It ended ... with an exclamation mark. The St. John’s IceCaps put an end to their eight-game home-ice losing streak Friday night and they did so with emphasis in a 5-0 American Hockey League win over the Hamilton Bulldogs at Mile One Centre.
Aaron Gagnon and Eric O’Dell each had a goal and an assist for
St. John’s, while IceCaps goaltender Mark Dekanich stopped all 23 shots he first in his first action since Feb. 26.
Dekanich had watched as Eddie Pasquale played the first four games of the current homestand, but Pasquale was promoted to the parent Winnipeg Jets earlier this week.
Gagnon opened the scoring 1:36 into the contest with a shorthanded goal, extending his consecutive points streak to six games.
Kael Mouillierat, on a power play and O’Dell, with his team-leading 19th of the season, scored two minutes apart later in the opening frame, putting an early end to the night for Hamilton goaltender Robert Mayer, who got the hook after giving up the three goals on just six shots.
His replacement, Dustin Tokarski, made 24 saves on 26 shots.
The O’Dell goal also ended any thoughts of a repeat of last weekend at Mile One, when St. John’s twice built up 2-0 leads against the league-leading Syracuse Crunch, only to wind up with a loss.
Josh Lunden, with his first-ever AHL goal, and team captain Jason Jaffray, the latter on another power play, scored in the second period for St. John’s (24-32-5), which will be looking for a similar winning result tonight (7:30 p.m. start) in a rematch with Hamilton (24-30-6).
Tonight’s game will see the IceCaps wearing Kelly green uniforms for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Of course, that means Hamilton is required to wear their white jerseys. As a result, so the Bulldogs wouldn’t have to bring two sets of uniforms. it was reverse jersey night Friday, with St. John’s wearing the solid blue it normally uses on the road .
The Bulldogs lost forward Mike Blunden on recall to the parent Montreal Canadiens Friday after Habs forward and Bonavista native Michael Ryder suffered a lower-body injury … Julian Melchiori, one of seven defenceman dressed for the IceCaps, had two assists for St. John’s …
Recent arrivals Tomas Kubalik and Josh Godfrey each had helpers Friday, their first points for St. John’s. Kubalik and defenceman Patrick Cullity were making their IceCaps debut after being acquired in the trade earlier this week, one that saw Spencer Machacek sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ organization ...