IceCaps can’t complete comeback against Bears
Photos courtesy JustSports Photography
By Chris Doyle
The St. John’s IceCaps fell behind early and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Hershey Bears Wednesday night at the Giant Center.
Hershey built up a 3-0 lead in the second period and was able to hang on despite being outshot 27-21 by the visitors. Jason King and Aaron Gagnon scored for St. John’s (38-19-5-2), which has managed to light the lamp just three times in the past three games after scoring six goals against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Mar. 14.
The Bears got on the board early when Mike Carman was the recipient of a nice pass from behind the IceCaps net. Carman buried his sixth of the season to give the home side a 1-0 lead just 1:56 into the opening frame.
Boyd Kane added to the lead late in the first with a shorthanded marker off an IceCaps turnover. Jason DeSantis couldn’t handle a pass at the Bears’ blueline, and Ryan Potulny collected the loose puck and fed a streaking Kane, who coasted in on a breakaway and wristed a shot past Eddie Pasquale for a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Halfway through the middle frame, Potulny blasted a one-timer from the top of the circle – his 24th of the season – that Pasquale had no chance to stop, giving the Bears a 3-0 advantage.
With the IceCaps season-long scoring drought reaching nearly 120 minutes, King finally got St. John’s on the board with his team-leading 19th of the season at 12:12 of the second. Josh Lunden, signed Tuesday to a professional tryout contract, circled the net and attempted to stuff the puck past netminder Dany Sabourin on the wraparound. King was there in front to tip home the even-strength marker, the IceCaps’ first goal since Kevin Clark scored in the second period of Saturday’s game versus Manchester at Mile One Centre.
Just 2:23 later, Aaron Gagnon brought the IceCaps to within one with his 11th goal of the season. Off the rush, a trailing Gagnon crashed the net and had the puck deflect off his skate and in, a nice reward after some hard-fought shifts. The IceCaps headed into the dressing room down 3-2 and held 20-13 shots advantage after two periods.
In the third, the teams traded power play opportunities but both goalies remained sharp. St. John’s went 0-for-6 on the night with the man advantage, while the Bears went just 1-of-6.
The IceCaps will try to avoid losing a season-high fourth consecutive game on Friday when they visit the Syracuse Crunch for the fourth and final time this season.
Catch all the action with play-by-play broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Pregame show begins at 8:30 p.m. with the drop of the puck set for 9:00 (all times Newfoundland).
The injuries continue to mount for the IceCaps. F Carl Klingberg left the game late in the first after taking a hit in the offensive zone while D Brett Festerling, who just returned from a four-game absence, left late in the third after crashing into Bears’ goalie Dany Sabourin. Klingberg attempted to come back in the second but was unable to go….F Josh Lunden picked up his first point as an IceCap when he assisted on Jason King’s second period goal. Lunden, who wore #41 in two games with the club in early February, was forced to switch to #42 after Scott Zurevinski took the digits when he joined the team last Saturday…. F Dan Dries, signed to an amateur tryout contract after finishing his senior season with Ohio State University, made his IceCaps debut recording a shot on goal and a minus-1 rating. …Attendance Wednesday night at the Giant Center in Hershey was announced at 10,885….The IceCaps finish their current six-game road trip back in Hershey on Mar. 31.
Game Photos (JustSports Photography)