St. John’s falls to 1-3 with losses to Hamilton and Toronto
The St. John’s IceCaps dropped to 1-3 on the young 2013-14 American Hockey League season with back-to-back losses in southern Ontario on the weekend.
© — Photo by Graig Abel
St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Jussi Olkinuora looks on as teammate Julian Melchiori (right) battles the Toronto Marlies’ Brad Ross for position in front of the net during the team’s game Saturday night at the Ricoh Centre in Toronto. The Marlies won 6-3.
The IceCaps opened the brief two-game road swing with a 3-2 setback to the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum, compliments of Patrick Holland’s game-winning goal with 5:15 left in regulation. But it was Saturday night’s 6-3 loss to the Marlies in Toronto which was particularly hard to swallow.
At the Ricoh Centre, the IceCaps staked the Marlies to a quick 2-0 lead on T.J. Brennan’s pair of goals, but the IceCaps responded for three of their own for a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes.
But that’s where the good news ends, as the Marlies scored the next four straight goals for the victory.
Brennan, the former St. John’s Fog Devils junior defenceman who was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the off-season, finished the game with three goals and an assist, his second hat trick in three games.
John-Michael Liles, Wade MacLeod and Stefan Legelin also scored for the Marlies, who improved to 3-0 on the year in front of 2,756 fans. Spencer Abbott and Trevor Smith both had two assists for Toronto.
Andrew Gordon and Jerome Samson both scored their second goals on the year for the IceCaps, and Will O’Neill netted his first.
Rookie defenceman Brenden Kichton assisted on O’Neill’s goal, giving the 20-year-old Albertan a point in each of the IceCaps’ first four games.
Rookie Jussi Olkinuora made his first start of the season, and allowed six goals on 33 shots. Drew MacIntyre made 21 saves for the Marlies.
Bulldogs 3, IceCaps 2
Friday night, the teams traded goals in each of the first and second periods before Holland sealed the deal for Hamilton in the third before 5,193 paying customers.
Greg Pateryn and Gordon scored in the first period, and Michael Blunden and Ben Chiarot, with his first of the year, were the second-period marksmen.
Hamilton scored a pair of shorthanded goals, including Holland’s game-winner.
The shots on goal were nearly even-steven, with Hamilton outchancing St. John’s 35-34. Dustin Tokarski registered the win over Eddie Pasquale.
The IceCaps are back to work this morning with practice at Mile One Centre in preparation for a weekend homestand against the Hershey Bears. Game times Friday and Saturday nights are 7:30 p.m.