IceCaps can’t snap Admirals’ record streak
By Don Power
Director of Communications
NORFOLK, Va. – It’s now 22 straight wins for the Norfolk Admirals after a hard-fought, come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps Friday night at The Scope in this naval town on the Atlantic Ocean.
Philip-Michael Devos scored the game winner in the third period to stretch the Admirals’ professional hockey winning streak to an incredible 22 games. The goal came about as a result of a miscommunication in the IceCaps zone. Goalie David Aebischer, getting his second straight start, looked to cover the puck to the left of his crease, but a collision with Travis Ramsey and an Admirals forward forced the puck loose, allowing Cory Conacher to pick it up and fed it to Devos alone in front. The Quebec native fired the puck home for the eventual winner at 10:41 of the third.
The IceCaps looked to have control of the game early, finishing the first period with the lead.
After a flurry of penalties following the opening faceoff – three in the first two minutes of action – Aaron Gagnon opened the scoring for the IceCaps on the power play at 2:11. Jason DeSantis controlled the puck at the blueline before firing a slapshot at Jaroslav Janus, who was making the start in the Admirals net. Gagnon pounced on the rebound and slid a shot past Janus for a 1-0 IceCaps lead.
Aebischer was solid in goal for the first 20 minutes, stopping all six shots fired his way.
The second period was all Norfolk, as the Admirals outshot the IceCaps 11-5, forcing Aebischer to be at his best.
Norfolk tied the game at the 15:42 mark just as an IceCaps penalty expired. Jason Gregoire was out of the box after serving two minutes for interference, but was unable to get back in the play before Ondrej Palat converted a beautiful cross-crease pass from Alexandre Picard, sliding the puck past Aebischer to knot the score at one.
Midway through the second, rookie Carl Klingberg participated in his first fight as an IceCap, standing toe-to-toe with defenceman Jeff Dimmen. Unfortunately for the Swedish rookie, he took a heavy punch to the face and left the game for treatment and did not return.
The IceCaps ran into penalty trouble late in the frame. Jason DeSantis took a cross-checking penalty at 16:27, but before he could get to the box, he had words with referee Terry Koharski, bringing about a 10-minute misconduct call. And then at the end of the period, assistant captain Garth Murray had words with Koharski as he was leaving the ice and he, too, was given a 10-minute misconduct.
Following Devos’s sixth goal of the year, the IceCaps pressed hard to score the equalizer, ultimately taking nine shots on the goal in the last period. With Aebischer on the bench for an extra attacker, St. John’s pressed for the tying goal that could have clinched a playoff position and the Atlantic Division crown.
However it was not to be on this night, so the clinching game will be put on hold until Saturday in Hershey. The IceCaps left immediately after the game for the long run to Pennsylvania and a rematch against the Bears at the Giant Center, the site of the beginning of the current six-game road trip.
Catch all the action Saturday night with Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Drop of the puck is set for 8:30 p.m. NST from the Giant Center in Hershey.
The club left Norfolk immediately after the game for a six-hour bus ride to Hershey, where they play the Bears Saturday night… Scott Zurevinski drew into the lineup Friday, replacing Ben Chiarot, as the team returned to a 12 forward, six-defenceman lineup. Defenceman Will O’Neill played for the second straight game after signing a pro contract out of the University of Maine… Scratches for the IceCaps included Brett Festerling, Paul Postma, Chiarot, Derek Meech, Eric O’Dell, Jason Jaffray, Marco Rosa, Max Macenauer, Brock Trotter and Eddie Pasquale… Jaffray didn’t return after a big hit in the second period Wednesday and travelled to Winnipeg for further consultation. Coach McCambridge said the evaluation was positive.