The Rochester Americans stormed back with five unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes of the game to edge the IceCaps 6-5 and all but doom St. John’s hopes for a berth in the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs.
Morgan Ellis had scored an unassisted goal at 4:19 of the third period to give St. John’s a 5-1 lead but goals by Matt Donovan, Jean Dupuy, Gerry D’Amigo, Dan Catenacci and Chad Ruhwedel brought the Americans from behind. Ruhwedel’s game winning goal came with 4 seconds remaining in regulation time. Rochester outshot the IceCaps 20-6 in the third period and 34-25 in the game. Cantenacci scored twice for Rochester.
Along with Ellis, Charles Hudon scored twice for the IceCaps along with Gabriel Dumont and Jeremy Gregoire. Nikita Scherbak recorded two assists.
Eddie Pasquale was in goal for St. John’s
It was the third straight loss for the undermanned IceCaps and their fifth in the last seven games.
….With nine games left in their regular season the IceCaps record is 28-28-11 for 67 points. Their only hope of making the playoffs is to overhaul third place Utica in the North Division or Portland, the Atlantic Division 5th place team. Utica is five points ahead of St. John’s with 3 games in hand,. Portland is six ahead, also with three in hand. Under AHL conference playoff rules, if the fifth place team in one division has more points than the 4th place team in the other, that fifth place team knock out the 4th place team.
….The Canadiens AHL affiliate is in danger of missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. TheY finished out of Calder Cup contention in the final four years it was in Hamilton.
….With regular defensemen Victor Bartley, Mark Barberio, Joel Hanley and Darren Dietz up with the Canadiens, the IceCaps were once again forced to use left wing John Scott on defense.
….Forward Cory Ward and defenseman Chris Joyaux each picked up assists in the game, their first professional points. The two were signed to Amateur Tryout Contracts last week after playing the season in the NCAA ranks. Ward, who played at Bemidji State in Minnesota this season, centred a line with Hudon and Scherbak.
….Scherbak has three assists his last three games.
….The IceCaps injury list includes forwards Connor Crisp, Michael Bournival and Markus Eisenschmid, all out for the rest of the season.
….With the victory, former Canadiens head coach Randy Cunneyworth became the winningest coach in the 60 year history of the Rochester AHL franchise with 338 victories. He surpassed the record of another former Canadien, John van Boxmeer who coached the Americans from 1984 to 1995 with the exception of two years when he was an assistant coach with Buffalo.
….This was the fourth game of a season-long seven game road trip. The teams will meet again Friday in Rochester before two games against the Marlies in Toronto Saturday and Tuesday. The IceCaps play the final six games of their season at home.
St. John’s IceCaps 5 at Rochester Americans 6
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 – Blue Cross Arena
St. John’s 1 3 1 – 5
Rochester 0 1 5 – 6
1, St. John’s, Hudon 23 (Scherbak, Ward), 2:15.
Penalties-Yogan Stj (delay of game – faceoff violation), 6:18; Nevins Rch (interference), 10:22; D’Amigo Rch (tripping), 13:06; Gregoire Stj (fighting), 16:21; Austin Rch (fighting), 16:21; Bozon Stj (double minor – high-sticking), 18:55.
2, St. John’s, Hudon 24 (Scherbak, Didier), 4:19.
3, St. John’s, Gregoire 5 (MacMillan, Joyaux), 14:24.
4, St. John’s, Dumont 19 (Friberg, Holloway), 16:02.
5, Rochester, Catenacci 10 (D’Amigo, Donovan), 19:05.
6, St. John’s, Ellis 13 4:31.
7, Rochester, Donovan 8 (Robak, Bailey), 8:54 (PP).
8, Rochester, Dupuy 6 10:02.
9, Rochester, D’Amigo 12 (Robak, Bowman), 13:07.
10, Rochester, Catenacci 11 (Ellis, Donovan), 15:17.
11, Rochester, Ruhwedel 10 (O’Dell, Bailey), 19:56.
Penalties-Dumont Stj (tripping), 7:30; Friberg Stj (roughing), 8:47; Catenacci Rch (roughing), 8:47; Didier Stj (hooking), 16:18; Didier Stj (interference), 19:17; Catenacci Rch (slashing), 19:17.
Shots on Goal-St. John’s 7-12-6-25. Rochester 6-8-20-34.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 0 / 2; Rochester 1 / 5.
Goalies-St. John’s, Pasquale 10-9-0 (34 shots-28 saves). Rochester, Ullmark 10-10-0 (17 shots-13 saves); Makarov 7-7-1 (8 shots-7 saves).
Referees-Fred Leblanc (30), Evgeny Romasko (39).
Linesmen-Peter Feola (33), Derek Sylvester (76).
ICECAPS UPDATE SEASON SCORING STATISTICS
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