O’Neill Sends Devils To Overtime Victory

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Brian O’Neill scored with 47 seconds remaining in overtime to help the Albany Devils to a 5-4 victory against the St. John’s IceCaps Saturday at Mile One Centre. Both teams erased two-goal deficits in a back-and-forth, North Division battle. The Devils ended a two-game skid to improve to 34-15-8-0, while the IceCaps move to 25-23-8-3.

O’Neill, Matt Lorito and Mike Sislo each had a goal and an assist. Rod Pelley and Blake Pietila also scored and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond registered a season-high two assists. In goal, Ken Appleby posted his second career victory, making 23 saves including six in overtime.

Albany who was on the wrong end on some generous bounces throughout the game, finally got some puck luck in overtime. Lorito drew a holding call with a minute remaining, giving the Devils a 4-on-3 power play. After an offensive-zone faceoff win, they shuffled the play quickly round the perimeter. O’Neill received the puck along the goal line and attempted to send a pass through the crease to Lorito. His try deflected of a St. John’s defenseman and into the back of the net.

The Devils earned two of four points in back-to-back games against the IceCaps. Albany was coming off a 3-1 loss Friday and fell behind early in this game. Nikita Scherbak and Joel Hanley scored back-to-back goals at 6:00 and 11:51, respectively.

However, the Devils erupted for four straight goals before the end of the period – a season high. Sislo netted his league-leading 27th tally at 12:31 and Lorito followed at 14:32. Pelley gave Albany a lead at 15:36 and Pietila made it 4-2 at 18:53.

Slowly, St. John’s crept back into the game. Bud Holloway made it a one goal game after a fortunate bounce off the end boards at 6:09 of the second and Brandon McNally evened things off a turnover at 1:09 of the third.

• The Essentials

Shots: Albany 31, St. John’s 27
Power Play: Albany 1-4, St. John’s 1-4
Three Stars: 1. Brian O’Neill (ALB), 2. Scherbak (STJ), 3. Matt Lorito (ALB)

• Next Up

The Devils conclude their season-long six-game road swing with a 7:05 start against the Binghamton Senators Friday. Fans can follow the action on ahllive.com or 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.

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