St. John’s, NL (Springfield Falcons) – The Springfield Falcons rallied past the St. John’s IceCaps, 4-3, in overtime in the final 2014-15 regular season game of the season Saturday night at the Mile One Centre.
The victory keeps the Falcons in eighth in the Eastern Conference with 86 points and a 38-28-8-2 record. Springfield also takes a 3-0-0-1 win in the four-game season series with St. John’s.
Falcons goaltender Scott Munroe made 17 saves on 20 shots. His IceCaps counterpart, Peter Budaj, was stopped short of his first victory, allowing four goals on 34 attempts. Springfield went zero-for-two on their power play opportunities, while the penalty kill unit shut down three-of-four St. John’s man-advantages.
The Falcons opened scoring just 1:56 into the first frame. After the Falcons lost an offensive zone face-off, Trent Vogelhuber got his stick on a stray puck and deflected it past Budaj to take a quick lead.
However, the IceCaps responded at the 5:12 mark to even the score with a penalty shot. Austen Brassard skated in, deked, and beat Munroe under the glove to knot the teams, 1-1.
St. John’s struck twice in the second period to build up a two-goal lead over Springfield. While on the power play, JC Lipon forced a turnover at the end boards and kicked it out to Jason Jaffray. Jaffray came from behind the cage and chipped in a backhander just 57 seconds into the frame for his second in as many nights against the Falcons. Brenden Kichton earned credit for the secondary assist on the go-ahead tally.
With 1:24 remaining in the period, the IceCaps found the back of the net again. Will O’Neill faked a shot and threw a cross-crease pass for Chase Balisy to light the lamp. Jaffray recorded a mult-point night with the secondary helper.
The Falcons fought back in the final twenty to knot the score, 3-3, by the end of regulation. The rally began at the 2:25 mark. Hubert Labrie passed along the blue line to Jaime Sifers for the defender to fire from the right point. His shot was stopped by Budaj, but the rebound was left out in the crease for Mike Hoeffel to clean up for his ninth notch of the season.
The Falcons cleared the deficit when Hubert Labrie scored his first of the season from the left circle with only 1:32 left in regulation to force overtime for the second consecutive night. T.J. Tynan and Sifers assisted on the equalizer.
It was Sean Collins who kept the Falcons’ playoff hopes alive with a tally at the 3:30 mark of the extra frame. Tynan shot a pass across the slot that was redirected by Labrie. Collins one-timed the feed and gave the Falcons a 4-3 victory over the IceCaps.
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