IceCaps complete incredible comeback to top Sharks Posted by IceCaps Staff on
Kichton the OT hero as IceCaps overcome four-goal deficit
The St. John’s IceCaps were trailing 4-0 after two periods of play but after a furious third period rally came back to defeat the Worcester Sharks 5-4 in overtime at Mile One Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Brenden Kichton had a pair of goals, including the game-winner at 3:25 of overtime and Chase Balisy, Will O’Neill and Eric O’Dell all chipped in with two points apiece to help the IceCaps split the two-game series with Worcester.
The Sharks jumped out to the lead late in the first period as Rylan Schwartz pounced on a rebound in front of IceCaps starter Connor Hellebuyck and just squeezed the puck beyond the goaltender’s outstretched stick at 15:54.
Travis Oleksuk made it 2-0 just under three minutes later as he one-timed a perfect pass from Konrad Abeltshauser for a power play goal at 18:46.
The Worcester power play struck again in the second period as Matt Taormina sent a bomb from the point that beat Hellebuyck cleanly at 8:15.
Micheal Haley pushed the Sharks lead to 4-0 in the final minute of the second period as he walked out of the corner to beat Hellebuyck low on the far side with 25 seconds left in the period.
Hellebuyck was replaced by Jussi Olkinuora to start the third period after allowing four goals on 32 shots during a busy 40 minutes.
Then, the comeback began.
Blair Riley, who attempted to rally the troops with a hit and a late second period fight with the Sharks’ Taylor Fedun, got the scoring started for the IceCaps in the third. Riley gained control of the puck near the side of the net and finally beat Sharks starter Aaron Dell on his third whack at the puck with 5:39 off the clock in the period.
Patrice Cormier notched his sixth goal of the year less than three minutes later as he took a pass in the high slot from O’Dell and sent a quick shot on net that squeezed through Dell’s pads and into the net at 8:10.
Kichton’s first of the night, a power play goal, made it 4-3 with just under five minutes to play in the game. O’Neill sent a seemingly harmless wrist shot on net from the point and Dell kicked out a juicy rebound, right to a pinching Kichton who buried it at 15:18.
Balisy tied the game with less than two minutes on the clock as he had the puck ricochet off his leg during a goalmouth scramble and slide behind Dell, sending the crowd at Mile One Centre into a frenzy after scoring four goals in 12:40 to force overtime.
At 3:25 of the extra frame, Carl Klingberg passed the puck to Kichton at the point and he walked into the high slot before sending a laser of a wrist shot just under the bar over Dell’s glove hand to end the game, sending a mob of IceCaps onto the ice to celebrate the comeback.
Olkinuora earned the win with eight saves in 23:18 of ice time, while the Sharks’ Dell allowed five goals on 28 shots against.
The IceCaps will now hit the road for their next six games, starting with a pair against the Manchester Monarchs next Friday and Saturday. The IceCaps will play two games each against Manchester, the Portland Pirates and the Worcester Sharks before returning to Mile One Centre on March 6 for a date with the Albany Devils. Tickets are on sale now at the Mile One Box Office, by phone at (709) 576-7657 or www.mileonecentre.com. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com, 930AM and www.ahllive.com.
Notes | Not dressed: Jason Jaffray, Brandon MacLean, Ben Walker, Scott Kosmachuk, Jordan Hill, Patrick Holland, Ryan Parent, Peter Budaj… St. John’s went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-7 on the penalty kill… Connor Hellebuyck made his 14th straight start between the pipes for the IceCaps, setting a new team record for most consecutive starts in team history… With a pair of assists in tonight’s contest, Will O’Neill has now recorded six points in his last three games… Worcester outshot St. John’s 40-27… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Brenden Kichton 2. Micheal Haley 3. Chase Balisy … IceCaps Hardest Working Player: Eric O’Dell.