IceCaps downed by Penguins
Photos: AFC Media
The St. John’s IceCaps dropped a 5-3 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena, ending their three-game road trip with a 2-1-0-0 record.
Dylan Reese scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Penguins to victory. Jason Jaffray led St. John’s with a goal and two assists and was named the Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player for his efforts in the game.
The IceCaps started slowly, falling behind 2-0 just three minutes into Saturday night’s game but fought back to knot the score at two in the second period.
The Penguins got on the board just 1:23 into the opening frame, after some sloppy puck movement by the IceCaps. Trevor Smith got credit for his eighth goal of the season on the club’s first shot on Pasquale. Wilkes-Barre went up 2-0 at the 3:07 mark, when the game’s first star Reese fired a seemingly-harmless shot from the right boards just inside the blueline that was deflected by Warren Peters in front of the net, and the shot eluded Pasquale.
The IceCaps got that back late in the period while playing 4-on-4. After Spencer Machacek did some nice work down low, Paul Postma took his pass and moved in on net, making a nice cross-crease feed to Jaffray, who was wide open at the side, and deposited the puck into an empty net with just one minute remaining.
The IceCaps tied the score in the second period after Jaffray cleanly won a faceoff back to the point for Julian Melchiori. The rookie rearguard moved to the middle of the ice and fired a low shot that was tipped by Ray Sawada in front.
However, with just 20 seconds left in the period, the Penguins regained the lead on an ugly play. Reese fired a shot from the point on the power play that appeared to hit Derek Meech’s stick and fooled Pasquale. The puck trickled past the IceCaps netminder with just 20 seconds to go in the period.
Benn Ferriero put the Pens up by two with his second goal of the year at 2:14 of the third. Former IceCap Riley Holzapfel, now playing in Wilkes-Barre, picked up an assist against his former team, feeding Ferriero in front, with the latter roofing the puck past Pasquale.
Just 28 seconds after Pasquale thwarted a Pens breakaway, Spencer Machacek made a nice deke on Zatkoff to pull the IceCaps to within a goal. Machacek’s goal was his fourth of the season.
But Holzapfel put the capper on the game with an empty net goal after just stepping out of the penalty box at 18:55.
The IceCaps return home Sunday and start a four-game home stand next Friday, Dec. 7 against the Springfield Falcons. That game also features the annual NTV Teddy Toss, where fans can donate stuffed toys to the Salvation Army to help children in need this Christmas.
Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. The pre-game show starts 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 7:30.