IceCaps fall to Admirals in shootout
St. John’s relinquishes two-goal lead but gains single point in 3-2 loss
The St. John’s IceCaps couldn’t hold on to a two-goal first period lead as the Norfolk Admirals came all the way back to win 3-2 Friday night in the first of two games between the teams at The Scope this weekend.
Josh Brittain scored in regulation and added the shootout’s only goal as the Admirals came back from two goals down to snap their seven-game losing streak and win for the first time at home since December 22.
Eric O’Dell scored his team-leading ninth of the season and Richard Petiot notched his first goal as an IceCap but it was not enough for St. John’s. Eddie Pasquale was busy, stopping 32-of-34 shots in regulation and overtime and denying four-of-five Admirals shooters in the shootout, but was tagged with the loss.
St. John’s went 2-for-5 with the man advantage while killing off 4-of-5 Norfolk power plays. The IceCaps were outshot 35-22 overall and 25-15 over the final two periods and overtime.
O’Dell got the IceCaps on the board with a power play marker at 6:22 of the first just one second before the Admirals’ penalty to Brittain was set to expire. After the puck was kept in at the point and sent towards the net, Kael Mouillierat picked up the biscuit and waited patiently before slipping a pass cross-ice past Admirals’ netminder Viktor Fasth. O’Dell was on the receiving end and deposited his ninth of the season into the yawning cage to give his team a quick 1-0 lead.
St. John’s converted on another power play at 10:40 of the opening frame on Petiot’s first. Jason Jaffray got the puck back to Petiot at the point, who wristed a shot on goal that appeared to be redirected in front by Sawada and into the back of the net. The goal was later credited to Petiot for his first as a member of the IceCaps, giving St. John’s a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Norfolk pulled within one at 9:01 of the second period shortly after a spirited tilt between Ryan Schnell and Jay Rosehill. Troy Bodie sent a pass at the bottom of the left faceoff circle to Brittain, whose one-timer along the ice caught Pasquale off guard and beat the IceCaps’ netminder to make it 2-1.
The score stayed that way until 4:56 of the third when the Admirals pulled even on a power play tally by rookie Emerson Etem. Patrick Maroon gained the IceCaps zone and feathered a backhand pass to a streaking Etem while falling to the ice. Etem sent the puck towards the slot from the left circle and it caromed off Julian Melchiori’s leg and past Pasquale, tying the game at two.
Neither squad could pull away in regulation, and with no action in overtime, the teams headed to a shootout.
In the shootout, both Pasquale and Fasth were sharp. Brittain was the only player from either team to find the back of the net, giving Norfolk the two points.
The IceCaps and Admirals face off again Saturday night at The Scope for the fourth and final time this season. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador, or watch online at ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 8:45 p.m. with the pregame show getting underway at 8:15 (all times Newfoundland).
The IceCaps have never won at The Scope, dropping all three regular season games and both Calder Cup playoff games… F Eric O’Dell extended his goal-scoring streak to three games, tying him with F Spencer Machacek for the longest streak by an IceCaps player this season. O’Dell is also riding a four-game point streak, during which he has four goals and two assists for six points… F Ray Sawada has two assists in consecutive games… F Jason Jaffray has recorded a point in back-to-back contests (1G, 2A)… D Richard Petiot has a point in each of his first two games as an IceCap (1G, 1A)… Prior to Friday’s contest, Machacek, Max Macenauer and Derek Meech were re-assigned to St. John’s from Winnipeg… The IceCaps scored more than one power play goal in a game for the first time since Dec. 16 in a 4-0 win at PRO… STJ is 4-5-0-0 in Friday games and 3-6-0-0 vs. the East Division this season.