St. John’s, NL (Springfield Falcons) – The Springfield Falcons were downed by the St. John’s IceCaps, 4-3, in a shootout Friday night at the Mile One Centre.
Despite the loss, with 84 points and a 37-28-8-2 record. Springfield also holds a 2-0-0-1 lead with one game remaining in the four-game season series with St. John’s.
Falcons goaltender Scott Munroe made 22 saves on 25 shots. He allowed two goals on two shootout opportunities. IceCaps netminder Eric Comrie stopped 32-of-35 and both Falcons shootout skaters. Springfield was unable to convert on three power play opportunities. The penalty kill unit shut down four-of-five St. John’s man-advantages.
After a scoreless first period, the IceCaps were first to find the back of the net while on the power play. Brenden Kichton started the play at the right point. He passed along the blue line to Julien Brouillette, who fired from the high slot. Brouillette’s shot was stopped by Munroe, but the rebound was left for Jason Jaffray to chip in at the 6:10 mark.
The Falcons evened the score 46 seconds later. Brian Gibbons threw a cross-slot feed for Michael Chaput to redirect past Comrie from the crease. Josh Anderson grabbed the secondary assist. However, the IceCaps stole back the lead within a minute. Joel Armia passed ahead to Chase Balisy, who beat the Falcons defenders and notched a shorthanded tally for a 2-1 St. John’s lead.
The IceCaps built up a two-goal lead 8:32 into the final frame, but the Falcons fought back to knot the score and force overtime. Brouillette fed the puck up ice for Blair Riley to start an odd-man rush with Austen Brassard. Riley sauced it across the slot for a give and go and scored on the return pass.
Springfield cut the lead to one just after the halfway mark of the third period. Dillon Heatherington powered a shot from the left point that was turned aside. Sean Collins got a stick on the rebound, but was stopped again. Finally, Marko Dano slid the puck across the goal line for his 11th of the season and first since being loaned back from the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 13. Heatherington earned his first professional point with the secondary assist.
With 1:29 left on the clock, Munroe went to the bench to add an extra Falcons attacker. Newfoundlander Luke Adam netted the equalizer with the help of Sonny Milano to require an overtime frame.
Neither team lit the lamp in overtime and the duo went to a shootout. Balisy notched one in the first round, while Armia scored in the second to take a 4-3 shootout victory over the Falcons.
The Falcons will rematch the IceCaps on Saturday, April 18 at 6 p.m. ET for the team’s final 2014-15 regular season game.
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