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IceCaps’ comeback falls just short against Falcons Posted by IceCaps on

St. John’s rallies from four-goal deficit before falling 8-7 in overtime

ST. JOHN’S, NL — The St. John’s IceCaps rallied from a four-goal first-period deficit to pull ahead in the final frame but couldn’t quite hold on, as the Springfield Falcons mounted a comeback of their own in the dying seconds of the game to force overtime before downing the IceCaps 8-7 Friday night at Mile One Centre.

Jack Skille led the way for Springfield with four goals and an assist, and Jeremy Smith stopped 12-of-13 to post the win.

Patrice Cormier helped buoy the IceCaps’ come-from-behind rally with two goals and an assist, while Jason Jaffray had three helpers. Eric Comrie, playing in his first professional game in relief of Tyler Beskorowany, turned aside 35 in a losing effort.

By gaining a point, the IceCaps’ magic number shrunk to five in their bid for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

The Falcons opened the scoring 7:01 into the opening frame on the power play, when Carter Camper threw the puck out from the corner before it deflected off a skate in front and in to make it 1-0.

Springfield struck again under two minutes later, when Skille potted his 10th of the season. Taking the drop pass off the draw from Lukas Sedlak, Skille blasted it top shelf over the blocker of Beskorowany to extend the Falcons’ lead to two.

Matt Taormina put Springfield ahead 3-0 at 9:30, when he fired a shot from in close that eluded Beskorowany over the glove, spelling the end of the netminder’s night as he was replaced by Comrie.

Cormier got the IceCaps on the board at 15:08, however, when he took a behind-the-net feed from Jerome Samson before firing it upstairs past Mike McKenna.

Just over a minute later, Springfield restored their three-goal advantage when Sedlak sent a cross-crease feed that deflected in off of Skille and past a helpless Comrie.

Then, at 16:50, Cody Bass made it 5-1 when he skated out in front, took the quick pass from Trent Vogelhuber, and fired home his eighth of the season.

Kyle MacKinnon drew the IceCaps within three at 17:25, when he was set up by a streaking Cormier and wired it past McKenna to make it 5-2.

Twenty-five seconds later, Cormier lit the lamp again to cut the Falcons’ lead to two. After Julian Melchiori’s slap shot squeaked through the legs of McKenna, Cormier picked up the puck once it squirted out in front and wristed it into the yawning cage.

In the second period, Andrew Gordon connected on the cross-ice feed from Jaffray at 1:52, wristing it top shelf on McKenna to make it 5-4.

Under a minute later, however, Skille – potting his third of night – picked up the loose biscuit in front of the goal and chipped it past a helpless Comrie to restore the two-goal lead.

The IceCaps battled back to even the score before the intermission, on goals from Carl Klingberg and Samson. First, Klingberg wheeled in past the Springfield defense before driving to the net and slipping it past McKenna to make it 6-5 at 15:11. Then, with 48 seconds remaining in the frame, Jordan Hill threw the puck out front to Samson, whose 22nd of the season tied things up a six apiece.

John Albert gave the IceCaps their first lead of the game 6:25 into the final frame, when he was set up in the high slot by Jaffray and one-timed it glove side on Smith.

With Smith pulled from the Springfield goal for the extra attacker in the final minute, Skille pounced on the rebound that bounced out in front of the goal and wristed it past the IceCaps’ netminder to knot things up 7-7 with just 17 seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime.

Then, in overtime, Sean Collins scored at 2:50 to win the game for the Falcons and complete a comeback of their own, clinching a playoff spot in the process.

The IceCaps look to get back in the win column Saturday night (7:30 PM NT), when they close out their weekend series with Falcons at Mile One Centre. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers on Rogers TV, and 930 AM, or watch online at Pregame show gets underway a half-hour before puck drop.

Notes: Not dressed for St. John’s: Kael Mouillierat, Ryan Schnell, Colton Beck, Austen Brassard, Eddie Pasquale… St. John’s and Springfield combined for eight first-period goals… The IceCaps went 0-for-3 on the power play and killed off 1-of-2 shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Jack Skille 2. Patrice Cormier 3. Eric Comrie… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Kyle MacKinnon.

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