St. John's beats Providence to begin five-game road trip
Carl Klingberg and Jerome Samson each scored twice as the St. John’s IceCaps built up a 4-0 lead then held on for a 5-4 American Hockey League win over the Providence Bruins Friday night in the first game of a five-game road trip.
The game was one of two weekend meetings between the IceCaps and Bruins, who will square off again Sunday afternoon in Providence, In between, St. John’s has a game tonight (8:30 p.m. NT) against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Austen Brassard had the other goal Friday for the IceCaps (22-16-3), who move to within a point of Providence (21-16-6) for seventh place in the AHL Eastern Conference standings. St. John’s has two games in hand.
Craig Cunningham, with two goals, Andrew Cherniwchan and Jared Knight replied for the P-Bruins.
IceCaps goalie Michael Hutchinson, who played three seasons in Providence, made 32 saves for his second consecutive win. Niklas Svedberg made 27 stops for the home side.
Goals by Klingberg and Samson gave St. John’s a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes, one which was doubled when Brassard and Klingberg scored just 17 seconds apart early in the middle frame.
But Cunningham and Cherniwchan scored before the second period was out, then Knight tallied less than four minutes into the third to bring the Bruins within one.
Samson got his second marker on a power play just past the 10-minute mark of the third. It would stand as the eventual game-winner, because Cunningham would score with less than a second remaining in the contest.
Klingberg and Samson each have 13 goals this season, one less than IceCaps leader Andrew Gordon … Defenceman Julian Melchiori and forwards Josh Lunden and Ryan Schnell did not play for St. John’s. All are injured … St. John’s went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Providence didn’t score on its only power-play opportunity … While the IceCaps closed the gap in the standings between them and the Bruins, the Hershey Bears remain close to St. John's in the Eastern Conference standings. The Bears are just a point behind the IceCaps after a 4-1 win over the Syracuse Crunch Friday. Hershey has a game in hand on St. John's ... The three stars Friday: 1. Jerome Samson 2. Andrew Cherniwchan 3. Carl Klingberg.