Six different skaters for the St. John’s IceCaps scored as the Utica Comets fell by the score of 7-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Mile One Centre.
Curtis Valk (1-0-1) was the only Comets player to beat IceCaps’ goaltender Zachary Fucale. Richard Bachman made 32 saves including a behind-the-back glove save that will grace highlight reels for ages in the loss.
The Comets found themselves quickly behind the eight ball as the IceCaps scored twice in the game’s opening five minutes, in part thanks to some sloppy play from the Comets.
Jordan Subban mishandled a pass from Richard Bachman and coughed up the puck to Gabriel Dumont. Dumont slipped the puck across the slot to Jacob de la Rose who quickly wired a one-time slapshot past Bachman’s glove.
A little over three minutes later the IceCaps again capitalized on a Comets miscue when Morgan Ellis and Bud Holloway turned a missed Comets drop pass in the IceCaps defensive zone into an odd-man rush the other way. After John Negrin overskated Alex Friesen’s drop pass, Holloway streaked the length of the ice and left a drop pass of his own for Morgan Ellis. The hero from last night’s overtime victory over the Comets, took four strides into a slapshot that found its way through Bachman to put the Comets in a 2-0 hole.
Michael McCarron with a breakaway goal after he was sprung free with a pass from Holloway as he stepped out of the penalty box.
The second period started with more of the same bad news for the Comets as the IceCaps scored twice in the period’s opening 2:38. Tim Bozon’s wrist shot from the slot made it 4-0, and then Nikita Scherbak’s tally 1:14 later extended the IceCaps’ lead to 5-0.
7:39 into the second period the Comets finally broke through on the scoreboard. From the slot, Curtis Valk wristed a shot into the back of the net, for his second American Hockey League tally, after a perfect feed from Joseph LaBate. Jordan Subban picked up the secondary assist after his breakout pass set the table for the goal.
The IceCaps started the third period just like they started the previous two periods – with a goal in the first two minutes. Charles Hudon pounced on a loose puck and flipped it over Bachman for the 6-1 lead.
Hudon added a second tally in the third period for his 28th goal of the season.
With the loss the Comets record dropped to 36-25-8-4.
The Comets return home for a home-and-home series with the Syracuse Crunch. The Galaxy Cup rivalry weekend kicks off Friday night the Utica Memorial Auditorium at 7pm. The Galaxy Cup series is tied at eight points apiece.