For the second straight day, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and St. John’s headed to an overtime period and it was again the IceCaps coming out on top, winning 3-2 on Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Ben Maxwell’s goal 27 seconds into the extra frame gave St. John’s the win and a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinal.
Tied 2-2, a scoreless third period would send the match past regulation and set up the IceCaps’ quick tally. A faceoff win the offensive zone by St. John’s led to a Brett Festerling shot that was blocked by the scrum in front of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton crease. Maxwell dug the puck out of the tangle of skates and backhanded a shot to the right side of goalie Brad Thiessen.
The Penguins controlled action in the first period and were able to jump ahead to a 2-0 lead after seven minutes of play. At the 4:30 mark, Eric Tangradi fed a pass out of the near corner that Colin McDonald accepted in the slot before deking an IceCaps defender and snapping a wrist shot over the glove of Eddie Pasquale.
Tangradi then pushed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s edge to two at 6:49, sweeping a centering feed from Geoff Walker under the outstretched glove of Pasquale for his fourth goal of the playoffs
St. John’s came storming back in the second to knot the score and eventually force overtime. Working on a 5-on-4 advantage, Derek Meech squeezed a long shot through the traffic in front of Thiessen to cut the Penguins’ lead in half.
With 3:25 left until the intermission, Paul Posta then threaded a cross zone feed from the top of the far circle that an uncovered Maxime Macenauer directed to the top of the net.
Thiessen stopped 26 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Pasquale made 14 saves for the IceCaps. Both teams were scoreless in two power play opportunities.