Game 2 Saturday
A pair of goals within a 1:14 span in the third period staked the St. John’s IceCaps to a 5-1 win over the visiting Hershey Bears in American Hockey League play Friday night at Mile One Centre.
© Keith Gosse
St. John's IceCaps player Kael Mouillierat (bottom) hits the ice after being tripped by Hersey Bears' Conner Carrick (25) during first-period play Friday.
The win lifts the IceCaps to 2-2-1 on the young season, with the second game of the Hershey series going 7:30 tonight. The Bears fall to 0-2-1.
With the teams tied 1-1 in the third, Eric O’Dell won the faceoff in the Hershey zone, kicked the puck back to Ben Chiarot, whose shot from the point eluded Bears netminder David Leggio.
Then, just 1:14 later, captain Jason Jaffray netted his first of the season, blasting a shot past Leggio from the high slot at the 10:13 mark.
John Albert added an insurance marker for the IceCaps in the third, and Austen Brassard, the rookie out of the Belleville Bulls, potted his first pro goal at 18:54.
Another rookie, J.C. Lipon, scored for St. John’s in the second period.
Jeff Taffe had the lone Hershey goal.
It was the Bears opening the scoring in the first period when the veteran Taffe, entering his 11th pro season with 180 National Hockey League games to his credit, stuffed the puck past Eddie Pasquale in a goalmouth scramble at the 12:31 mark.
The IceCaps ran into penalty trouble in the first, when referee T.J. Luxmore nabbed the home side for four straight minors.
It was a relatively weak hooking call on O’Dell which led to the Taffe goal.
While Leggio may have been the story of the game for the visiting Bears, with 35 saves overall, Pasquale came up huge for the IceCaps in the first, foiling Matt Watkins on a shorthanded breakaway with just over a minute to go in the period.
That save may have been the inspiration St. John’s needed, as Lipon drew the IceCaps even 28 seconds into the middle stanza, onetiming a Josh Lunden feed past Leggio with the IceCaps enjoying the man advantage.
It was the second goal on the year for Lipon, a rookie out of the Kam-loops Blazers, drafted 91st overall by Winnipeg in the June draft.
St. John’s outshot Hershey 17-10 in the second, and 15-4 in the third.
Pasquale finished the night with 24 saves.
Rookie defenceman Brenden Kichton hails from Spruce Grove, Alta., hometown of former St. John’s Maple Leafs great Nathan Dempsey. Dempsey owns a hockey school there, and Kichton’s younger brother is an instructor … St. John’s native Mike Winslow, who is living in Texas, worked his first AHL game as a linesman in the Lone Star State last night in San Antonio …