ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador – The St. John’s IceCaps were beaten by a hot goalie and some bad luck on Sunday afternoon, dropping a 2-0 decision to the Norfolk Admirals.
The IceCaps controlled the pace of the game for long stretches and outshot the Admirals 38-27, including an 18-3 shot advantage in the third period. But no matter what they threw at Norfolk goalie Igor Bobkov, the puck always managed to stay out of the Admirals net.
Whether it was a save by the Russian net minder, a hit post or the puck bouncing over the stick of an open IceCaps forward, St. John’s just couldn’t find a way to score.
“From the start of the game, I liked our energy, liked the way we were putting pucks to the net. Overall, I didn’t mind our game at all. Obviously, you want to get the two points. But you have to take into consideration that there is another team our there and they played a very good game,” said IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge.
Bobkov was a busy man on Sunday, but he made his job look easy by constantly being in the right position and never allowing a rebound to reach the slot. The IceCaps threw wave after wave of offensive attack at the 21-year-old goalie, but each time he calmly snuffed the threat with simple but effective saves.
“He’s big, covers a lot of net and is really composed back there,” McCambridge of Bobkov’s performance.
The IceCaps had a poor showing on the power play in the loss to Norfolk, going zero-for-six with the man-advantage. To make matters worse, St. John’s also allowed Norfolk forward John Mitchell to step out of the penalty box and receive a breakaway pass just as his penalty expired late in the second period.
No member of the IceCaps power play unit noticed Mitchell’s penalty had ended until he was racing toward goalie Eddie Pasquale with the puck. Before anyone could catch him, Mitchell fired a wrist shot past Pasquale.
“Poor awareness. You have to realize when there are with 15 seconds, 10 seconds, five seconds left (in the penalty). You have to know where you are with the man advantage. We almost got caught with it in the first period, as well. You just have to realize how much time is left on a penalty,” said McCambridge.
The game’s opening goal came from Norfolk’s Patrick Maroon at 11:33 of the first period. Devante Smith-Pelly and Ryan Parent drew assists on the play. The Admirals went up 2-0 with Mitchell’s goal at 19:49 of the second period. Troy Bodie picked up an assist on the goal.
Bobkov earned the win in net by stopping all 38 shots he faced. Pasquale made 25 saves in a losing effort for St. John’s.
The game’s three stars were Bobkov, Smith-Pelly and Zach Redmond respectively. Ben Chiarot was named the IceCaps hardest working player of the game.
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