Connor Hellebuyck finally made the save they needed, and the St. John’s IceCaps pulled out a 2-1 shootout victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Mile One Centre on Saturday night.
The IceCaps, who had eight overtime losses and two shootout losses in their previous 10 trips past regulation (including playoffs), scored four consecutive go-ahead goals in the shootout but were answered by the Sound Tigers each time before Brenden Kichton scored and Mike Halmo was denied by Hellebuyck in the ninth round.
A game that was scoreless into the third period had more than its share of excitement, including a fast-paced overtime period that saw the teams combine for 11 shots on goal but neither be able to net the winning goal.
With the shootout entering sudden death tied at one goal apiece after three rounds, Chase Balisy, Patrick Holland, Austen Brassard and Ben Walker all scored on the IceCaps’ next four attempts, but were answered by Colin McDonald, Alan Quine, Jesse Graham and Harry Zolnierczyk, respectively. After neither team scored in the eighth round, Kichton beat Kevin Poulin and Hellebuyck stopped Halmo to secure the win.