Overtime goal lifts IceCaps over Pirates
Alex Burmistrov's first goal with the St. John's IceCaps came at the perfect time.
Burmistrov scored in overtime as St. John's defeated the Portland Pirates 8-7 on Tuesday in American Hockey League action.
"It's always nice when you score your first one, hopefully there will be many," said Burmistrov. "It's a good thing to score in overtime for my first one."
Spencer Machacek and Eric O'Dell had two goals each for the IceCaps (3-2-0), while Jason Gregoire, Ben Maxwell and Jason King added singles.
Rob Klinkhammer scored a hat trick for the Pirates (1-3-0). Portland also had goals from Evan Brophy, Andy Miele, Chris Brown and Alexandre Bolduc.
Mark Dekanich started the game in net for the IceCaps but was pulled after allowing six goals on 28 shots. His replacement, Eddie Pasquale allowed on goal on 18 shots.
Pirates netminder Chad Johnson meanwhile was on the hook for all eight goals surrendered while stopping 22 shots.
The game reminded Burmistrov of Winnipeg's 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 28, 2011, when he was with the Jets.
"Kind of the same game, back and forth all the time," said Burmistrov. "It's a tough game when you go back and forth. We were losing the whole game, it's not easy."
O'Dell thinks the pacing was tough on both teams, especially after the IceCaps had a forgettable start to the game.
"It was pretty crazy," said O'Dell. "We had a rough first and second period, but we kept at it and the goals came in the third.
"That was probably one of the highest scoring games I've ever played and the fans stuck with us tonight."
Getting encouragement from the more experience players was important for O'Dell, a second-year forward with St. John's.
"During the intermissions our veterans were talking to us and getting us motivated," said O'Dell. "So we kept going and kept working hard and good things happened."
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge was unimpressed with his team's game, but his displeasure was lessened by the victory.
"I'm not happy. That's not the way we play, that's too wide open," said McCambridge. "It's make a difference (that we won), two points is two points.
"Would I be a lot angrier here if we lost? Yes, I can say that, but definitely too open of a game."
McCambridge summed up his team's performance in one word: fortunate.
"We will take the two points," said McCambridge. "It's hard to critique two points in this game, but that's not the way that we're going to play hockey this season. From an entertainment point of view for the fans, I'm sure it's enjoyable to watch.
"From the coaching side of things that's not the execution, or lack of, that we need."