IceCaps edged by Bulldogs 2-1
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The IceCaps wasted a terrific effort by goaltender Mark Dekanich in dropping a 2-1 decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs Wednesday night, forcing yet another split of home games for the IceCaps at Mile One Centre.
Steve Quailer scored the eventual game-winner with less than 30 seconds to go in the second period on a weird bounce off the glass and Cedrick Desjardins made 29 saves in just his second start of the season for Hamilton. Dekanich made 23 saves for St. John’s while Carl Klingberg scored the team’s lone goal.
St. John’s failed to sweep a two-game home series for the fifth time this season and fall to 8-9-0-0 on the season. The Bulldogs won on the road for the first time since their opening game.
Klingberg opened the scoring just before the buzzer sounded at the end of the first period on a great solo effort. After a mostly uneventful opening frame, Klingberg took a pass from Ben Maxwell and gained the Bulldogs zone, taking on a pair of Hamilton defenders in the process. The Swedish sophomore winger dragged the puck and used one of the defencemen as a screen to rip a wrist shot past Desjardins, putting the IceCaps up 1-0 after 20 minutes.
St. John’s couldn’t continue the momentum in the middle period, getting outshot 15-9 and surrendering the tying and go-ahead goals. Hamilton tied things up with 7:21 remaining in the second frame when Bulldogs’ leading scorer Brendan Gallagher busted down the right wing on an odd-man rush and fed Michael Blunden with a last-second pass. Blunden easily tapped the puck in for the equalizer, making it a 1-1 game.
With just 23.5 seconds left in the second, the Bulldogs went ahead on a strange goal. Morgan Ellis’s point shot was partially blocked, but hit the glass on the end boards and caromed straight out to Quailer, who was in the right place at the right time to tap in an easy goal with Dekanich looking the other way, to give Hamilton a 2-1 lead heading into the final stanza.
The IceCaps pressed in the third but could not come up with the tying marker despite outshooting the Bulldogs 13-8 and 30-25 overall. St. John’s was unable to capitalize on a pair of Hamilton minor penalties in the period and went 0-for-5 overall on the power play. The IceCaps finished the two-game set going 2-for-12 with the man advantage.
St. John’s wraps up its six-game home stand with a pair of contests Saturday and Sunday versus the Providence Bruins. Saturday’s contest is set for 7:30 p.m. while Sunday’s tilt has been moved to 6:00 p.m. to accommodate the congestion in downtown St. John’s surrounding Mile One Centre due to the annual Santa Claus Parade.
Listen to all the action live with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador, or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Saturday’s game can be seen live in Newfoundland on Rogers TV.
Eric O’Dell missed the game due to an injury sustained in the first period of Tuesday night’s contest and is considered day-to-day… Hunter Tremblay returned to the lineup after a five-game absence due to concussion-like symptoms suffered from a fight with Portland’s Brett Hextall on Nov. 2… With his assist in the first period, Paul Postma extended his assist streak to three games… Derek Meech led St. John’s with six shots on goal and was selected as the Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player… Mark Dekanich’s start was his fourth in the IceCaps’ last five games.
Photos (Jeff Parsons)