IceCaps win in OT
By Don Power
Director of Communications
Jason Jaffray’s 12th goal of the season gave the St. John’s IceCaps a 2-1 win over the Connecticut Whale Friday night in Hartford.
Jaffray redirected a mid-air shot from Aaron Gagnon just 16 seconds into overtime to give the IceCaps the win, their first in extra time this season. The win was the club’s 13th on the road, and extends their fantastic road record to 13-1-2-1.
St. John’s got on the board first when Riley Holzapfel opened the scoring on a power play opportunity at 17:31 of the first period. Playing for the first time in 18 games, Holzapfel pounced on a rebound off a Paul Postma shot to the left of Whale goalie Cameron Talbot. The goal was Holzapfel’s eighth of the season, and it came while the Regina native was wearing a facemask as he continues to recover from breaking his orbital bone.
The IceCaps retained the lead through the second period, thanks in large part to the play of netminder Eddie Pasquale. The 21-year-old was a surprise starter, taking the place of David Aebischer after the pre-game warmup. Pasquale didn’t disappoint, either, stopping 26 of 27 shots, including a play-of-the-year highlight reel save off Kris Newbury in the second period.
The puck was shot into the IceCaps zone and Pasquale went behind the net to corral it. However, the puck caromed off the glass and in front to Newbury, who had an empty net. Seemingly out of nowhere, Pasquale dove across the crease and made a tremendous glove save to keep the Whale scoreless.
Connecticut brought the score even in the third, as Erik Christensen scored at 3:27. The game remained tied through the end of the period, setting the stage for overtime, and Jaffray’s heroics on the only shot of the extra frame.
The team got a boost from the return of all-star defenceman Paul Postma, who was returned from the Winnipeg Jets early in the day on Friday. Postma registered an assist on the opening goal but was also on the ice for the game winner.
St. John’s played without Patrice Cormier, who was recalled to Winnipeg on Friday. His spot in the lineup was taken by Holzapfel, who made the most of his first game action in more than a month.
The win gets St. John’s off to a great start on a six-game road trip that includes this weekend’s three games in less than 48 hours. Saturday night the team plays the Pirates in Portland before heading to Worcester for a 2:30 (NL time) start Sunday afternoon.
Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com or on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Pregame show begins a half hour before puck drop.