Patrice Cormier registered a hat trick, and three other St. John’s players finished with multiple points as the IceCaps routed the Hershey Bears 6-1 for their third straight American Hockey League win Friday night at Mile One Centre.
The victory was the IceCaps’ third straight and improved their record to 35-15-5-2 on the year.
It was their first game on home ice since Feb. 12. The IceCaps just closed out a road, going 3-3-0-1.
Cormier also picked up an assist, giving him four points on the night. Kevin Clark and Spencer Machacek both had a goal and an assist, while defenceman Arturs Kulda finished the night with two helpers. Jason Jaffray also scored. Kyle Greentree was the lone Hershey goalscorer.
Cormier got the IceCaps on the scoreboard first, jamming the puck between Braden Holtby’s legs 7:53 in. Holtby, who made an appearance for the Washington Capitals this season and 14 last year, thought he had the puck squeezed between his pads, but it skittered through for Cormier’s 12th on the year.
The lead was shortlived as the Bears, the longest continuing franchise in the AHL, around since 1938, evened things less than two minutes later when Greentree netted a power play goal.
It was all IceCaps in the second period, however, as St. John’s outshot Hershey 15-4, scoring three goals for a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Jaffray started the parade when he busted down the right wing, and drove to the net, cashing in his 17th goal on the year. Just over a minute later, it was Cormier again, banging home a rebound on a goalmouth scramble, and the rout was on. Clark closed out period scoring, netting his 10th at 12:53.
Cormier and Machacek scored the only goals of the third period. For Machacek, the IceCaps’ leading scorer, it was his seventh straight game with at least one point.
Eddie Pasquale had an easy time registering the win, his 18th on the year, facing only 20 shots. The IceCaps fired 33 shots on Holtby and veteran Dany Sabourin, who made a brief appearance in the second when Holtby experienced equipment problems.
The teams go at it again 7:30 tonight at Mile One.