Whale dominant in win over IceCaps
St. John’s ties season-high with seven goals allowed in 7-3 loss to Connecticut
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The St. John’s IceCaps came out flat Sunday afternoon, falling 7-3 to the Connecticut Whale in their fourth straight loss at Mile One Centre this week.
Michael Haley scored twice in the first 4:08 of the opening frame as the Whale lead 4-1 after 20 minutes and did not look back. Kris Newbury notched a goal and two assists while Kyle Jean, Jyri Niemi, Andrew Yogan and Mike Vernace had two –point efforts for Connecticut. Cameron Talbot made 25 saves on 28 shots.
For St. John’s, Jason Jaffray had two goals, including one on the power play, while Aaron Gagnon recorded two assists in his return to the lineup after missing 15 games with a knee injury. Mark Dekanich started but was pulled after allowing two goals on the first three shots of the game. Eddie Pasquale came on in relief and made 15 saves on 20 shots in taking the loss.
Haley opened the scoring 1:08 into the game to give Connecticut a quick 1-0 lead. Vernace’s wrist shot from the left point was stopped by Dekanich but the rebound kicked out to an uncovered Haley, who slid a backhand underneath the IceCaps goaltender to give the visiting team the early advantage.
Minutes later, Haley capitalized on another rebound for his second goal of the game. Brandon Segal took a shot from the right side boards that bounced right on the tape of Haley’s stick in the slot. Haley got the puck off his stick quickly and beat Dekanich, ending the netminder’s night early as Pasquale took over between the pipes.
Kris Newbury gave Connecticut a three-goal lead with a power play marker at 12:01 of the first after the IceCaps got in some penalty trouble. First, Julian Melchiori was whistled for tripping at 10:06 of the first, followed by Ben Chiarot being assessed a four minute penalty for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. On the ensuing power play, Newbury sent the puck towards the slot from the right side and it bounced off an IceCaps defender, beating Pasquale along the ice to make it 3-0.
On the same man advantage for Connecticut, Nick Palmieri took a pass in the slot and quickly fired a wrist shot along the ice that found the back of the net, giving the Whale a commanding 4-0 lead.
St. John’s responded late in the frame on captain Jason Jaffray’s ninth of the season. From the right side boards, Will O’Neill sent a beautiful pass towards the left side of the net where Jaffray deftly redirected the puck past Talbot to cut the lead to 4-1 heading into the first intermission.
The Whale restored the four-goal advantage with a strange goal midway through the second frame. Andrew Yogan took a shot from the left side that appeared to fool Pasquale as the puck caromed off the near post and out in front to Kyle Jean, who deposited it into the open cage to make it 5-1.
With 5:26 left in the second, Kevin Clark notched his sixth of the season to cut the deficit to 5-2. Aaron Gagnon made a terrific cross-ice pass coming out from the right side to Clark, who one-timed the puck past Talbot.
Andrew Yogan answered back for Connecticut just 33 seconds later. Right off a faceoff to the left of Pasquale, Yogan went hard to the net and buried his own rebound to give the Whale a 6-2 lead.
The back-and-forth action continued as St. John’s made it 6-3 with a late-period power play tally. O’Neill passed to Ben Maxwell at the left point, and the crafty forward made a tape-to-tape cross-ice pass to Jaffray at the left side of the net. The captain collected the puck and snapped a shot past Talbot to narrow the gap to three heading into the third frame.
St. John’s could not get any closer in the third, as Niemi added a goal to cap the scoring at 7-3.
The IceCaps finished up their six-game home stand with a 2-4 record, dropping each of their last four games.
Beginning next Friday, the IceCaps embark on a six-game, 14-day road trip with stops in Manchester (twice), Portland, Connecticut, Toronto and Hamilton. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM, or watch online at ahllive.com.
D Richard Petiot and F Ryan Schnell were healthy scratches, while F Jason King, F John Albert, F Ivan Telegin, and F Hunter Tremblay missed the game due to injury… F Jason Jaffray recorded his second multi-goal game this week Sunday. Jaffray also potted a pair of goals in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss against the Worcester Sharks… D Will O’Neill notched two assists after being a healthy scratch the previous two games… St. John’s went 1-for-5 with the man advantage while Connecticut went 2-for-7.
Photos (Michael Pardy)