IceCaps end road trip with shootout loss to Bears

Brendan McCarthy
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Here’s as much you need to know about what’s been going on with the St. John’s IceCaps recently: IceCaps’ goalie Tyler Beskorowany fashioned a collective 1.96 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in three American Hockey League games over the last four days and St. John’s still failed to win any of those contests.
The latest loss came Saturday night in central Pennsylvania as the IceCaps fell to the Hershey Bears 2-1 in a game decided by a shootout that was extended to 12 rounds.

IceCaps logo

Defenceman Tyler Strachan had the deciding goal in the shootout and netminder David Leggio totalled 32 saves in regulation and overtime for the Bears (34-25-8).

Beskorowany made 26 saves for St. John’s (41-22-5), which was finishing up a six-game road trip.

The IceCaps opened up the swing through the northeast U.S. with three straight wins, but fell 3-2 to the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday and 2-1 to the Binghamton Senators Friday before Saturday’s setback in Hershey.

Jeff Taffe of Hershey and Kyle MacKinnon of St. John’s had the regulation — time goals, both coming in the second period of a contest played before more than 10,500 at the Giant Center.

The IceCaps outshot the Bears 11-6 in the third and 4-0 in OT, but could not come up with the game-winner, although they came rubber-on-metal close on a couple of occasions, ringing shots off the post late in the third and in overtime.

In the shootout, Jerome Samson and Carl Klingberg scored on two of St. John’s first three attempts, but Hershey countered with tallies by Ryan Stoa and Dane Byers, the latter a shootout extender that came in the Bears’ fifth try and on a shot that just squeezed through Beskorowany. 

The next 14 shooters failed to score, but Strachan, who has only three goals in 56 games, was successful on the home side’s 12th attempt. St. John’s had a chance to extend the shootout even further, but IceCaps’ rookie Austen Brassard’s shot went too high and over the net.

The IceCps failed to score on five power-play opportunities, including one with less than three minutes remaining in the third period and another in overtime. In the three one-goal losses this week, their power play went zero-for-12.

The point St. John’s gained Saturday did reduce its magic number to clinch a playoff spot to eight. That number is based on points that the IceCaps gain over their remaining eight regular-season games, added to available points failed to be earned by the ninth-place team in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. Right now, that team happens to be the Bears, who are just one point outside eighth place in the conference and a playoff position.

St. John’s begins a six-game home stand next Friday night at Mile One Centre against the Springfield Falcons.

 

Notes

With Ondrej Pavelec returning to action Saturday night for the parent Winnipeg Jets after being sidelined by injury for two weeks, the emergency conditions that led to goaltender Michael Hutchinson’s recall from the IceCaps ended. As a result, Hutchinson was reassigned to St. John’s late Saturday … Still no official announcement from the Jets, but a story by Ed Tait in Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press suggested defenceman Josh Morrissey, the Jets’ first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, will report to the IceCaps Monday. The 19-year-old Morrissey, one of two finalists for the Western Hockey League’s defenceman of the year award, had his junior season end Wednesday when his Prince Albert Raiders were swept by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the opening round of the WHL playoffs … Patrice Cormier, in his first game with St. John’s since being returned by Winnipeg, had an assist on MacKinnon’s goal … Players travelling with St. John’s who were scratched Saturday included forwards Josh Lunden, Ryan Schnell and Colton Beck, along with defenceman Cody Lampl … It didn’t take long for forward Jamie MacQueen to find a new AHL home after being released from his professional tryout contract (PTO) by the IceCaps on Friday. MacQueen signed a PTO with the Iowa Stars almost immediately and scored a goal in his Iowa debut Saturday night … Saturday’s Molson Canadian three stars: 1. Leggio, Her; 2. Taffe, Her. 3. MacKinnon, SJs … Brian Rogers’ choice as the Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: Beskorowany … 

 

bmcc@thetelegram.com

 

SUMMARY

IceCaps 1 at Bears 2 (SO)

Saturday at the Giant Center, Hershey, Pa.

 

First period

No Scoring.

Penalties — Wellar Her (hooking), 4:53.

Second Period 

1. Hershey, Taffe 18 (Schilling, Gazley), 1:25. 2. St. John's, MacKinnon 9 (Cormier, Chiarot), 6:30.

Penalties — Byers Her (high-sticking), 8:21; Cormier SJs (fighting), 11:22; Oleksy Her (fighting), 11:22; Hill SJs (hooking), 11:54; Melchiori SJs (interference), 15:18.

Third Period 

No Scoring.

Penalties — Latta Her (elbowing), 3:53; Redmond SJs (slashing), 10:57; Latta Her (holding), 17:33.

Overtime

No Scoring.

Penalties — Byers Her (hooking), 2:57.

———

Shootout

Hershey 3, St. John’s 2

St. John's 2 (Samson G, Albert NG, Klingberg G, Lowry NG, Jaffray NG, MacKinnon NG, Lipon NG, Gordon NG, Riley NG, Kichton NG, O'Neill NG, Brassard NG)

Hershey 3 (Stoa G, Wellman NG, Potulny NG, Galiev NG, Byers G, LeBlanc NG, Latta NG, Taffe NG, Newbury NG, Gazley NG, Deschamps NG, Strachan G)

———

Shots on Goal 

St. John's 9-9-11-4-0 — 33

Hershey 12-9-6-0-1 — 28

Power plays (goals/opportunities): St. John's 0/5; Hershey 0/3

Goaltenders: St. John's, Beskorowany 4-2-1 (27 shots/26 saves); Hershey, Leggio 20-17-3 3 (33 shots/32 saves).

Referees: Tim Mayer (19), Fred Leblanc (30)

Linesmen: Leo Boylan (97), Jud Ritter (34)

Attendance — 10,506

Organizations: IceCaps, Giant Center, Winnipeg Jets Western Hockey League Winnipeg Free Press Edmonton Oil Kings Molson Bears 2

Geographic location: U.S., St. John's, Winnipeg Iowa

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