0 on the season.
After a scoreless first period, Sawada got the IceCaps on the board with his first goal of the season. Will O’Neill fed a streaking Max Macenauer, who raced over the blueline and around a defender before putting the puck on Sawada’s stick in front of the net. The big winger made no mistake in beating Kinkaid high to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
St. John’s made it a two-goal lead at 9:09 on a nice effort by Klingberg. The Swedish winger chipped the puck past a defender in the neutral zone and sped into the Devils zone on the left wing, snapping a wrister from the top of the circle past Kinkaid low on the glove side to make it 2-0.
Albany pulled within one several minutes later on a bullet from the point by defenceman Jay Leach. Adam Larsson fired a quick pass from the opposite point and Leach faked once, and then blasted a slap shot past a screened Dekanich to make it a 2-1 game.
The IceCaps saw their first use of video replay at Mile One early in the third period, as referee Tim Mayer decided to use the video to decide on a Devils’ potential goal with the IceCaps leading by one. After a few minutes of deliberation and watching video, Mayer waved off the goal, and play resumed.
The Devils drew even on a power play less than four minutes into the final frame. Henrique made a nifty move at the IceCaps blueline to create space and the Devils’ forward snapped a perfectly placed wrist shot that beat Dekanich on the blocker side to make it 2-2.
St. John’s went ahead on a great finish by Redmond at 10:38 of the final period. Ivan Telegin dropped a pass for O’Dell on a three-on-two, who made a perfect pass to Redmond, who had joined the rush late. The rearguard placed a shot high over a sprawling Kinkaid to give the IceCaps a 3-2 advantage.
Albany appeared to tie it with roughly seven minutes left in regulation on a strange play. A Devils player threw the puck towards the net from the side boards and it ended up in the net, but after a conference by the officials it was determined that Dekanich was interfered with in his crease and the goal was waived off.
However, the visitors did even the score with just 2:04 left in regulation on a power play. An attempted pass bounced off an IceCap in front and found the stick of Matt Anderson to Dekanich’s right. The Devils’ forward fed Jacob Josefson in the slot, who one-timed a rocket past Dekanich high on the glove side to send the game to overtime tied at three.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the extra frame, forcing a shootout for the first time this season at Mile One.
It was Dekanich who stole the show in the shootout, denying four-of-five Devils shooters including a huge save on the crafty Henrique to seal the victory. Alex Burmistrov also scored in the shootout for St. John’s.
St. John’s went 0-for-3 on the power play while Albany converted twice on five chances.
The IceCaps and Devils finish their two game series Saturday night at Mile One Centre as St. John’s attempts to sweep a home series for the first time this season. Listen Live with IceCaps broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador, or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. with the pregame show getting underway at 7:00 (all times Newfoundland).
The IceCaps wore special military-themed jerseys in recognition of the efforts of the Canadian military. Fans will be able to win one of six selected jerseys by buying tickets on the concourse during the current six-game home stand. Jerseys will be drawn for during the game on Sunday, November 25… Brigadier General Anthony Stack and Commander Larry Trim joined team President and CEO Danny Williams at centre ice pregame for a ceremonial opening faceoff. … Klingberg, Sawada and O’Dell all recorded a point for the second straight game….Redmond’s goal was his fourth of the season, tying him for the team lead with O’Dell….St. John’s is two for its last 53 on the power play….Friday’s contest was the 45th consecutive regular season sellout at Mile One.
Photos (Jeff Parsons)