ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – A pair of breakaway goals by Brock Trotter allowed the St. John’s IceCaps to rally from an early deficit and defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 3-1, at Mile One Centre in the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.
With his team behind, 1-0, in the second period, Trotter caught up to a long flip pass by Spencer Machacek and buried the breakaway chance with a backhand shot at 7:25 that tied the score..
Trotter then gave St. John’s the lead for good 2:27 into the final period, splitting the Penguins defense and tucking the puck inside the near post.
John Albert helped cinch the win for the IceCaps with 1:54 left to play, intercepting a break-out pass by goalie Brad Thiessen and feeding Garth Murray for the tap-in goal.
St. John’s was able to control play for much of the first, owning a 20-4 shot advantage, but it was the Penguins who took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.
With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skating on its lone power play of the period, Jason Williams had his point shot blocked, but Colin McDonald tapped the loose puck to the right side of the net for Cal O’Reilly to zip over St. John’s goaltender Eddie Pasquale. O’Reilly’s fourth of the season came at 4:42 of the first.
Later in the period, Thiessen robbed Jason King on a penalty shot with a glove save to keep the IceCaps off the scoreboard.
Thiessen made 34 saves on 37 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Pasquale upped his postseason record to 4-1 with 19 stops on the night.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins continue their Eastern Conference Semifinal series versus the St. John’s IceCaps with Game Two on Wednesday, May 2 at 6:00 p.m. ET.