IceCaps Rout Bulldogs
ST. JOHN'S, NL - The IceCaps took it to the Hamilton Bulldogs from start to finish in a resounding 5-0 win at Mile One Centre Friday night.
St. John's scored three times in the opening 10 minutes of the game, chasing Bulldogs starter Robert Mayer and ending its eight-game home losing streak to pick up its 10th win of the season at Mile One.
Aaron Gagnon extended his point streak to six games with a goal and an assist while Eric O'Dell also had a goal and an assist. Mark Dekanich made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season as the IceCaps snapped a six-game losing streak overall.
St. John's got off to a great start with a shorthanded marker by Gagnon less than two minutes into the game. After newcomer Patrick Cullity was whistled for interference, Gagnon picked up the puck in the neutral zone and raced in on a two-on-one, electing to shoot and beating Mayer to give the IceCaps a 1-0 lead just 1:36 in.
The IceCaps kept coming with a power play goal at 6:16 of the first. Kael Mouillierat took a pass from Gagnon near the top of the right faceoff circle and handcuffed Mayer with a high shot. The puck bounced off Mayer's shoulder and across the goal line for a 2-0 St. John's lead.
O'Dell gave the IceCaps and three-goal advantage at 8:22, finishing off a terrific passing play. Tomas Kubalik passed to a trailing Julian Melchiori, who fed O'Dell on the right wing and the Ottawa native finished with a wrist shot for his 19th of the season to make it a 3-0 score before the game was 10 minutes old. That spelled the end for Mayer, who was pulled in favour of Dustin Tokarski after allowing three goals on six shots.
In the second, the IceCaps padded their lead on Josh Lunden's first AHL goal. Lunden found the puck to the left of Tokarski, spun and fired a shot along the ice that eluded the Bulldogs' netminder to make it a 4-0 game.
Jason Jaffray notched a power play goal at the 14:27 mark of the second on a wicked one-timer on a feed from Will O'Neill, giving St. John's a commanding five-goal advantage heading into the third period.
That was plenty of offence for St. John's, which shut the door in the third en route to victory.
The IceCaps and Bulldogs get set for a rematch Saturday night in their seventh of eight meetings this season. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM, or watch online at ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. with the pregame show beginning at 7:00 (all times Newfoundland).
Notes: Friday was Reverse Jersey Night as the IceCaps wore their road blues... Aaron Gagnon's six-game point streak is the longest by an IceCap this season. Paul Postma's 10-game streak last season stands as the longest in team history... Eric O'Dell temporarily took over the team scoring lead with his two points, but Jason Jaffray's power play goal in the second gave him a share of the lead at 35 points... Tomas Kubalik and Patrick Cullity made their IceCaps debuts. Kubalik picked up an assist on O'Dell's first period marker... Julian Melchiori chipped in with a pair of assists... Head coach Keith McCambridge dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen... St. John's went 2-for-6 on the power play and killed off all three times shorthanded... Kael Mouillierat had a team-high seven shots on goal... St. John's will wear special St. Patrick's Day jerseys Saturday night.
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