Tonight, the St. John’s IceCaps look to stretch their winning streak to four games as they welcome the Hershey Bears back to Mile One Center for the second portion of a back-to-back series at home.
Cormier got things started for the IceCaps at 12:47 of the opening frame as he beat Bears netminder Braden Holtby for the 1-0 lead. Hershey would draw even just under three minutes later as Kyle Greentree beat Pasquale to tie the game at one heading into the first intermission.
The IceCaps come out flying to start the second period as they outshot the Bears 15-4 in the period. Captain Jason Jaffray scored at the 14:50 mark of the second to put the Caps up 2-1, followed by another Patrice Cormier goal for the 3-1 lead. Kevin Clark added one 5 minutes later just for good measure as the IceCaps had a 4-1 lead to end the second frame.
Cormier completed the hattrick just over 3 minutes into the third as hats fell to the ice in celebration. That marked the end of Holtby’s night as the Bears replaced him with Dany Sabourin after letting in 5 goals on 29 shots. Unfortunately, Sabourin would fare no better as Spencer Machacek beat him with just under 5 minutes remaining in the period for the 6-1 lead, which ultimately was the final.
With the victory, the IceCaps improve to a 36-15-5-2 record for 79 points, 16-up on the Worcester Sharks for the Atlantic Division lead, and just 4 behind the Norfolk Admirals for the AHL lead with 3 games in hand. The IceCaps also improve to 16-10-3 at home with the win.
The Bears on the other hand drop to 31-20-4-5, good for 5th in the Eastern Conference, and trail the Norfolk Admirals by 12 points for both the AHL lead and 1st in the East Division.
The two teams will battle it out again tonight, as the IceCaps look to sweep the weekend series, puck drop is 7:30 Newfoundland time.