IceCaps Pound Whale 5-1
O’Dell notches hat trick in IceCaps’ dominant performance
The St. John’s IceCaps rebounded from a tough loss on Sunday to trump the Connecticut Whale 5-1 at XL Center Wednesday night.
Eric O’Dell scored three goals – his second hat trick as an IceCap – to pace St. John’s (23-28-1-2). Kael Mouillierat picked up four assists while Ben Maxwell had a goal and an assist. Carl Klingberg notched a pair of helpers and Mark Dekanich stopped 25 shots for the win.
St. John’s started fast and never looked back, potting three goals in the opening frame and clinching the win with a pair in the third. The IceCaps outshot the Whale 37-26 overall and controlled the flow for most of the game, using an aggressive forecheck to keep Connecticut on its heels for the majority of the contest.
The IceCaps got they start they needed with two goals in the game’s opening 8:05. First, Will O’Neill fed Maxwell in the high slot and the veteran pivot wound up and slapped a howitzer past Whale goaltender Cameron Talbot for his fourth of the season, a power play marker to give St. John’s a 1-0 lead at 7:19 of the frame.
Just 46 seconds later, O’Dell notched his team-leading 14th of the season, finishing off a nice rush by Klingberg and Mouillierat. Klingberg busted into the Whale zone and passed to the right side to Mouillierat, who threw the puck towards the middle of the ice. The puck hit a stick and was kicked out by Talbot’s right pad, but O’Dell was first on the scene to make it 2-0, smacking a backhander into the back of the net.
With 1:29 to go in the first, O’Dell notched his second of the period when he finished off a pretty passing play by his linemates, Mouillierat and Klingberg. After receiving a cross-ice pass from Klingberg, Mouillierat found O’Dell in front of the net for the easy tap-in, giving St. John’s a 3-0 lead after just 20 minutes of play.
In the second, Jason Missiaen came on to replace Talbot and the move seemed to temporarily inspire the Whale, who got on the board on a goal by Andrew Yogan. Kris Newbury took a pass near the right hash marks and sent the puck to a wide open Yogan in front, who tapped in his fourth of the year to make it a 3-1 game.
In the third however, the IceCaps came out flying and put the game out of reach with two goals in 34 seconds. O’Dell finished off the hat trick after burying another rebound off a Mouillierat shot, making it 4-1. Then, Maxwell circled around the Whale net and wristed a shot on goal that was deflected up and over Missiaen by Max Macenauer, extending the lead to 5-1 and putting the final nail in the coffin.
The win brought St. John’s to 2-2 on its current six-game road trip and moved the club to within six points of eighth place Hershey for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The IceCaps resume play this Sunday when they take on the Canadian rival Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. 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 4:30 p.m. with the pregame show getting underway at 4:00 (all times Newfoundland).
Eric O’Dell’s hat trick was the first by an IceCap this season. The team’s last hat trick was also recorded by O’Dell back on April 7, 2012 vs. Springfield… O’Dell has four multi-goal games this season, including three since the beginning of the New Year… Kael Mouillierat’s four assists set a new franchise record for most helpers in a game, beating the previous mark of three (achieved five times). Mouillierat also tied Patrice Cormier’s franchise record for most points in a game with four. Cormier notched three goals and an assist on March 9, 2012 vs. Hershey… The IceCaps have never lost at XL Center (4-0-0-0)… Ben Maxwell’s seven shots on goal tied a season high by an IceCaps player (achieved three times)… St. John’s went 1-for-5 on the power play and killed off its only minor penalty… Patrice Cormier fought twice in the game and has five fighting majors in the last eight games… Ben Chiarot returned to the lineup after missing all three games last weekend with a hip flexor injury and was a plus-three… St. John’s is a perfect 9-0-0-0 when scoring four goals or more.