ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Igor Bobkov might not be Russian for brick wall, but the fans of the St. John's IceCaps could have easily been fooled.
The Norfolk Admirals shut out the St. John's IceCaps 2-0, on the back of Bobkov's 38-save performance, in American Hockey League action Sunday evening.
The Admirals (5-1-0) had goals from John Mitchell and Patrick Maroon as they held the IceCaps (4-4-0) off the score sheet.
"It's frustrating for us, but that's the game of hockey," said IceCaps forward Derek Whitmore. "You're going to face good goaltending, especially now with the talent that's in the American League."
St. John's was shut out twice in its last three home games, and has yet to win both games in either of their three home series this season.
Despite the score-line, Whitmore believes the team had one of their most complete games of the young season.
"I think tonight was probably one of our better games all year," he said. "At the end of the day there's two points on the line and we didn't get it, so that's tough."
The IceCaps power play struggled, going 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
"I'm not worried at all how our power play is going to be this year," said defenceman Ben Chiarot. "Tonight was a tough night, but guys are still building chemistry together."
Chiarot was happy St. John's defence was tighter this series, following an 11-goals against series versus the Portland Pirates.
"It seems like the last two games our passes were tighter and guys were checking a little harder coming back," said Chiarot. "I think guys took (the 4-0 loss to the Portland Pirates) to heart and were back-checking harder and getting in on the fore-check better."
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said the team had a solid outing despite not getting any points from the game. McCambridge credited the Admirals for their level of play.
"I liked what took place. I liked our energy," said McCambridge. "Overall, I didn't mind our game at all.
"Obviously, you want to get the two points, but you have to take into consideration there is another team out there, and they played a strong game."
McCambridge admitted that winning back-to-back home games is still an issue, and responded succinctly when asked about what last year taught him.
"I learned they are hard to win."