© — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
The St. John’s IceCaps’ Paul Postma (4) and the Providence Bruins’ Tommy Cross (3) converge on a loose puck in the Bruins’ defensive zone during the teams’ American Hockey League game at Mile One Centre on Wednesday night. Looking on are Bruins’ goalie Malcolm Subban, the IceCaps’ Jason Jaffray and Providence blueliner Zach Trotman. The IceCaps won 4-3 in a shootout.
St. John’s collects 4-3 victory at Mile One Centre; Worcester Sharks in town this weekend
Chalk this one up as winning ugly.
Despite some shaky goaltending, surrendering a league-leading 12th shorthanded goal and a pitiful four-on-three power play performance in overtime that resulted in only one shot on goal, the St. John’s IceCaps still managed to come away with two points Wednesday night against the Providence Bruins.
Kael Mouillierat and Jason Jaffray scored in the shootout, and Eddie Pasquale stopped all four Bruins shooters as the IceCaps pulled out a 4-3 shootout win at Mile One Centre.
The win gives St. John’s a 27-17-1-2 record and vaults the IceCaps to fourth place in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference standings.
However, only two points separate six teams in the East, including the P-Bruins, who dropped to 24-18-1-6.
But there was certainly no celebrating in the IceCaps locker room after this one, a game in which Pasquale stopped 30 of 33 shots, but the pucks that did get by him were very questionable shots.
In the third period, with St. John’s nursing a 3-2 lead, the IceCaps gave up yet another shorthanded goal. Then, in OT, the home side couldn’t do anything on the power play when Bruins captain Mike Moore was penalized for playing the puck with a broken stick.
“We can’t be satisfied with the way that finished up,” said Andrew Gordon, one of the IceCaps’ goalscorers.
“It’s tough to put your finger on who is a winner and who is a loser in a situation like this. But they’re taking three of four points from us, and for a team that’s chasing us (in the standings), we cannot allow that.”
Rookie Adam Lowry, who is on fire with his sixth goal in seven games, and Paul Postma also scored for the IceCaps. Postma, who also collected an assist, is on an injury rehab assignment from the Winnipeg Jets.
Nick Johnson, Alexander Khoklachev and Tyler Randell scored for the Bruins.
Pasquale was making his first start in seven games and the inactivity showed early on as Johnson scored on a one-timer to the short side on a four-on-four play. It was only the Bruins’ second shot on goal.
After Lowry and Gordon scored back-to-back goals to give St. John’s a 2-1 lead, Khoklachev beat Pasquale through the legs to knot things up.
Then, after Postma scored a goal that P-Bruins goalie Malcolm Subban should have stopped, Randell knocked the puck past Postma at the St. John’s blueline, raced up the ice eluding the rangy St. John’s defenceman and his partner, Brenden Kichton, and slipped the puck past Pasquale to tie the game once again with teammate Moore in the box for boarding.
“I’m a believer you never blame a goaltender,” Gordon said. “There are five guys on the ice and someone has to make a wrong play before it gets to our end of the ice.
“Eddie’s made big saves for us all year. There are some he’d probably want back, but that’s hockey.
“Fact is, the power play has to do a better job. We allowed another shorthanded goal, and late in the game in overtime, we didn’t generate a whole lot.
“It works both ways. We’re finding ways to score, but there still could be another level for us to execute at and it’s something we need to work on going down the stretch,” he said.
The IceCaps are off today and Friday before playing host to the Worcester Sharks 7:30 Saturday night and four o’clock Sunday afternoon.