IceCaps falter in third period in Syracuse
Photos courtesy Syracuse Crunch
Club allows four third period goals in 6-4 defeat
The St. John’s IceCaps allowed four goals in the third period in a 6-4 loss to the Syracuse Crunch Saturday night at the War Memorial Arena Saturday night.
Dan Sexton’s pair of third period goals tied the game for Syracuse, and Kyle Palmieri’s league-leading 32nd of the season with 2:40 left in regulation proved to be the game-winner. Despite allowing four goals, Crunch goaltender Iiro Tarkki was solid, keeping the home team in the game and making 38 saves for the win. David Aebischer surrendered five goals on 30 shots to pick up his eighth loss of the season.
The IceCaps got on the board first on a wraparound goal by Spencer Machacek for his 13th of the season just 1:24 into the game. Paul Postma fed Machacek on the right wing, who circled the net and tucked the puck past Tarkki to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage.
At the 12:57 mark the IceCaps regained the lead with a power play marker from DeSantis. The Michigan native rifled a slap shot from the point that Tarkki had no chance in stopping for his ninth of the season, putting the IceCaps up 2-1.
The lead was short-lived however, as Sexton flew around the IceCaps defence and put one home on the backhand to tie the game at two.
The IceCaps retook the lead in the second on another power play after Postma was taken down on a partial breakaway. With no penalty shot awarded, St. John’s went to work with the man advantage, and it resulted in Jason King’s team-leading 16th goal of the season when he one-timed a great pass from Cormier, who was by the end boards at the side of the net.
Towards the end of the frame, the IceCaps converted on the power play for the third time in the contest to extend the lead to 4-2. Ben Maxwell cleanly beat Tarkki with a well-placed shot at 17:18 to give the visitors a two-goal advantage heading into the final 20 minutes.
The third period was all Syracuse. Sexton once again used his speed on the outside to burn the IceCaps defence and beat Aebischer, closing the gap to 4-3. Then, at 13:19 of the third after a DeSantis elbowing call gave the Crunch a 4-on-3 power play, Sexton completed the hat-trick to knot the game at four.
The winning goal came with less than three minutes to go, as Palmieri shoveled home a loose puck to put the Crunch on top for good. Brandon McMillan added an empty netter to seal the victory for Syracuse.
The loss is the third in a row for St. John’s, just the second time all season the club has gone winless in three straight games. The IceCaps will have a chance to bounce back when they visit the Binghamton Senators Sunday for the second time in six days. Binghamton thumped St. John’s 5-1 on Tuesday.
Catch all the action with play-by-play broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Pregame show begins at 6:00 p.m. with the drop of the puck set for 6:30 p.m. (all time Newfoundland).
St. John’s has allowed a combined nine goals in the third period over the last three games, all losses….The IceCaps completed two transactions Friday night, obtaining a pair of players for the playoff run. RW Ray Sawada was acquired from the Texas Stars for Shawn Weller and Michael Forney, and C Brock Trotter was obtained on loan from the Portland Pirates for LW Kenndal McArdle and G Peter Mannino. Neither player was in the lineup Saturday night….The IceCaps snapped an 0-for-13 drought on the power play with a 3-for-5 effort. The penalty killing unit went just 2-for-4….St. John’s finishes up its lengthy seven-game road trip with stops in Binghamton Sunday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Tuesday before returning home for six games beginning next weekend against Hershey.