In what was a chippy affair at The Rock, the St. John’s IceCaps pulled out a 4-2 win over the Binghamton Senators behind forward Jacob de la Rose‘s two goals and some steady play in net from goaltender Yann Danis in Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday.
The Sens ended up splitting the weekend series with a win on Friday by the same score while netminder Matt O’Connor played in both contests and was consistent, something that has been lacking from the second year pro as he finished the night with 30 saves.
Rookie sensation Colin White continued his strong play with his assist on Binghamton’s first goal for his third point in as many outings. His transition to the pro level remains smooth, as he makes the case to be included on the Black Aces squad for parent club Ottawa if the playoffs are obtainable.
It started out well for the BSens, as they jumped to an early 1-0 lead on Mike Blunden’s 14th of the season when he took a cross-ice pass from Phil Varone and one-timed it past Danis for a power play goal. White earned the secondary assist, as he skated the length of the ice and handed the puck off to a waiting Varone along the side wall.
The IceCaps scored twice in the middle frame just 22 seconds in when forward Stefan Matteau received a stretch pass from Zach Redman that set up a two-on-one rush with Rose, as O’Connor had no chance of stopping that tied it. Bobby Farnham then followed that gave his team the lead with a shorthanded breakaway as the puck slid under O’Connor.
Binghamton would tie it in the third period when the puck bounced loose from a goal mouth scramble to forward Phil Varone by the side of the cage, and settled the rolling disc down and netted his 14th at the 10:30 mark of the third.
However, St. John’s was determined tonight not to lose again and answered and regained the lead with 3:46 left when forward Charles Hudon scored his 24th of the season while he was left one-on-one with O’Connor on a defensive lapse, and that was the game with his shot that sailed by stick side into the back of the net for the game winner.
Rose soon added an empty netter for his second tally of the evening and a final 4-2 score.
POST GAME NOTES
- Binghamton was 1/7 on the powerplay as St. John’s was 0/2. IceCaps with a 34-31 shot advantage.
- Both teams with some chippy play with a ton of gatherings after whistles blown with players having some spirited conversations. Max McCormick returned after serving a one game suspension for blowing up on a Syracuse player on Wednesday, as he picked off where he left off from with a dominating fight vs. Jeremy Gregoire early in the first period.
- O’Connor played well, I mean really well. Surprising well, being in his second game in a row. Where was this earlier on in the season?
- White is the real deal. He’s not at all flashy, but just gets the job done with very little mistakes. Defensively he excels with his back-checking and hustle. Offensively he reads the ice and makes the right moves. He played a ton tonight in not only his regular shifts, but on both sides of the special units. I thought fatigue might become a factor with his third game in four nights, but that wasn’t the case. Ottawa needs to be careful in handling his development. I’d hate to see him rushed because he needs time to develop properly despite some fans wanting him to be their savior on the short side.
- Boucher-Varone-Bailey, Akeson-White-Blunden, McCormick-Paul-Rodewald, Hagel-Nehring-Gagne. Englund/Harpur, Gormley/Beaudoin, Carlisle/Erkamps. Rumble, Sieloff, Perron and Lepine injured. Flanagan healthy./
Binghamton has two home games next weekend against Syracuse on Friday and the IceCaps on Saturday.