ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A second-period collapse by the St. John's IceCaps turned a closely contested game into a rout.
Trevor Smith and Tyler Johnson each scored twice, and the Norfolk Admirals had three unanswered goals in the second period to defeat the IceCaps 6-2 in American Hockey League action Friday.
The game was tied 1-1 after the opening period, but then St. John's broke down defensively and had no answer for Norfolk's offence.
"It was not good," said IceCaps left-wing Carl Klingberg. "I don't know what happened, we weren't playing like we should in our own zone.
"We were way too passive and we should have been on them like they were on us that period. That period was not good and we dropped behind in that period and lost the game because of that probably.?
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge hopes the team learned a valuable lesson.
"We have to know that you can't take any periods off, and tonight I thought we weren't bringing our best game to start," he said. "For whatever reason, they weren't thinking, and they weren't taking care of their own end."
Carter Ashton and Mike Angelidis also scored for Norfolk (10-6-1). Cory Conacher had three assists, while Johnson added an assist to give him a three-point night.
Paul Postma and Klingberg replied for St. John's (11-3-3).
The IceCaps were dominating the beginning of the game until the Admirals capitalized on a poor turnover in the neutral zone. After some quick passes around the IceCaps' zone Ashton scored his 12th of the season.
The IceCaps managed to rally back on a goal from Postma, who recently returned from a stint with the Winnipeg Jets.
Postma took a pass on the point and hammered a slap shot through traffic into the top of the net.
The second period was a forgettable one for St. John's, as Smith scored his first of the game just over a minute in. Smith, who was unmarked just in front of the IceCaps goal, scored an easy goal to put Norfolk ahead 2-1.
Cory Conacher put the Admirals up 3-1 by banging in a bouncing puck from inside IceCaps' starter Eddy Pasquale's crease.
Norfolk added to their lead before the period ended when Angelidis scored from the slot.
The IceCaps looked like they might turn it around in the third when Klingberg scored a nice goal on a breakaway to pull St. John's within two. But he Admirals responded with two unanswered goals, both by Johnson.
Jaroslav Janus stopped 26 of 28 shots for the win.
Pasquale stopped 25 of the 31 shots he faced in the loss.
The game got off to a physical start when IceCaps defenceman Garth Murray dropped the gloves with Angelidis to avenge an uncalled hit from behind just 26 seconds into the game.
Murray finished the game with two fights.
"Ah yes, it feels like I'm young again," he said. "I took a hit, and then one of our guys took a hit, and that's when I tend to fight is sticking up for myself or other guys."
Klingberg felt it was important for the team to try and generate energy, in whatever form they could.
"We need energy, and we can take energy from whatever," he said. "We can have a good hit, a good goal, a good save from our goalie, or maybe a fight, and (Murray) is definitely bringing the energy. He was working out there, he dropped the gloves two times, and created a lot. He's doing what he should out there and he's working his ass off."
Norfolk was one-for-three on the power play, while St. John's was one-for-five.
The teams face off again Saturday night in St. John's.