St. John's gets win No. 40
Goaltender Tyler Beskorowany made 36 saves through regulation and overtime, while rookie Adam Lowry scored the difference-maker in the shootout as the St. John’s IceCaps beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 for their 40th win of the 2013-14 American Hockey League season Saturday night in Bridgeport, Conn.
Note: Updated to reflect that Andrew Gordon is also tied for the team scoring lead
For Lowry, it was his second game-winner against Bridgeport in two weeks; he had the deciding goal in a 3-2 overtime victory versus the Sound Tigers March 8 in St. John’s.
But the reason Lowry got the opportunity to play extra-time hero again was because of the work of Beskorowany, the game’s first star. St. John’s was outshot in each of the three regulation-time periods, including 14-6 in the third (shots were 2-2 in OT), but the six-foot-five IceCaps netminder stood tall, literally and figuratively.
After overtime solved nothing, John Persson scored on Bridgeport’s first shootout attempt, but Beskorowany denied the next five Sound Tigers sent his way. Meanwhile, the IceCaps got shootout goals from Carl Klingberg and Lowry.
Beskorowany has won all of his four starts since joining the IceCaps last month. After giving up five goals in a 6-5 win over the Portland Pirates Feb. 23, the Sudbury, Ont., native has only permitted four goals on 95 shots in his last three games.
Team captain Jason Jaffray had the lone goal in regulation for St. John’s, extending his points-scoring streak to seven games. The tally also moved Jaffray into a tie for the team scoring lead with the injured Kael Mouillierat and winger Andrew Gordon, who earned an assist on the Jaffray goal. They all have 49 points.
Adam Brace, with his first goal as a member of the Sound Tigers, tallied for the home side during a power play early in the second period. Jaffray tied it up about eight minutes later.
Kevin Poulin made 20 saves in the Bridgeport goal.
The win was a third straight for St. John’s (40-20-4) and second of a six-game road trip that began Friday night in Hartford, Conn., with a 5-1 victory over the Wolf Pack.
The game was also the final one of the IceCaps’ four-game season series against Bridgeport (27-30-7). St. John’s won all four, each time by a single goal.
The IceCaps’ trek continues this afternoon (4:30 p.m. NT) with a matchup against the Springfield Falcons, the farm team of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Northeast Division-leading Falcons (39-19-6) lost 5-2 Saturday to visiting Manchester Monarchs.
Manchester’s win keeps the league-leading Monarchs six points ahead of the IceCaps in the Atlantic Division. St. John’s has two games in hand.
The IceCaps could have some reinforcements for today’s contest in Springfield; centres John Albert and Patrice Cormier were both reassigned to St. John’s by the parent Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
The IceCaps are 12-1 in their last 13 games … Centre Blair Riley returning to the St. John’s lineup after being sidelined by food poisoning Friday. That meant recently-arrived forward Colton Beck, who made his pro debut Friday, was a scratch against Bridgeport, along with defencemen Kris Fredheim and Cody Lampl … St. John's is 4-3 in shootouts this season ... The Hershey’s Bears’ 4-2 loss to the Worcester Sharks means the IceCaps’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 13. That’s the number of points the IceCaps would have to earn over their remaining 12 games in combination with points that the Bears, currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, fail to gain … Saturday’s Molson Canadian three stars: 1. Tyler Beskorowany, St. John’s; 2. Adam Lowry, St. John’s 3. Kevin Poulin, Bridgeport … The Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: Jason Jaffray ...
St. John's IceCaps 2 at Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 (SO)
Saturday at the Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn.
Penalties — Mayfield Bri (tripping), 5:05; Brassard SJs (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 13:00; Gallant Bri (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 13:00; Persson Bri (interference), 14:52.
1. Bridgeport, Brace 3 (Newton, Vaughan), 1:10 (pp). 2. St. John's, Jaffray 17 (Gordon, Samson), 9:27.
Penalties — MacQueen SJs (goaltender interference), 0:21; Wetmore Bri (tripping), 5:36; Gordon SJs (tripping), 18:39.
Penalties — Clark Bri (tripping), 0:05; Hill SJs (hooking), 13:14; Samson SJs (delay of game), 15:40.
Penalties — None
St. John's — 2 goals (Samson NG, Gordon NG, Klingberg G, Lipon NG, Jaffray NG, Lowry G)
Bridgeport —1 goal (Persson G, Walters NG, Clark NG, Newton NG, Broda NG, Root NG).
Shots on Goal — St. John's 5-8-6-2-1 — 22; Bridgeport 6-15-14-2-0 — 37.
Power play goals/opportunities — St. John's 0/4; Bridgeport 1/4.
Goalies — St. John's, Beskorowany 4-0-0 (37 shots, 36 saves); Bridgeport, Poulin 1-6-1 (21 shots, 20 saves).
Referee — Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen — Luke Galvin (2), Paul Simeon (66).
Attendance — 3,855