IceCaps Drop Final Game of 2015 to Falcons
The St. John's IceCaps were able to squeeze one more point out of the 2014-15 campaign but ultimately fell short in their final game of the season, as the visiting Springfield Falcons outlasted the IceCaps 4-3 in overtime at Mile One Centre on Saturday night.
Austen Brassard, Jason Jaffray and Chase Balisy scored for the IceCaps, while Trent Vogelhuber, Mike Hoeffel, Hubert Labrie and Sean Collins replied for Springfield, which kept their playoff hopes alive with the victory.
The Falcons were the first to find the back of the net as an active puck deflected off a stick in front of IceCaps starter Peter Budaj, with Vogelhuber getting credit for the goal at 1:56 of the opening frame.
The IceCaps tied the game before the end of the first as Brassard was awarded a penalty shot after being pulled down on a breakaway. He was able to beat Falcons starter Scott Munroe on the glove side for his sixth of the season at 5:12.
The second period belonged to the IceCaps as they pushed the lead to 3-1 with goals from Jaffray and Balisy.
Just 57 seconds into the second, Jaffray located the puck in the corner and made it look easy as he walked out and tucked it under Munroe.
In the final two minutes of the frame, Balisy picked up his 21st of the season as Will O'Neill located a wide-open Balisy in the slot and he made no mistake to give his club the two-goal lead at 18:36.
The third period, however, was a different story.
Hoeffel made it a 3-2 game at 2:25 as he located a loose puck in front and beat Budaj up high.
With time ticking off the clock late in the game, the Falcons tied the game as Labrie took a great pass on the left wing and roofed the puck behind Budaj with 1:32 left on the clock, forcing overtime for the second consecutive night.
With 3:30 left in overtime, Collins one-timed a perfect pass beyond an outstretched Budaj, ending the IceCaps season and their tenure as the affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets, who are relocating their farm team to Winnipeg for next season. The Montreal Canadiens will move their AHL team to St. John's for the start of the 2015-16 season.
Notes: Not dressed: Ryan Olsen, Brandon MacLean, Kyle MacKinnon, Axel Blomqvist, Nicilas Blanchard, Patrice Cormier, Patrick Holland, Julien Brouillette, Eric Comrie ... With his goal, Chase Balisy ends the season as the IceCaps' leader goal scorer, with 21 on the season... Jimmy Lodge skated in his first professional game... Springfield outshot St. John's 33-20... The IceCaps went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Will O'Neill recorded an assist, leaving him with 48 on the season, tying him with Brendan Kichton for the most points recorded in a single season by an IceCaps defenceman... Before the game, the IceCaps handed out their annual team awards. Connor Hellebuyck claimed Most Valuable Player, Rookie-of-the-Year and Molson Cup Three Stars Award honours for his outstanding freshman season. Top Defenceman and Statoil Community Man of the Year awards went to Will O'Neill, while Patrice Cormier earned The Fans Choice Award. JC Lipon was the final award winner on the night, and was named the team's Hardest Working Player. Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Jason Jaffray 2. Hubert Labrie 3. Sean Collins... IceCaps Hardest Working Player: Aaron Harstad.
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