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Veterans and rookies power St. John's IceCaps to close 4-3 victory over Whale

NHL.com @NHL

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Veterans may be the backbone of the IceCaps, but a rookie was the hero for St. John's on Sunday.

Eric O'Dell had the winner for St. John's in a close 4-3 win over the Connecticut Whale in American Hockey League action Sunday.

O'Dell broke a 3-3 tie with just under four minutes left in the game.

"Just to get the goal was exciting, but the game-winner was even more exciting," the 21-year old forward said. "It just boosts up my confidence. As a fourth-line guy I'm just trying to get in the lineup every night.

"To get a goal like that is really awesome."

It was O'Dell's first home goal of the season, and second of the year for the IceCaps (11-2-3). St. John's, N.L., native Jason King had a pair of goals, while Kyle Bushee added a goal and an assist for the IceCaps.

King was happy the team could come away with back-to-back wins against the Whale (7-5-3), as the team had failed to sweep any of their previous two-game home series.

"It feels great," King said. "We've had trouble doing that so far this season."

IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge believes the team has done a great job with battling for wins all season.

"The dressing room, the make-up of the team, there is a lot of character," said McCambridge. "They find ways to get goals, find ways to come back and scrape points out of games. It's a real testament to the guys in the room and the character we have. "

King, who has seven goals in 16 games, believes St. John's can't get too far ahead of itself with its current win-streak of six games.

"We can't get too high, we've got to make sure we stay confident but don't get ahead of ourselves," said King. "We have to make sure we bring it every night."

IceCaps starting goaltender Peter Mannino was happy to come back to the lineup and contribute.

"I just wanted to come back and get in the groove. To see them on a roll like that is awesome," said the goaltender, fresh from a stint with the Winnipeg Jets. "I didn't want to change anything, I just wanted to come in and participate like everybody else was, I didn't want to ruin anything."

Mannino finished the evening with 35 saves on 38 shots, while Chad Johnson finished with 23 saves on 27 shots for Connecticut.

John Mitchell, Carl Hagelin and Tommy Grant added singles for the Whale, while Blake Parlett added three assists.

Both teams were 1-for-7 on the power play.

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