ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A fourth straight home loss has the St. John's IceCaps slinking further out of the playoff picture.
Michael Haley scored two goals Sunday as the Connecticut Whale routed St. John's 7-3 in the American Hockey League.
The IceCaps (21-26-3) sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with 45 points, which puts them five points back of the eighth-place Worcester Sharks, who have four games in hand.
Kris Newbury had a goal and two assists for Connecticut (22-21-6), while Andrew Yogan, Jyri Niemi and Kyle Jean added a goal and an assist each. Nick Palmieri also scored.
St. John's had two goals from Jason Jaffray, a goal from Kevin Clark and two assists each from Will O'Neill and Aaron Gagnon.
Gagnon, who had not played since Dec. 31 due to injury, was happy to return to the lineup, despite the loss.
"It's just nice to be back, it's tough watching up there," said Gagnon. "The puck decided to go my way tonight, but it's too bad in a losing cause like that."
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said he was happy to see Gagnon back in the lineup, because he helps provide an offensive spark the IceCaps have been missing.
"The miscues in our D-zone has been hurting us, the positive part is that we scored goals tonight, which is obviously something that we've struggled to do here," said McCambridge.
Gagnon said the team may benefit from going on the road since they were the fourth-best road team in the AHL last season with a 24-10-5 record.
"You can't just give up, you can't just expect it to happen easy here. We've got a lot of games here, and maybe going on the road and getting out of here is hopefully a good thing for us," he said.
Cameron Talbot made 25 saves to get the win for Connecticut. Mark Dekanich started for St. John's but allowed two goals on five shots before getting pulled in favour of Eddie Pasquale, who stopped 15-of-20 shots the rest of the way.
Haley scored the opening goal at 1:08 of the first and added his second at 4:03 to chase Dekanich. Pasquale came in after that but allowed power-play goals to Newbury at 12:01 and Palmieri at 13:19.
St. John's got one back on a Jaffray tip in front of the net at 18:27 but still trailed 4-1 after the first.
The second period saw the IceCaps and Whale trade goals. Jean scored off his skate at 10:54 but the IceCaps replied when Clark buried a cross-crease pass at 5:26.
Yogan scored for the Whale at 4:53 before Jaffray added his second of the night at 19:14 on the power play to make it 6-3 after two.
Connecticut then rounded out the scoring at 5:04 of the third when Niemi's shot went wide but rebounded off an IceCaps player and into the net.
McCambridge said the IceCaps the showed some promise, and that the scoreline wasn't a fair reflection of the game.
"I thought we were better in tonight's game, the score obviously doesn't reflect that. You look at the goals they scored, the first two there, we should have that rebound. I look at the one in the second period, the guy shoots it from the far-wall, hits the post and it kicks out."
Connecticut went 2 for 7 on the power play, while St. John's was 1 for 5.