St. John’s, Newfoundland, February 10, 2015 – St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 Hartford Wolf Pack shots, for his second straight shutout, Tuesday night at Mile One Centre, as the IceCaps blanked the Wolf Pack 3-0, in the first of back-to-back games between the two clubs.
Hellebuyck had also shut out the Portland Pirates, 1-0, in St. John’s’ previous outing Saturday night.
Kyle MacKinnon had a hand in all three St. John’s goals, scoring a third-period empty-netter and assisting on the other two, and Blair Riley and Keaton Ellerby also scored. Yann Danis made 20 saves in the Wolf Pack net.
“They played a solid defensive game, that’s for sure, and I thought their forecheck was pretty good too.” Danis said of the IceCaps. “They didn’t give us much, and they were on top of us pretty much from start to finish. So we’re going to have to be ready tomorrow. Now we know what to expect, and we’re going to have to use our speed, use what’s made us successful the last month.”
The Wolf Pack outshot St. John’s 10-8 in the first period, but came out of it trailing 2-0, courtesy of an even-strength goal by Riley and a shorthanded score by Ellerby.
Riley’s goal was the result of a strong offensive-zone pressuring shift by his line with MacKinnon and Brandon MacLean. MacKinnon passed the puck from below the goal line to Riley in the slot, and he quickly shot it underneath Danis at 6:48.
Ellerby doubled the lead at 10:18, just 11 seconds after Chase Balisy was penalized for hooking.
Dallas Jackson prevented an IceCap clear at the right point but couldn’t get the puck deep, and MacKinnon sent Carl Klingberg away to center ice. Ellerby joined Klingberg on the rush and was able to fire a Klingberg feed just inside the post to Danis’ left.
The score remained 2-0 through a second period that saw the IceCaps outshoot the Wolf Pack 7-2, and all the way until 16.2 seconds remained in the third period. St. John’s was on a power play at that point, due to a hooking penalty to Conor Allen at 18:23, and, with the Wolf Pack having pulled Danis for an extra attacker, MacKinnon hit the open net from just inside his own blue line for a three-goal final margin.