Despite blowing a four goal lead in the infamous 9-8 game, the IceCaps have had the Toronto Marlies number this season and for the second time this weekend, handed the home team a beating.
In the last of a three-in-three for both teams, it was the officials who appeared the most tired, making some very strange and questionable calls, especially against the home team.
Toronto were solid at even strength but spent far too much time killing penalties.
This should not detract from the performance of Montreal’s affiliate, who once again worthy of the win.
A positive first two and a half minutes for Toronto was halted with Hyman heading to the box for closing his hand on the puck and the first period went downhill from that moment .
St. John’s would open the scoring on the powerplay as they did Saturday afternoon.
Morgan Ellis firing home top shelf, past the blocker of Bibeau.
Toronto had the opportunity to respond with a man advantage of their own but couldn’t get shots through as the visiting IceCaps did a great job of getting in the shooting lanes.
A pair of undisciplined penalties from Brennan and then Carrick put Toronto up against it and St. John’s capitalised on their opportunity. Daniel Carr finding Bud Holloway backdoor and although Bibeau stopped his first two efforts, the IceCaps forward took the puck back around the net and slotted home on the wraparound with a backhand effort.
Hyman didn’t have the best luck in this game and his fine effort on a bouncing feed from Carrick was well stopped by Zach Fucale.
Toronto would find themselves on a five minute penalty kill are Clune was called for fighting, although there didn’t appear to be a punch thrown.
Reputation perhaps but poor from the officials and they soon evened up part of the penalty.
It was druing four-on-four that St.John’s extended their lead. Hudon’s shot produced a juicy rebound for Holloway, whose hardest job on the play was to stop dead after racing past the puck before tapping home into the yawning cage.
Shortly afterwards Nylander would be called for hooking and Toronto only just survived being down by two men on this occasion. Before the period ended we witnessed another baffling call as Michael McCarron was called for roughing despite throwing punches after the whistle.
A powerplay to begin the middle frame was erased 30 seconds in, as Panik hooked Dumont to prevent the IceCaps captain scoring on a shorthanded breakaway.
With Frattin off to the box 23 seconds later it was yet another 5-on-3 penalty kill for Toronto and Bibeau made a flurry of exceptional saves to keep his team in the game.
The Marlies responded to the fine work of their goaltender, Panik testing Fucale before the luckless Hyman was denied on yet another rebound effort, this time an effort from Soshnikob presenting the second opportunity.
Leipsic was trying to best to make things happen but with space on the left side, his bullet of a shot brought the best from Fucale, who was proving his performance in the 9-8 game was a blip.
With six minutes remaining in the second period it was the home team’s turn for a two man advantage and they took the chance with both hands. An offensive zone face-off win and Nylander put the puck in the wheelhouse of Brenann to release that booming shot he owns from the slot, giving Fucale no chance from that range.
Shots were flying in from everywhere as Toronto racked up 18 efforts on net but couldn’t way a way to pull within one during their best stretch of play.
In fact two late calls in the period would decide the fate of the game, and once again they were highly debateable calls. Leipsic called for roughing on man mountain McCarron and then Campbell for holding during the last 32 seconds.
Sheldon Keefe was furious and tried to speak with the officials after the inermission buzzer sounded.
His mood would have not have been improved 42 seconds into the third period as Hudon made full use of the room afforded to him.
There was still a glimmer of hope despite trailing by three as there were still 19 minutes left on the clock. That was extinguished just four minutes later as Toronto gifted the visitors a fifth goal. Bibeau out to play the puck behind the net shifted it to Brennan on the elft side. The defenseman contrived to fire the puck in front of his own net where Mark MacMillan was waiting at the slot. He settled the puck down and fired past Bibeau, who didn’t have the time to get himself set.
The game was done as a contest and only notable for Clune actually having a fight for real, dropping the mitts with Fournier, receiving a game misconduct in the process as per the AHL rules.
Post Game Notes:
For the first time this season the Toronto Marlies lose two straight.
The IceCaps have won three of the four games between these divisional rivals this year and took a point from the other. They will meet another eight times before April.
Antoine Bibeau’s struggles continue although he was better today than Saturday.
I’m not sure how much blame you attach to a goaltender when three goals come on the powerplay and the other a horrendous giveaway. He has to do what Sparks did last season and find a way to rebound.
Jack Rodewald came in for his seasonal debut while Arcobello and Kapanen missed out.
Other scratches were Valiev, Johnson, Bailey, Arcobello and Loov.
Toronto allowed three goals on ten powerplays, and accrued 48 penalty minutes.