(stjohnsicecaps.com) – The St. John’s IceCaps evened the series in the fourth annual Mary’s Cup, earning a 1-0 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 2 from the Gander Community Centre on Friday night.
The action started early in the first period as Austen Brassard dropped the gloves for the second straight game, this time with Shane Bakker just 3:12 into the contest.
The tilt sparked the IceCaps as they were able to open the scoring for the second consecutive Mary’s Cup game.
After starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck left the puck in the IceCaps zone for Will O’Neill, the defenceman launched a tape-to-tape stretch pass to a streaking JC Lipon who cut in alone on the left wing and fired a perfect wrist shot over the glove hand of Bulldogs starter Michael Condon just 4:02 into the contest.
It was rookie starter Hellebuyck who stole the show throughout the final pair of scoreless periods.
The Commerce, Michigan native survived an onslaught of shots from the Bulldogs in the second and third periods, including a three-minute penalty kill with 14:16 remaining in the third period.
Hellebuyck played the entire game between the pipes for the IceCaps and earned the shutout in his first start in an IceCaps uniform.
The Bulldogs’ Condon was busiest in the opening frame but was solid down the stretch and held the IceCaps off the board in the second and third periods.
The IceCaps finished the night 1-for-5 with the man advantage, while the Bulldogs were scoreless on three power play opportunities.
The third and deciding game of the Mary’s Cup series goes Sunday afternoon at Mile One Centre (4:00 p.m.).