ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - One night after being beaten by the lowly Hamilton Bulldogs, the St. John's IceCaps bounced back in a big way.
Spencer Machacek scored three goals as the IceCaps hammered the Bulldogs 6-0 on Wednesday night in American Hockey League action.
IceCaps coach Keith McCambridge was clearly frustrated after Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Hamilton, but was very pleased with Wednesday's response.
"We came out and played the way we set the bar to play all season long," he said. "Overall, we had everybody playing their 'A' game tonight. The biggest thing was the work ethic, the compete, the checking was there, everything was in place that gives you a chance to win a game tonight."
McCambridge said it was crucial for the IceCaps to avoid consecutive poor showings as the playoffs draw near.
"Frustrating when you see what happened last night. Is that going to happen during the course of the season? Yes. The biggest thing is you want to make sure that you don't let those run in consecutive games," he said. "That was a really good bounce-back game for that team in the dressing room."
Zach Redmond, Jason Gregoire and Aaron Gagnon also scored for the IceCaps (38-16-7). St. John's captain Jason Jaffray had three assists.
St. John's goaltender Ed Pasquale had a quiet night in his shutout, making only 12 saves.
The Bulldogs' goaltenders both had a ton of work, with starter Nathan Lawson making 25 saves, and Robert Mayer stopping 20 shots in relief.
The IceCaps opened the scoring when Machacek scored at 15:18 of the first period. Machacek pulled a spin move behind Hamilton's net before backhanding the puck towards Lawson, who misplayed the shot and the puck trickled into the net.
"When (Machacek) is on top of his game, when he's playing in straight lines, he's a really effective player," McCambridge said. "It was good to see him get on the board tonight, good to see him play the way Spencer Machacek should play."
Redmond scored at 17:11 when he launched a slap-shot through a screen.
The IceCaps outshot the Bulldogs (27-28-7) 17-4 in the first period, which was indicative of how the rest of the game would go.
St. John's took the game by the throat in the second period, with Machacek completing his hat trick to put St. John's up 4-0. The fourth goal of the game ended Lawson's evening.
Gagnon made it 5-0 at 15:25 of the second period. Jaffray and Jason King exchanged slick passes before finding Gagnon open on the far post for the easy tap-in.
Gregoire added the only third period goal when a Kevin Clark shot bounced off Gregoire's chest as he was falling.
"All four lines were going tonight for sure," Machacek said. "Sometimes the bounces are going your way, and tonight I thought we got some bounces. But we worked hard for them as well, and we definitely worked hard for the full 60 minutes."
The IceCaps went 2-for-6 on the power play while Bulldogs 0-for-1.
St. John's faces off against the Manchester Monarchs Saturday and Sunday at Mile One Centre.