Game Day: IceCaps and Falcons set for rematch
The St. John’s IceCaps (11-11-0-1) host the Springfield Falcons (13-4-1-3) Saturday at Mile One Centre in the finale of a two-game series.
The IceCaps fell just short in their comeback attempt against the Springfield Falcons Friday, falling 5-3. Trailing 3-1 heading into the final period, the IceCaps battled back to tie it at three, but ultimately fell just short in their comeback bid. Springfield’s Cam Atkinson scored the go-ahead marker with 4:06 left in regulation and added the empty-netter, finishing the game with four points. | FULL RECAP
The IceCaps went just 1-2-1-0 vs. the Falcons last season, including a 1-1-0-0 mark at Mile One. Eric O’Dell led St. John’s with six goals in only three games played, including a hat trick on Apr. 7 in a 6-3 home loss. O’Dell added the game-winner the following afternoon in a 4-3 victory. For Springfield, Nick Drazenovic led his club with five points (1G, 4A) in three games while Andrew Joudrey tallied four goals in four games.
BACK TO THE WELL
The injury-ravaged IceCaps went to a familiar face for help Thursday when they signed F Shawn Weller to a professional tryout contract. Weller, who was serving as captain for the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, spent half of last season with the IceCaps, playing in 41 games and notching 24 points (10G, 14A) with 28 penalty minutes. Weller made his debut Friday but failed to register on the score sheet.
In addition to signing Weller, St. John’s also inked F Kael Mouillierat to a professional tryout contract. The move paid immediate dividends, as Mouillierat scored a goal on his first shift of the game in last night’s loss to the Falcons… With Friday’s loss, St. John’s fell to 1-10-0-1 when trailing after two periods of play. The IceCaps have been outscored 30-15 in the second period this season… When allowing a power play goal this season, the IceCaps are just 4-9-0-0. The club is 8-2-0-1 when scoring with the man advantage. In last night’s loss, St. John’s surrendered one goal on four chances shorthanded and went 0-for-6 on the power play… F Joey Sides picked up his first two AHL points with a pair of assists Friday… In stark contrast to last season, the IceCaps are just 3-7-0-0 when outshooting their opponent, which they did Friday. Last season, the club went 30-17-4-0 when getting more rubber to the net than the opposition. St. John’s is 3-4-0-1 in Saturday games.
Patrice Cormier (knee), Hunter Tremblay (concussion-like symptoms), John Albert (upper body), Travis Ramsey (hand), Jason King (undisclosed), and Eric O’Dell (lower body) remain out with their respective ailments. Alex Burmistrov (upper body) and Jason Jaffray (undisclosed) were hurt in last Saturday’s game at WBS and will miss both games this weekend.
STREAKS and LEADERS
IceCaps leading scorer Derek Meech (3G, 10A, 13P) is tied with Binghamton’s Patrick Wiercioch for the AHL lead in game-winning goals amongst defencemen with three. All three of his tallies have come on the power play… G Eddie Pasquale has started six consecutive games for the IceCaps. His longest such streak last season was nine… F Spencer Machacek has seven points (1G, 6A) in his last five games… D Zach Redmond has taken over the team lead in goal scoring with six after scoring eight all of last season… D Dean Arsene ranks fourth amongst AHL defencemen with 15 minor penalties and leads the IceCaps with 45 penalty minutes.
Springfield enters play ranked second in goals-against per game (2.14) thanks in large part to a stout defensive unit and terrific goaltending. Curtis McElhinney’s 1.92 goals-against average is good for fourth in the AHL while his .938 save percentage ranks third. McElhinney tied Manny Legace’s franchise record of five shutouts in a season in last Sunday’s 5-0 blanking of the Connecticut Whale. The veteran netminder notched his fifth shutout in just his 16th start, 21 fewer appearances than it took Legace in 1995-96. (He accomplished the feat in 37 games that season.) McElhinney picked up his 12th win of the season Friday night, making 33 saves in the Falcons’ 5-3 win over the IceCaps.
Falcons F Ryan Johansen has ties to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Johansen’s mother, Rosalind Peach, hails from Grand Bank and still has several siblings living on the Burin Peninsula. The young Falcons forward will have family and friends in attendance for Saturday night’s game. Johansen previously played at Mile One Centre in the summer of 2010 for Team Canada’s training camp for the U20 World Juniors. Johansen was held pointless in the first game of the two-game series last night.
Springfield has the AHL’s top road record with a mark of 7-1-1-0 (.833 points percentage) and have recorded a point in eight of the club’s nine contests away from MassMutual Center this season, including each of the last five games. The Falcons have scored exactly five goals in each of its last five road games.
SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS
Entering this weekend’s series, the Falcons rank fifth in the league both on the power play and on the penalty kill. Springfield has scored a power play goal in each of the last four games and is operating at a 21.8% efficiency on the season. The Falcons have not allowed an opposing power play goal in five straight contests and have been perfect on each of its last 23 penalty kills dating back to the first period of a 4-3 shootout loss to Manchester on Nov. 24.
LISTEN TO EVERY ICECAPS GAME LIVE
Listen to every IceCaps game this season online at www.stjohnsicecaps.com by clicking the ‘Listen Live’ link on the homepage. Play-by-play broadcaster Brian Rogers brings you all the action on the ice, including a pregame show that starts 30 minutes before the drop of the puck.
Fans can also listen on the radio at 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. And, watch all the games streaming live online at www.ahllive.com!