IceCaps fall to Bulldogs
Photo: Brandon Taylor
Three-goal second period not enough as St. John’s drops second straight game
Gabriel Dumont scored a hat trick and added two assists as the Hamilton Bulldogs doubled-up the St. John’s IceCaps 6-3 in American Hockey League action at Copps Coliseum Friday night.
Dumont scored a pair of first period goals and added the insurance marker late in the third as the Bulldogs snapped their five-game losing streak and handed the IceCaps their second consecutive loss. Jason Jaffray scored twice for St. John’s while Eddie Pasquale made 24 saves on 26 shots after coming on in relief for Mark Dekanich in the first period.
Patrice Cormier also scored for the IceCaps, who fall to 3-3 on their current eight-game road trip.
Hamilton got off to a quick start with a power play goal in the opening minutes of the first. After some rough stuff in the early-going (Ryan Schnell and Zack Stortini dropped the gloves two minutes in), Eric O’Dell was whistled for roughing when he came to the aid of Carl Klingberg, who was hit hard into the boards by Louis Leblanc. On the ensuing power play, Patrick Holland took a pass from Michael Blunden, snapping a shot that was redirected in front by Dumont to give Hamilton a 1-0 lead.
Then, just a few minutes later, the Bulldogs extended their lead on a goal by LeBlanc. Alexander Avtsin made a great solo effort to get around an IceCaps defender and was initially stopped, but LeBlanc followed up and banged home the rebound, making it 2-0 just 6:38 into the game.
The Bulldogs kept coming in the opening frame. On another power play, this time after a hooking call on Max Macenauer, Dumont picked up his second of the game. The Bulldogs forward jammed in a loose puck at the side of the net by banking it off Dekanich and in, making it 3-0. The goal spelled an early end to Dekanich’s night, as he was relieved by Eddie Pasquale.
In the second, the IceCaps came out strong. Just 2:27 in, Jaffray converted on an odd-man rush for his fourth of the season. After a nice evasive move by Zach Redmond to get the puck up ice, Ray Sawada fed Jaffray just over the Hamilton blueline, and the captain snapped a hard wrist shot past Mayer to cut the lead to 3-1.
Several minutes later, the IceCaps came yet another step closer with their second shorthanded tally of the season. Spencer Machacek forced a turnover by blocking a pass in the defensive zone and raced in alone. Mayer made the initial save but the puck lay in the crease for Cormier, who smacked in his first goal of the season to close the gap to 3-2.
Late in the frame, Jaffray notched his second of the game to knot the score. The IceCaps moved in off the rush before Ben Chiarot dropped a pass to Jaffray at the top of the left circle, and the Alberta native rifled a wrister that beat Mayer on the glove side to make it 3-3 heading into the third period.
However, the third period was all Hamilton. The Bulldogs retook the lead less than two minutes into the frame. Dumont outmuscled an IceCaps defender down low and fired a tape-to-tape pass to Morgan Ellis at the right point, who blasted a slap shot that beat Pasquale on the blocker side to provide the Bulldogs with a 4-3 advantage.
Hamilton iced the game with 1:30 remaining in regulation on Dumont’s third. Jarrod Tinordi’s point shot was stopped by Pasquale but Dumont grabbed the rebound, spun and fired a shot along the ice that beat the IceCaps’ netminder.
Brendan Nash added the empty-netter to make it 6-3.
The IceCaps head to Syracuse Saturday to take on the Crunch, beginning at 9:00 p.m. NT. Catch all the action with play-by-play broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and 930 AM, or watch online at ahllive.com. Pregame show begins at 8:30 p.m.