IceCaps fall short in home finale Posted by IceCaps on
Penguins escape with 5-4 OT win and two-game sweep
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The IceCaps dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Sunday at Mile One Centre in the team’s final home game of the 2012-13 season.
Despite a tremendous effort to win one final time for the home fans, St. John’s fell just short in the end. Chad Kolarik recorded a hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime, to aid the Penguins to victory.
Jason Jaffray was named first star of the game, notching three assists. Dean Arsene and Ben Maxwell each had a pair of helpers, while Will O’Neill, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori and Ray Sawada all scored for St. John’s.
Kolarik put the Penguins up 1-0 on a power play late in the first period. Kolarik took a pass in the slot and had all day to pick the top corner on Pasquale’s glove-hand side to give the visitors the lead.
With just seconds left in the opening frame, the IceCaps tied it up on a shorthanded goal by Lunden. Arsene made a tremendous diving block on a Penguins point shot that started a two-on-one rush by Jaffray and Lunden. Jaffray chased down the puck and chipped a perfect feed to Lunden, who drove the net and made a beautiful backhand move to beat Brad Thiessen between the legs to tie the game at one after 20 minutes of play.
Dominik Uher notched his third goal of the two-game series at 2:53 of the second. Adam Payerl pushed the puck in front of the net on a wraparound and it bounced to Uher, who was stationed to the right of Pasquale. Uher swept in a backhander to give the Penguins a 2-1 advantage.
At 4:07 of the second, the IceCaps drew even on Sawada’s 13th goal of the season. Jaffray found Arsene at the left point, who fired a shot on goal that was deflected nicely by Sawada and past Thiessen to knot the score at two.
St. John’s took the lead at 9:04 of the second on Melchiori’s first pro goal. With the teams playing four-on-four, Maxwell gained the Penguins’ zone and dropped the puck for Melchiori, who ripped a one-timer and bulged the twice to give his team a 3-2 lead.
Just 23 seconds later however, Trevor Smith tied the game for the Penguins. Smith capitalized on an IceCaps turnover and burst in alone, slipping a shot by Pasquale along the ice to make it a 3-3 tie.
O’Neill gave the IceCaps the lead with 8:06 to go in regulation. Jaffray notched yet another assist when he fed a pinching O’Neill, who was streaking down the middle of the ice. O’Neill snapped a wrist shot past Thiessen to make it 4-3 St. John’s.
The Penguins tied it once again several minutes later on Kolarik’s second of the game after forcing a turnover deep in the IceCaps’ zone. Kolarik spun and fired a shot high on Pasquale to knot the score at four and send it to overtime.
In overtime, Kolarik capped off his incredible day with the hat trick goal, sending the Penguins away with the series sweep.
St. John’s wraps up its 2012-13 season with three games on the road next weekend, beginning Friday in Hamilton followed by a pair of games Saturday and Sunday in Toronto.
Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM, or watch online at ahllive.com.
Prior to the game, the IceCaps presented their 2012-13 end-of-season awards. Eric O’Dell took home MVP honours, while Derek Meech was awarded Top Defenceman. Jason Jaffray won awards for Fans Choice and Community Man of the Year, while Julian Melchiori was named Top Rookie… Josh Lunden’s first period tally was the ninth shorthanded goal by the IceCaps this season and fourth in the last 10 games… Kael Mouillierat and Vinny Saponari missed the game with undisclosed injuries… Ryan Schnell returned to the lineup after missing the last 19 games with a knee injury, while Josh Godfrey played his first game since Mar. 15… Eddie Pasquale made 29 saves for St. John’s, while Brad Thiessen stopped 19 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The IceCaps went 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Photos (Jeff Parsons)