HAMILTON - It's not an ideal situation, but David Aebischer is making the best of it.
Aebischer's 39-save night and a burst of goals from his St. John's teammates led the IceCaps to a 3-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs in American Hockey League action Wednesday night.
Jason Jaffray, Kevin Clark and Eric O'Dell put the IceCaps ahead on three consecutive shots against Hamilton's Nathan Lawson in just over two minutes to start the third.
Lawson finished with 23 saves after having been previously pulled against Toronto on Monday for letting in three goals on five shots.
At the other end, Aebischer took home his seventh win of the year.
Aebischer, who's made 227 NHL appearances in his career, has started three of the last four games for St. John's. But for the majority of the season, he's split time three ways with Edward Pasquale and Peter Mannino.
"It's not the ideal situation. I didn't play as well as I could at the start of the season," said Aebischer.
"I think I'll probably get one more (start) against Toronto but I can't control that. I had a good game tonight so we won, so that's the best publicity I can make for myself."
"Aebischer made some really big saves but you could see we had eight days off," said St. John's coach Keith McCambridge of his team's start following the holiday break.
As for the start, McCambridge wouldn't say if Aebischer or Pasquale would get the nod Saturday against the Marlies.
"We'll see as we get closer to Toronto."
Jaffray opened the scoring 20 seconds into the third, beating Lawson on the blocker side, after an errant pass found his stick in close.
Clark scored the second goal, again on Lawson's blocker side, after circling the goal untouched.
O'Dell took a cross-ice feed from Zach Redmond to add the third goal on three shots.
Andreas Engqvist added the lone goal for Hamilton.
"We played well enough to win this hockey game," said Hamilton coach Clem Jodoin. "I think the outcome of the game should have been different but I've got to give credit to their goalie."
The IceCaps came out a step behind the Bulldogs to open the game, giving up a number of good scoring chances early.
Engqvist beat Aebischer but not the post, and Brian Willsie had two chances on an open net but fanned on the first and missed on the second. Hamilton finished the period outshooting the IceCaps 10-5.
Jason Gregoire had an opportunity early in the second to break the stalemate, getting a breakaway off an Alex Henry giveaway at the blue-line, but he couldn't beat Lawson.
"They scored on their chances, so it's a tough loss," Enqvist said after the loss.
"We started playing too late in the third and that's what killed us this game."