ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador – The St. John’s IceCaps fought hard to tie Saturday’s game with the Providence Bruins late in the third period, only to fall short in extra time as they fell 3-2 in a shootout at Mile One Centre.
Providence’s Ryan Spooner was the only player from either team to find the back of the net during the shootout. He raced toward IceCaps goalie Eddie Pasquale before pulling the puck to his right and lifting a backhander over the St. John’s net minder.
After the game a number of IceCaps players spoke of how they were eager for Sunday’s rematch between the clubs in St. John’s, as they look to bounce back from a narrow defeat.
“Tough loss tonight, but that’s the beauty of getting to play the next day. You get to redeem yourself,” IceCaps defenseman Zach Redmond told www.stjohnsicecaps.com.
Although there was plenty of action in the early going Saturday, the IceCaps and Bruins played almost two complete periods before anyone could open the scoring. Providence finally lit the lamp when Alden Hirschfeld fired a puck through Pasquale’s legs from a poor angle at 19:55 of the second period.
The IceCaps wasted little time evening the score as Redmond scooped up a bouncing puck in front of the Bruins net and rifled a wrist shot past goalie Niklas Svedberg just 58 seconds into the third period. However, Providence retook the lead only 27 seconds later when Spooner beat Pasquale with a quick shot through the five-hole on a breakaway.
The IceCaps pressed hard for an equalizer and their efforts were rewarded when Jason Jaffray slid a rebound past Svedberg at 16:35 of the third. The goal was a power play marker, the only time either club scored with the man-advantage all night.
Both teams managed a pair of shots in overtime before heading to a shootout. Alex Burmistrov, Carl Klingberg, Spencer Machacek, Ben Maxwell and Jaffray were all denied by Svedberg, while Spooner was the only Bruin to beat Pasquale. The IceCaps goalie stopped Providence’s Jordan Caron, Chris Bourque and Justin Florek.
Svedberg made 31 saves to earn the win in goal for the Bruins, while Pasquale suffered the loss in the IceCaps net after making 38 saves.
Notes: The game’s three stars were Redmond, Spooner and Svedberg, respectively … The IceCaps and Bruins play again Sunday at 6 p.m. local time … Attendance for Saturday’s game was 6,287, a capacity crowd at Mile One Centre.