ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Complacency cost the St. John's IceCaps on Saturday night.
St. John's blew a two-goal lead against the Adirondack Phantoms in a 4-3 loss in American Hockey League action.
"I thought we fed off the energy in the building for the start of the game," said IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge. "There was a drop off there also, but you have to make sure you're not giving the team any type of life to start the game.
"I thought that two goal lead was almost a false sense of security for us."
Brayden Schenn scored the winner for Adirondack (2-2-0) and Brandon Manning, Shane Harper and Zac Rinaldo also scored.
John Albert, Ivan Telegin, and Zach Redmond supplied the offence for St. John's (2-2-0).
Albert opened scoring in the first period for the IceCaps, then Telegin made it 2-0 at the 8:06 mark of the second.
Manning and Harper replied for the Phantoms in the next minute and 43 seconds, tying the game 2-2.
Schenn and Rinaldo then scored in the third for a 4-2 Adirondack lead. Redmond had a power-play goal with less than four minutes to play to bring St. John's to within one.
Albert said the IceCaps can build off of the momentum they found in trying to rally back from the two-goal deficit.
"It's always good when you're down a few goals to get a good power play at the end and then push for that last one," said Albert. "We were working hard at the end of the game, and unfortunately we came up short."
The IceCaps' Alex Burmistrov had the game on his stick in the dying seconds, but he whiffed on a shot as the buzzer ran out.
"I have to check my stick," said Burmistrov. "I don't know, maybe I broke my stick. It's something right before my shot. The puck just flew up."
Despite the power-play goal, Burmistrov believes St. John's needs to improve its offence.
"I don't think we were good tonight, we just had one goal on the power play," Burmistrov said. "I don't know how many chances we had. We have lots of good players here, everybody can shoot and everybody can pass. We have to score more goals."
Albert, who has experience with the back-to-back games St. John's have due to travel when playing in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the team has to work on their intensity.
"We just have to come out strong both nights," said Albert. "The second night is the biggest night for us. Winning the first night is a positive, but coming back and winning that second game for the sweep is a little more important.
"We just need to get that identity for our team, and hopefully the next series we can do that."