St. John's closes out road trip with shootout win
It's a five-hour bus ride from Broome County, N.Y., to Toronto, but that journey had to much easier to take for the St. John's IceCaps overnight Saturday after coming away with a 4-3 shootout win over the Binghamton Senators.
The victory capped off a six-game, 11-day road swing for the IceCaps (11-9-3), who won four times on the trip. The team is scheduled to fly today from Toronto to St. John's, where it will it will prepare for a four-game homestand at Mile One Centre, beginning Friday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
On Saturday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, in a game that showed their doggedness, the IceCapscontinually playedf catch-up, never holding a lead until Eric O'Dell and Jerome Samson scored on their penalty-shot attempts and rookie goalie Jussi Olkinuora stopped the Senators' Jim O'Brien on the home side's final shootout opportunity.
But the contest's key moment came in the final minute of the third period. With Binghamton leading 3-2 and Olkinuora on the bench for a extra attacker, Carl Klingberg forced overtime by scoring, stuffing the pack behind B-Sens' netminder Andrew Hammond with 28 seconds remaining in regulation.
The resulting five-minute extra period didn't provide a solution, so St. John's was left to look for its first shootout win of the season, then got it as O'Dell and Samson beat Hammond on the IceCaps' first and third attempts and Olkinuora turned aside all the Senators' shooters, except for Binghamton captain Mike Hoffman.
Samson and Andrew Gordon had the other regulation goals for St. John's, while Hoffman, Stephane Da Costa and David Dziurrzynki scored for Binghamton (14-6-1), which is tied for first place in the Eastern Division with Wilkes-Barre.
The loss was the first in extra time this season for the Senators, who had prevailed in their five previous overtime and shootout decisions.
Binghamton scored once in each period, holding 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads and dominated the first half of the third, getting Dziurrzynki's go-ahead tally and keeping the IceCaps' from getting a shot in goal in the frame until past the 12-minute mark. But Olkinuora, who finished the night with 36 saves, held his team in, allowing St. John's to right itself and build back some momentum, leading to Klingberg's big goal.
The IceCaps had lost their previous two shootout decisions this season, both at Mile One earlier in November against the Worcester Sharks ... With Saturday's win, the IceCaps' are second in the Atlantic Division and sixth overall in the Eastern Conference. The Manchester Monarchs sit atop both the division and conference, nine points ahead of St. John's and holding a game in hand … The IceCaps were served particularly well by their special teams Saturday, going 2-for-6 on the power play, while Binghamton went 0-for-3 on the PP … Samson came back into the lineup after sitting out Friday's 4-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch. Earlier in the week, in a win over Hershey, he had been forced from the game after taking a hit from Bears' captain Dane Byers ... Also drawing back into the lineup Saturday was defenceman Ben Chiraot, who had missed the previous two games with the flu ... With Samson and Chiarot coming in, rearguard Cody Lampl and forward Blair Riley joined a list of St. John's scratches that also included Travis Ehrhardt, Will O’Neill, Austen Brassard and Josh Lunden … The Molson Canadian three stars Saturday: 1. Binghamton defenceman Fredrick Claesson, 2. Hoffman, 3. Olkinuora… Brian Rogers' selection as the Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: Klingberg …
St. John's IceCaps 4 (SO) at Binghamton Senators 3 (S0)
Saturday at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Biunghamton. N.Y.
St. John's 1 1 1 0 - 4
Binghamton 1 1 1 0 - 3
1, Binghamton, Hoffman 11 (Robinson, Claesson), 2:41. 2, St. John's, Samson 8 (O'Dell, Fredheim), 16:43 (PP)
Penalties: Blood Bng (holding), 3:09; Da Costa Bng (boarding), 5:51; Schnell Stj (holding), 12:03; Sdao Bng (roughing), 15:14.
3, Binghamton, Da Costa 7 (Hoffman, Claesson), 13:42. 4, St. John's, Gordon 8 (Jaffray, Redmond), 16:57 (PP)
Penalties: Hamilton Bng (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct — abuse of officials), 16:34; Samson Stj (slashing), 17:14.
5, Binghamton, Dziurzynski 1 (Puempel), 9:47. 6, St. John's, Klingberg 4 (Samson), 19:32.
Penalties: Gordon Stj (slashing), 1:21; Sdao Bng (delay of game), 11:58.
St. John's 2 (O'Dell G, Mouillierat NG, Samson G, Gordon NG)
Binghamton 1 (Da Costa NG, Petersson NG, Hoffman G, Puempel NG, O'Brien NG)
Shots on Goal
St. John's 12-13-13-2-1-41; Binghamton 13-11-10-5-0-39
St. John's 2/6; Binghamton 0/3
St. John's, Olkinuora 2-2-1 (39 shots-36 saves). Binghamton, Hammond 6-3-1 (40 shots-37 saves)
Referee: Keith Kaval (40)
Linesmen: Andy Petrus (26), Jud Ritter (34)