IceCaps Edge Marlies in Shootout
The IceCaps persevered against the Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon, coming away with a 4-3 shootout win in the first of two battles between the teams at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto this weekend.
Eric O'Dell scored his team-leading 29th of the season and notched the eventual shootout winner to help lift the IceCaps to their 32nd victory of the season. Both O'Dell and Ben Maxwell finished the game with a goal and an assist.
Mark Dekanich made 19 saves through regulation and overtime before stopping three-of-four shooters in the shootout.
Spencer Abbott had a goal and an assist for Toronto while Garret Sparks made 25 saves and allowed goals on all three shooters he faced in the shootout.
After a scoreless first period, the IceCaps came out strong in the second and converted early on Maxwell's 10th of the season. St. John's forechecked hard behind the Marlies' net and O'Dell came up with the puck, feeding Maxwell in front for the quick snap shot and a 1-0 IceCaps lead.
Toronto got the momentum back after killing off their second penalty of the game. Simon Gysbers sprung Ryan Lasch, who just stepped out of the box, and the speedster made no mistake, beating Dekanich on the blocker side to make it a 1-1 game.
O'Dell gave the IceCaps the lead with his 29th of the season on a power play late in the frame after a great pass from Julian Melchiori to give his club a 2-1 lead after two periods.
In the third, Klingberg gave the IceCaps a 3-1 lead with a highlight-reel goal. Klingberg took a pass at the Marlies blueline and went through the defence before sliding a shot through the five-hole of Sparks to give his club a two-goal advantage.
Just 50 seconds later, the Marlies caught a break when Abbott was hauled down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. Abbott, however, lost the handle and couldn't get a shot off, allowing the IceCaps to hold their two-goal lead for the time-being.
The Marlies closed the gap at the tail end of a 5-on-3 man advantage at 8:51 of the third as Abbott got his revenge. Stuart Percy blasted a shot from the point that went over the net and bounced off the glass right to Abbott at the side of the goal, who batted the puck past Dekanich to make it 3-2.
Toronto eventually evened the score later in the period on a power play marker by Greg Scott. The Marlies' forward gained position in the high slot and wristed a laser into the top corner on Dekanich's blocker side to knot the game at three at the 13:47 mark.
With no scoring in overtime, a shootout was needed to decide the outcome and St. John's prevailed on the strength of goals by Josh Lunden, O'Dell and Maxwell, and the goaltending of Dekanich.
The two teams finish up the regular season Sunday afternoon with a rematch at Ricoh Coliseum. Catch all the action with broadcast team Brian Rogers and Marc Van Herk at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador, or watch online at ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 4:30 p.m. NT with the pregame show beginning at 4:00.
Notes: The victory was just the IceCaps' second shootout win of the season. The other came back on Nov. 16 vs. Albany... Eric O'Dell is just one goal away from reaching 30 on the season, and would be the first IceCap to do so... Cody Sol was a team-best +2 in Saturday's game... Mathieu Tousignant picked up his first point as an IceCap with an assist on Carl Klingberg's third period goal.
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