Devils Drop The First Of Two At St. John’s
ST. JOHN’S, NF — The Albany Devils made a push late, but eventually succumbed to the final horn, falling to the St. John’s IceCaps, 3-2, at MileOne Centre. The game was the first of a back-to-back set between the two teams who will face off again Wednesday.
St. John’s netminder Zachary Fucale earned the game’s first star after facing a Devils’ season-high 46 shots. He made 44 saves for his eighth win. Mark MacMillan, Mark Barberio and Michael McCarron were the IceCaps’ goal scorers.
The Devils, who remain in second place in the North Division, go to 16-6-3-0. The IceCaps end a three-game skid and improve to 13-7-5-2.
HIGHLIGHTS & GAME NOTES
• The Devils have lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time this season. Albany entered the contest 3-0-1-0 when coming off a regulation setback and 6-0-1-0 when coming off a regulation or overtime loss.
• Pelley, who has family roots in Newfoundland, netted his second goal of the season and first since Nov. 25 against Bridgeport. With assists, Reece Scarlett and Chris McKelvie registered their third and second points, respectively.
• Tropp netted his sixth goal of the season, giving him five points (1g-4a) in the last four contests. For the season, he is tied for third on the team with 17 points. Jim O’Brien had the lone assist on the goal, which was his third point (2g-1a) in the last three contests.
• McKelvie and Paul Thompson both returned from upper-body injuries. McKelvie had missed 11 games since breaking his hand while blocking a shot on Nov. 14 at Lehigh Valley. Thompson had missed three games with a shoulder injury suffered Dec. 5 against Rochester. Thompson saw his eight-game point streak come to an end.
The IceCaps captured the lead and added some breathing room during the latter parts of the second period. Barberio made it a 2-1 game at 14:11 and McCarron netted the eventual game-winning goal less than two minutes later at 15:55.
HOW IT PLAYED OUT
The IceCaps got on the board early when MacMillan outpaced the Devils defenseman and then deked around Danis just 1:45 into the first period.
The Devils battled through some first-period penalty trouble and Pelley tied the game at 13:26. After receiving the puck from McKelvie, Scarlett walked along the left half wall. He sent a backhand towards the goal and Pelley redirected the puck out of midair and behind Fucale.
In the second, Barberio and McCarron scored 1:44 apart to give the IceCaps a 3-1 advantage at the intermission break.
Albany clawed back within one when O’Brien sent a cross-ice pass through the top of the crease. The puck stayed in Fucale’s pads until Tropp’s fourth whack sent it over the goal line at 10:41.
The Devils had two power plays after Tropp’s tally, but were unable to find the back of the net. They finished 0-4 with the man advantage.
The Devils and IceCaps meet again Wednesday with a 6 pm (Eastern) start at MileOne Centre. Fans can follow the action online at ahllive.com or over the airwaves at 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.