Game Day: IceCaps at Pirates
ICECAPS at PIRATES
The St. John’s IceCaps (4-4-0-0) visit the Portland Pirates (3-3-1-0) Friday night, the first meeting between the teams at Cumberland County Civic Center and the third overall this season.
A night after a wild 8-7 comeback victory in overtime by the IceCaps, the Pirates came back with a 4-0 win on the strength of a 27-save performance from goaltender Chad Johnson. Alexandre Bolduc scored twice for Portland while Oliver Ekman-Larsson chipped in with a pair of assists.
The IceCaps and Pirates are separated by just one point in the early stages of the season. St. John’s currently sits in second place in the Atlantic Division with eight points while Portland sits third with seven.
ICECAPS LAST TIME OUT
St. John’s was shut out in its most recent outing, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Norfolk Admirals last Sunday at Mile One Centre. Igor Bobkov made 38 saves for the Admirals while Patrick Maroon and John Mitchell provided the offence. Zach Redmond led all IceCaps skaters with five shots on goal.
PIRATES RECENT ACTION
The Pirates enter play Friday night having lost their last outing against the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA. Matt Calvert, Andrew Joudrey and Ryan Johansen scored first period goals as the Falcons withstood a Pirates’ second period charge to win 3-2. Goaltender Mark Visentin stopped 38-of-41 shots in the loss.
After receiving Jason Jaffray, Aaron Gagnon and Carl Klingberg back from the infirmary last week, the IceCaps hope to welcome regulars Paul Postma, Jason King and Ray Sawada this weekend. Postma, an All-Star defenceman lsat season, and forward Ray Sawada have not played a game for St. John’s yet this season, while King has missed the last two contests after playing in each of the first six. Patrice Cormier was the only player to not make the trip. The big centre will likely be out for at least four weeks with a lower body injury originally suffered in the team’s home opener on Oct. 19 vs. Adirondack.
BACK FOR THE FIRST TIME
IceCaps assistant captain Dean Arsene makes his return to Portland for the first time since leaving the Pirates for the IceCaps in the offseason. The rugged rearguard captained the Pirates last season – his only season in Portland – and recorded 10 points (2G, 8A) with 110 penalty minutes. Forward Derek Whitmore also spent time with the Pirates – he played three full seasons in Portland from 2008-11, scoring 56 goals during that span – and will be making his first appearance in Portland since leaving the team to sign with the Rochester Americans following the 2010-11 season.
STREAKS, MILESTONES and LEADERS
F Kevin Clark is two points away from reaching 50 for his AHL career….Alex Burmistrov leads the IceCaps in scoring with six points (1G, 5A) in eight games….D Zach Redmond sits tied for fourth amongst all AHL defencemen with 29 shots on goal….The IceCaps reached 52 consecutive sellouts (including playoffs) at Mile One Centre after selling out all six games on their recent home stand.