ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The playoffs are a sure thing for the St. John's IceCaps, and Sunday's 6-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack featured a realistic playoff line-up for the home team.
With the Winnipeg Jets season ending, the IceCaps were sent back six players, five of which drew into the line-up for Sunday's game: Carl Klingberg, Patrice Cormier, Eric O'Dell, Ben Chiarot and Zach Redmond.
"These are players that (are here) to give us our best chance of success this year," IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said. "I thought they came down and their play, the energy, was good. I liked the way all those players played tonight.
One of the returnees, Carl Klingberg, said he's ready for the playoffs.
"We all knew we were going back (from Winnipeg at season's end), and it was a lot of fun coming back here. I felt really good to be back. We're always trying to work hard, and we all did. We didn't come out perfectly in the first, but we battled back We battled for each other."
After Saturday's 7-2 loss, McCambridge was happy with his team's rebound tonight.
"It was a more complete game," McCambridge said, "We got down early, which you don't want to happen when you're able to integrate new players into the line-up, but it didn't phase us. We kept pushing on and I liked the way we played. I liked our pace. The energy level was at the point where you need it at this time of year."
John Albert scored two goals, while Carl Klingberg, Blair Riley, John Albert, Kael Mouillierat and Jerome Samson scored one apiece for the IceCaps (44-23-7).
Chris McCarthy and Danny Kristo replied for Hartford (35-32-7).
The Wolf Pack struck first when Syvret pounced on a rebound and scored low, 6:57 into the game and on the power play.
The IceCaps tied it when a Kyle MacKinnon wrap-around banked off Blair Riley's foot 8:34 into the opening frame.
At the 14:19 mark of the first, Albert scooped a puck over the pads of Hartford goalie David LeNeveu on the doorstep, while falling.
The IceCaps added another when Mouillierat scored a perfect wrist shot high glove from the top of the right faceoff dot on the power play with 1:25 left in the first.
At the 10:01 mark of the second period, Eric O'Dell pulled a nifty move to beat his man when entering the zone before feeding Klingberg, who went right-to-left on a move to score for St. John's.
Samson tipped home a Klingberg point shot with the goalie pulled on a delayed penalty at the 10:56 mark of the second to make it 5-1 IceCaps.
Hartford scored on a 5-on-3 power play when Kristo went high glove with a shot from the point 12:46 into the second period.
Albert tipped home a Fredheim point shot with 4:03 left in the game.
Wolf Pack goalie David LeNeveu stopped 12 of 15 on the night. Dov Grumet-Morris stopped 15 in relief.
IceCaps goalie Tyler Beskorowany saved 26.