IceCaps grind out victory
Head home on a four-game winning sreak
Marco Rosa’s third-period power play goal catapulted the St. John’s IceCaps to their fourth consecutive victory Sunday, a 4-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in AHL action. The victory means the IceCaps record points in every game on the club’s six-game road trip.
Rosa, left unprotected to the left of Sound Tigers netminder Mikko Koskinen, converted a beautiful pass from Jason King at 12:10 for his third goal of the year to give St. John’s a lead they would not relinquish.
The win didn’t come easy for the IceCaps however, despite jumping out to a 3-0 first-period lead. St. John’s goalie David Aebischer was shaky at best and allowed Bridgeport to tie the game on just 13 shots. After surrendering the game-tying goal to Aaron Ness 4:43 into the second frame, Aebischer was replaced by Eddie Pasquale. The Toronto native wasn’t tested much, as he faced just 12 shots in his 35 minutes of work, but it was enough to get the win, his fifth straight victory this season.
Riley Holzapfel opened the scoring at 7:50 of the first frame, with his sixth goal of the season on a beautiful passing play with captain Jason Jaffray and Arturs Kulda. Defenceman Ben Chiarot scored his first American Hockey League goal seven minutes later when he pinched from the blueline, took a John Albert feed in the slot and beat Koskinen high to the stick side to make the score 2-0.
DeSantis, who has played well in limited action this year, also got his first of the year in the opening period, at 17:43, with goaltender David Aebischer heading to the net on a delayed penalty call. DeSantis scored on a backhand to put the IceCaps up 3-0. But the lead didn’t last long.
Bridgeport scored twice in 13 seconds with less than two minutes remaining in the first period to bring the Sound Tigers close after 20 minutes.
Goaltender David Aebischer struggled in the early going, and, after allowing Bridgeport to tie the game at 3-3 just 4:43 into the second period, was pulled in favour of Pasquale. Aebischer, who allowed the three goals on 13 shots, didn’t appear sharp as he tries to play his way back into the NHL.
As has been habit of late, the IceCaps were left scrambling to secure the win. Saturday night, the club killed off a 5-on-3 power play to record a 3-1 win over Worcester. Sunday, a double minor for high sticking at 15:44 left the IceCaps on their heels for the latter part of the game.
The club killed off the penalty and secured the win, improving their record to 9-2-3 for 21 points. That’s good for first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.
The victory also means St. John’s recorded points in all six games of their 11-day road swing through New England. After opening with a pair of 4-3 overtime losses to Springfield and Providence – earning a point in each – the club reeled off four straight wins. The IceCaps beat Worcester and Connecticut with identical 6-3 scores, before Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Sharks.
St. John’s returns home Monday before facing the Connecticut Whale in a pair of games at Mile One Centre Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13.
Both games can be heard on 930 AM This is Newfoundland Labrador or online at www.stjohnsicecaps.com. Join Brian Rogers for the pre-game show at 7 p.m. followed by the drop of the puck at 7:30 Saturday.