IceCaps swept by Crunch in Mary Brown’s Cup
Clarenville, NL – Ondrej Palat scored the game-winner in overtime as the Syracuse Crunch completed a three-game sweep of the St. John’s IceCaps in the Mary Brown’s Cup exhibition series.
Palat converted a tap-in after a nice backdoor pass from Mark Barberio at 3:32 of the extra frame to lift the Crunch to a 6-5 victory over the IceCaps at a sold-out Clarenville Events Centre on Thanksgiving Sunday.
Alex Killorn scored three times for the visitors, while Carl Klingberg and Zach Redmond had two apiece for St. John’s. Dustin Tokarski picked up the win, making 19 saves, while Mark Dekanich took the loss after stopping 29 shots.
Killorn tied it at one for Syracuse just minutes later with a well-placed shot from the right wing that beat Dekanich on the far side.
Klingberg gave the home side another lead at 4:41 of the first when he raced in on a clear-cut breakaway shorthanded. The sophomore Swede made a pretty move to the forehand and slid the puck past an outstretched Tokarski.
The Crunch once again drew even on a power play marker by Richard Panik towards the end of the frame. Panik picked up his own rebound and slipped it past Dekanich, sending the teams to the dressing rooms tied at two.
Killorn put the Crunch ahead at 6:57 of the second period on another Syracuse power play after Ben Chiarot was assessed a high-sticking minor. The Crunch forward took a feed from Barberio near the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Dekanich to give Syracuse a 3-2 advantage.
Despite being outshot 13-4 in the second period, the IceCaps were able to pull even as time expired in the frame. After Syracuse’s Panik took a charging penalty with six seconds left, Zach Redmond took a feed from Will O’Neill after a faceoff win by Max Macenauer and blasted a slap shot into the back of the net with just six tenths of a second left on the clock.
Less than a minute into the third, Cory Conacher gave Syracuse the lead with a great individual effort. Conacher gained the IceCaps zone and cut into the middle, sliding a shot past Dekanich to put the Crunch on top 4-3.
St. John’s once again tied it up with a power play goal from Redmond. At 6:15 of the third, Redmond one-timed a pass from O’Neill and the puck trickled through Tokarski’s pads and over the goal line to even the score at four apiece.
Killorn notched his third of the night with less than five minutes to play, converting on a rebound from in close to temporarily give Syracuse a 5-4 lead.
However, Klingberg answered for St. John’s just 29 seconds later with a terrific solo effort. Klingberg beat his man in the Crunch zone and fired a shot on goal that was stopped by Tokarski, but the rebound went up in the air and was batted in by the Swedish forward for his second goal of the night, knotting the game at five and sending it to overtime.
Palat’s overtime marker sealed the victory and the three-game sweep.
The IceCaps open their second American Hockey League season on Saturday, Oct. 13 when they take on the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA. The team opens up the home portion of their schedule on Friday, Oct. 19 at Mile One Centre when they welcome the Adirondack Phantoms.
Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. The IceCaps Live pregame show begins 30 minutes before puck drop.