ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Carl Klingberg entered Saturday's game on St. John's fourth line, but he quickly became the offensive hero for the Ice Caps.
Klingberg had a hat trick as the IceCaps claimed their first American Hockey League home victory, 6-2 over the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The Swedish forward wasn't sure when he had last scored three goals in a game.
"Not in the (Swedish) Elite League, maybe had some in juniors, but I don't even think I had that," Klingberg said. "I can't remember the last time I had a hat trick. Three goals, yeah, I scored on everything I shot on net. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't, but I'm happy today."
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge is impressed with the young Swedish forward for his diversity.
"Klingberg's been real strong," McCambridge said. "He has some real offensive upside. He can slide in on a top line or fourth line. He can play all those positions."
Klingberg was disappointed the team could not produce for the enthusiastic home Friday night against the Bulldogs in its home opener.
"We lost 4-0 and the crowd was cheering for us [Friday]," Klingberg said. "We wanted to give them something to really cheer for."
Riley Holzapfel, Jason King and Marco Rosa also scored for the IceCaps (3-1-0).
Gabriel Dumont and Dany Masse replied for the Bulldogs (2-1-0)
Klingberg scored the IceCaps' first home goal in franchise history off a rebound at 3:24 of the first period.
Dumont tied the game unleashed a blast through traffic that beat IceCaps starter Peter Mannino.
Klingberg took the game into his hands scoring a short-handed goal with a high wrist shot Bulldogs starter Nathan Lawson had no chance on.
Holzapfel added the IceCaps' third goal in the second, but the Bulldogs rallied back to within one on goal by Masse minutes before the end of the period.
The third period was all IceCaps as King and Rosa scored while Klingberg added his hat-trick goal.
After posting a shut-out Friday night, Lawson looked mortal Saturday. To his credit, he stopped 35 of the 41 shots he faced.
Klingberg said the IceCaps did a better job of making things difficult for Lawson on Saturday.
"We were in front of him, for once, and we battled him hard, the goalie," he said. "You could see he was exhausted. We got a lot of rebounds and a lot of shots were rebounds, and tips. That's how you score in hockey, I think, like 90 per cent of the goals."
Mannino was making his second start of the season for the IceCaps after posting a shut-out last weekend against the Manchester Monarchs.
Mannino did not disappoint the enthusiastic home fans, making 20 saves. He made a number of clutch saves throughout the game, including a stellar diving stick save on the goal-line off a rebound in the third period.
John Albert added three assists for the IceCaps, and King added an assist to have a two-point night.
St. John's plays next Friday and Saturday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at home.