Edward Pasquale made his IceCaps debut between the pipes Tuesday night in front of a packed Mile One Centre, and didn’t disappoint. The home team used a second period flurry and a couple of powerplay markers to nab a 5-1 victory, and moved to a 5-1-1 record overall.
A pair of powerplay markers from Riley Holzapfel and Jason King in the second frame moved the IceCaps powerplay ranking, well, absolutely nowhere. They’re still dead last in the league in that department at only 7.5% efficiency, but tonight was perhaps what the team needed to finally get clicking with the man advantage going forward.
I had the opportunity to take the game in from the press box tonight. While keeping a close eye on the powerplay, it was noticeable that the IceCaps are still employing the strategy of finding defencemen for the open point shot and diving on rebounds. They’re passing down low could still use some work, but it’s certainly getting better.
The Pirates, on the other hand, move the puck to the wings much better and stay away from the cross-blueline pass as much as possible while on the powerplay.
This was a tough game for both teams in terms of penalty trouble. The Pirates were sent to the box 11 times, while the IceCaps went off for seven. The first period of this game lacked any flow, and the Pirates capitalized on some early powerplays to grab the 1-0 lead.
The second period was a totally different story. The IceCaps’ players got their legs under them and began to showcase their speed a little more, and John Albert scored his first ever goal at the professional level just four minutes into the frame to notch things at 1-1.
As the game began to open up, the IceCaps drew a few penalties themselves and capitalized to take a 3-1 lead into the third. Both powerplay goals came off rebounds in tight, blatantly what the IceCaps were looking for.
In the third, Brian Festerling notched his first goal of the season early on to put this game to bed. Travis Ramsey later added his first as well, and Pasquale made a few good saves down the stretch to keep things at 5-1 and give himself a .965 Sv% on the night. Impressive.
Shots during the game favored the IceCaps 41-29 in total.
Game two of this mid-week set goes tomorrow night at Mile One. I’ll have the Game Day preview up tomorrow and will be up in the press box once again to cover the action. Follow the blog on twitter for in-game updates and analysis.
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