St. John's IceCaps goaltender Eddie Pasquale makes a pad save as the Albany Devils’ Paul Thompson jumps out of the way of the shot. At right is the IceCaps’ Darren Dietz. St. John’s scored three second-period goals and held on for a 3-1 win. The teams meet again tonight at Mile One Centre. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
©Keith Gosse/The Telegram
The St. John’s IceCaps pumped in three second-period goals within a minute and 44 seconds, and then hung on for a 3-1 win over the Albany Devils in a testy American Hockey League game Friday night at Mile One Centre.
It was a big win for the IceCaps, scrambling to earn a playoff berth, against a club which arrived in St. John’s second overall in the Eastern Conference.
The win improved the IceCaps to 25-23-7-3 on the year.
Charles Hudon, Alexander Ranger and Brandon McNally scored for St. John’s. Blake Pietila replied.
Following a scoreless first period, Hudon opened scoring at the 5:03 mark of the second, a power play effort off a nice pass from captain Gabriel Dumont.
IceCaps fans were barely in their seats when St. John’s struck again, this time Ranger potting his second goal as an IceCap only 49 seconds after the Hudon tally. Ranger started the season with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals.
The scoring parade continued with McNally capping off a fine three-way passing play with Bud Holloway and newcomer Andrew Yogan at the 6:47 mark. The goal went to replay — there was some question whether McNally kicked it in — but it was deemed a legal tally.
The IceCaps’ outburst, however, was only part of the story of the second in which the officiating duo of Olivier Gouin and Mark Lemelin called 94 minutes in penalties.
There were five fights which left the IceCaps shorthanded as Mark MacMillan and John Scott were both handed game misconducts. On top of that, St. John’s lost the services of Darren Deitz for 17 minutes when the veteran defenceman picked up an instigating minor, fighting major and 10-minute misconduct.
The Scott tilt, in particular, with Ben Thomson drew a big applause from the Mile One crowd numbering 5,419.
Pietila gave Albany a bit of a lift with a third-period goal, but that’s all the Devils would manage.
Shots on goal were an even 27-27. Eddie Pasquale picked up his eighth win of the year. Yann Danis, a former Hamilton Bulldog and Montreal Canadien, was between the pipes for the Devils.
The teams go at it again 7:30 tonight at Mile One.