ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Justin DiBenedetto had two goals and Jeremy Colliton scored the overtime winner to lead the Bridgeport Sound Tigers over the St. John's IceCaps 4-3 in American Hockey League action Friday evening.
The game got off to a quick start as DiBenedetto scored a goal less than two minutes into the game, hopping on a rebound to put the home side down early.
St. John's forward Riley Holzapfel believes the team needs to start games stronger.
?They came out well off the start, and that's something we have to work on,? Holzapfel said. ?We have to be ready when the puck drops.?
IceCaps Head coach Keith McCambridge echoed the statement.
?I thought it took us awhile to get our legs going,? the coach said. ?They came out with a real strong push in the first (period). We looked like a team that hadn't played for a week. I think as the game wore on we got better.?
The IceCaps (3-2-0) did not wait long to reply. St. John's native Jason King cashed in on the rebound after Bridgeport goalie Anders Nilsson saved Arturs Kulda's slap shot.
The Sound Tigers (3-3-0) regained the lead on DiBenedetto's second. He faked his mark on the power play, and took advantage of his free space to wrist the puck into the bottom left corner.
The IceCaps found their way back level with a late first period goal when Jason Gregoire tipped in a shot.
Holzapfel scored a goal in the first minute of the third period to pull the IceCaps in front. Spencer Machacek held the puck on a 2-on-1 rush, and waited until he was almost parallel to the crease before skipping a backhand pass over to Holzapfel.
Sound Tigers' centre David Ullstrom tied the game to force overtime with just under three minutes remaining.
IceCaps' starting netminder Peter Mannino several huge saves in the dying seconds of the third to ensure his squad made it to overtime. He finished with 26 saves in the loss.
St. John's went 0-for-5 on the man advantage, while Bridgeport was 1-for-4.
???It's pretty obvious if you look at the stats that our power play has to be a lot better,??? Holzapfel said. ???Everybody's got a chance here in the dressing room and we have to take the opportunity and make the most of it.
"We need to get some power play goals here.???