The St. John’s IceCaps put together a great performance this past weekend as the club managed to complete a weekend sweep on the road as they claimed victories over the Worcester Sharks on Friday and Saturday, followed by a win over the Portland Pirates on Sunday.
Friday February 21 – St. John’s IceCaps 5 – Worcester Sharks 1
The IceCaps used two first period goals by Carl Klingberg to help power past the Sharks on Friday night. In a busy first period, which saw the IceCaps take 16-shots on goal, Klingberg managed to add his 14th and 15th of the season for the early St. John's lead. Captain Jason Jaffray also tallied his 15th of the season to put St. John’s up 3-0. The Sharks would respond a minute later on the powerplay as Sena Acolatse would cut the lead to 3-1. However, the IceCaps would then tally 2-more goals less than a minute apart from Blair Riley and Kyle Mackinnon to finish off the Sharks with a 5-1 victory.
Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick was chased from the net by St. John’s after allowing 4 goals on 21 shots. Harri Sateri would let in 1-goal on 10 shots. Meanwhile, Michael Hutchinson stopped 33 of 34 shots in the victory.
Saturday February 22 – St. John’s IceCaps 3 – Worcester Sharks 1
After losing at home Friday night, the Sharks come out flying on Saturday, but it was the IceCaps who managed to skate away with the victory thanks the Michael Hutchinson.
Just as they did on Friday night, the IceCaps tallied the first goal – a short hander from Johnny Albert just before the end of the first period for the 1-0 St. John's lead. Freddie Hamilton would respond for the Sharks just 21-seconds into the second period to tie the game at one.
Patrice Cormier would give St. John’s their lead back half way through the second with his 5th goal of the season as the IceCaps had a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Kyle MacKinnon would score his second goal in as many nights to help cap off the victory for St. John’s early in the third for a 3-1 victory.
Although the IceCaps skated away with the victory, the game was mostly controlled by Worcester as the club managed 50 shots on net – including outshooting St. John's 22:6 in the first period alone. Michael Hutchinson set a club record by turning aside 49 saves in the victory. Meanwhile, Harri Sateri suffed the loss letting in 3 goals on 21 shots.
Sunday February 23 – St. John’s IceCaps 6 – Portland Pirates 5
After two wins Friday and Saturday, the IceCaps gave goaltender Michael Hutchinson the night off, allowing Tyler Beskorowany to make his first appearance of the season and eventual win as the offence exploded in the third period for a 6-5 St. John's victory.
Tobias Rieder got things started for the Pirates on the powerplay in the first period as he tallied his 17th of the season for a 1-0 lead. Johnny Albert would respond for the IceCaps on the powerplay as well before the end of the period to make it 1-1.
The IceCaps then found themselves in a hole as Brandon McMillan and Brandon Yip would tally second period markers to lead 3-1 after two periods of play – which made it seem St. John’s would lose its final game of the weekend.
However, the IceCaps offense took over in the third period, as St. John’s built a solid lead of their own. Johnny Albert would tally his second of the night, short handed just 16-second into the third to make it 3-2. Blair Riley tallied his second of the weekend 5–minutes later to make it 3-3. Will O’Neill scored 2-minutes later on the powerplay, to give St. Johns a 4-3 lead. Jerome Samson and Kael Mouillierat would make it 6-3 St. John’s with just under two minutes to go in the game.
The Pirates would make it interesting late as Chris Brown and Rieder would both score with a minute remaining in the period, but the Pirates would run out of time as St. John’s would win 6-5. Beskorowany made 31 saves in the win, Mark Visentin allowed 5 goals on 35 shots in the loss.
With the 3-victories, the IceCaps are now riding a 4-game win streak. The team currently sits 4th in the Eastern Conference with 68 points – 5 points up on the 9th place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The IceCaps return home for a much deserved rest before taking on the 3rd place Binghamton Senators beginning on Friday.