St. John’s, Newfoundland – Chris Brown’s goal at 2:07 of overtime gave the Hartford Wolf Pack a 2-1 win over the St. John’s IceCaps Friday night at Mile One Centre, in the first of back-to-back games between the two teams in St. John’s.
On the winning play, Brown, who had been denied on a chance moments earlier by IceCap goaltender Charlie Lindgren, re-gathered the puck, cut across the middle of the zone and down the slot, and fired a hard snap shot cleanly past Lindgren on the stick side.
“It’s just, get pucks on net and hopefully they go in,” Brown said. “The first one, I had a couple of rebounds and they just didn’t go in. But [Mat Bodie] made a great read, setting a nice little pick for me, and I kind of walked down and just shot it. And fortunately it went in.”
Nicklas Jensen tied the game for the Wolf Pack with a third-period power-play goal, after Bobby Farnham had scored for St. John’s in the second. Magnus Hellberg made 29 saves for the win, and Lindgren stopped 25 shots in the IceCap net.
The win was the Wolf Pack’s second straight on the road, after a 3-1 victory in Rochester on Wednesday night.
The Wolf Pack outshot the IceCaps 9-6 in a scoreless first period, but the best chance came on a St. John’s power play. With Chris Summers in the penalty box for cross-checking, Max Friberg deflected a shot past Hellberg, but the puck clanked off the crossbar.
The IceCaps had a 19-6 shots on goal edge in the second session, a statistic that tied a Wolf Pack season high for most shots-against in a period, but only one of those 19 bids found its way behind Hellberg.
That was at 13:19, when Farnham, who was just sent down earlier in the day from a recall stint with the parent Montreal Canadiens, buried a breakaway. Daniel Audette passed the puck off of the left-wing boards, and a Wolf Pack defender slowed it down, but it still got through to Farnham, who broke in and launched a perfect shot into the top shelf on Hellberg’s glove side.
The Wolf Pack finally solved Lindgren at 7:11 of the third, with Josiah Didier off for interference. Jensen upped his team-leading goal total to 17, with his fourth in his last four games, as he was set up at the left side of the slot by a pass from the corner by Adam Tambellini, and ripped a shot that went through a Matt Carey screen and eluded Lindgren.
Lindgren held up the rest of the way through the third, with the Wolf Pack enjoying a 9-4 shots advantage, and Hellberg was forced to make a sharp save on Audette on the opening shift of overtime, before Brown got the last word.
“It’s a good character win, it’s a good comeback,” Brown said. “That’s a good team over there with a lot of talent, so it’s a good start to the weekend, and building off our last game.”