IceCaps’ road streak halted
Rynnas, Marlies shut the door to end road point streak at 15 games
It was another first for the St. John’s IceCaps Sunday, but not one they wanted to experience.
The IceCaps ran into a hot goaltender and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Toronto Marlies Sunday afternoon in a New Year’s Day matinee at Ricoh Coliseum for their first regulation time loss on the road this season.
Entering the game, the IceCaps had never lost in regulation away from Mile One Centre, a streak that was extended to 15 with Saturday’s shootout win. On Sunday, Jussi Rynnas made 36 saves and Jerry D’Amigo’s third period goal stood as the game-winner. Aaron Gagnon scored the lone goal for St. John’s, while defenceman Paul Postma saw his 10-game point-scoring streak come to an end. Eddie Pasquale played well for St. John’s between the pipes, stopping 18-of-20 shots including a shorthanded breakaway by Greg Scott.
The Marlies got on the board at the 8:23 mark of the first period when Matt Caruana knocked home a rebound for his first of the season to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The IceCaps had plenty of chances to draw even but couldn’t beat Rynnas, who stopped all 13 shots fired his way in the opening frame.
The second period was much of the same for the IceCaps, who failed to get on the board despite outshooting the Marlies 12-7 in the period. Neither team was able to light the lamp, and the score stayed the same heading into the third.
It remained 1-0 until midway through the final period when D’Amigo blasted a slap shot past Pasquale off the face-off at the 10:41 mark. Just minutes later though, Aaron Gagnon was the beneficiary of some hard work around the Marlies net when he banged a loose puck past Rynnas to cut the lead in half with 7:12 remaining in regulation time.
The IceCaps pressed hard in the late stages of the third and had plenty of opportunities to send the game to overtime, but Rynnas shut the door to halt the IceCaps’ 15-game road point streak, one shy of the AHL record set by the Milwaukee Admirals in the 2010-11 season.
The IceCaps leave Southern Ontario having won two-of-three on their road trip, and return home to face the Manchester Monarchs Friday and Saturday at Mile One Centre. The teams are separated by just one point, with the Monarchs holding a slight edge for first place in the Atlantic Division standings. In two meetings this season, the IceCaps came away with 1-0 and 4-1 victories, both at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
Catch all the action with Brian Rogers streaming live at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. with the pregame show getting underway at 7:00 (all times Newfoundland).