ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Travis Ramsey isn't known for his scoring touch, but he got a key goal on Friday.
Ramsey had the winner for the St. John's IceCaps in their 2-1 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday night in American Hockey League action.
Ramsey was as surprised as anybody to score the deciding goal.
"It felt great, it's been awhile," said Ramsey. "It kind of surprised me as much as everyone else. Not really too typical of my game style I would say."
The veteran defenceman last scored on April 13 in a 3-1 victory over the Worcester Sharks. Ramsey had four goals last season, but none the year before that.
It was a home-opening win for the IceCaps (2-1-0), who also got a goal from Maxime Macenauer. The Phantoms (1-2-0) had a goal from Andrew Johnston.
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge usually relies on Ramsey to shut down the opposition and for leadership.
"That's not something we look for Travis Ramsey to do," said McCambridge. "But anytime he gets a key one like that it definitely, not only gives him a boost, but our team the same."
Ramsey was self-effacing on Friday.
"It was just a great pass over and I just tried to hit the net and hope for the best," said Ramsey. "The closer I get to the net, the foggier my brain gets, so I like to stay far away."
McCambridge believes the IceCaps were pumped up to play in St. John's.
"The guys realize it's a home opener," said McCambridge. "They realize that you've got to scrounge and scrape for every point you have."
IceCaps goaltender Ed Pasquale, who was named first star for making 32 saves in the win, gave credit to his teammates for the victory.
"The team played really well in front of me," said Pasquale. "Guys were blocking a lot of shots, especially (Ramsey) tonight.
"He took that stick to the face, he was bleeding, then he comes back and gets the winning goal."
St. John's dominated the first period and opened the scoring when Zach Redmond rocketed a slapshot from the point that Macenauer tipped in at 11:31.
The first period ended with a 12-7 shot advantage for the IceCaps.
The two teams exchanged power-play opportunities, with the IceCaps having two power plays in the first period and the Phantoms with two early in the second, but neither team could capitalize.
The second period saw a momentum swing in favour of Adirondack, which outshot St. John's 15-5 in the period.
The Phantoms tied the game up at 12:25 in the second as Johnston tipped in an Eric Wellwood slap shot from the point.
IceCaps' Alex Burmistrov left the game around the two-minute mark in the second, but he returned to start the third.
Ramsey's winner came at 9:11 of the third as Jason King, who usually provides some offensive firepower for the club, opted to pass to Ramsey and the six-foot-four defenceman made no mistake.
Adirondack's Scott Munroe stopped 24 shots.
Both teams went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Ramsey thinks it is important for the team to establish a stronger home identity this season.
"We took a step forward tonight, we need to play gritty," said the 29-year-old. "We took our foot off the pedal at some points in the game, but towards the end you saw guys blocking shots and doing what it takes to get the win."
The home fans cheered Pasquale with the usual "Eddie!" chants.
"I can hear it but, I don't know if the guys in the room like it or not, because they're not getting cheered," said the goaltender. "No, it's fun. You can always hear them and they were loud tonight, really loud."