The Manchester Monarchs scored two quick goals on St. John's early Friday night, and the goal-challenged IceCaps couldn't catch up, dropping a 3-2 American Hockey League decision at Mile One Centre.
It was the IceCaps' 11th loss in 17 games on home ice. St. John's slips to 15-19-0-1, while the Monarchs climb to the .500 mark at 15-15-2-2. More importantly, the fourth-place Monarchs move three points up on the last place IceCaps in the Atlantic Division.
Tyler Toffoli scored a pair of goals just over five minutes into the first period, staking the Monarchs to a 2-0 lead. Andrei Loktionov netted the winning goal at 9:21of the third.
Spencer Machacek and Ray Sawada had the St. John's goals.
Martin Jones was outstanding in the Monarchs' goal, with 32 saves.
Toffoli scored on the Monarchs' first shot of the game 2:02 in, one-timing a pass from Linden Vey from the top of the faceoff circle.
The two paired up again three minutes later as Toffoli took a pass from Vey, who was parked behind the IceCaps' net, and slammed his 16th goal past Eddie Pasquale.
Machacek drew the IceCaps to within one goal with four minutes to go in the opening period, netting his eighth goal to share the team lead with Zach Redmond and Sawada.
Following a scoreless second period, Loktionov got the game-winner, teaming up with Dwight King. Both players spent considerable time with the parent Los Angeles Kings last season, Loktionov appearing in 39 games and King in 27 games.
Sawada made it close with 1:38 to play. But even with Pasquale pulled in favour of an extra attacker, and the Monarchs' Marc-Andre Cliché picking up a tripping minor at 18:44, the IceCaps could not score the equalizer.
Pasquale finished with 26 saves.
The teams go at it again 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Mile One.