Game Day: IceCaps, Bears square off at Mile One
The St. John’s IceCaps (11-13-0-1) host the Hershey Bears (12-12-1-0) Wednesday at Mile One Centre for the finale of a two-game set and their third meeting this season.
Braden Holtby made 32 saves, including several big stops in the final minutes with the IceCaps’ net empty, to guide Hershey to a 2-1 win over St. John’s. Zach Hamill and Jeff Taffe had two assists each while Tomas Kundratek scored the winning goal early in the third period. Zach Redmond scored the lone goal for St. John’s, while Mark Dekanich played a strong game between the pipes, making 20 saves but ultimately getting tagged with the loss.
St. John’s tied a franchise high – set last season from Mar. 17 to Mar. 23 – with their fourth consecutive loss Tuesday and their third straight home loss. The IceCaps lost three straight at home last December, also from the 7th to the 11th…
After being outshot in their previous five contests, the IceCaps have outshot their opponents in three straight games. St. John’s tied a franchise-high with 48 shots in Saturday’s 4-2 loss, a feat they achieved twice last season… St. John’s recalled D Cody Sol from Colorado (ECHL) Monday to replace D Julian Melchiori, who suffered a broken finger in Friday’s game. Sol notched five points (3G, 2A) and a team-leading 93 penalty minutes in 21 games with the Eagles this season… The IceCaps are just 3-7-0-0 in the second of back-to-back games… St. John’s is 1-3 in Wednesday games this season… The AHL announced Tuesday that Rogers Sportsnet has added six additional games to its December television broadcast schedule, including a pair of IceCaps games. The IceCaps’ Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 contests in Hamilton will be aired on Sportsnet (all regions), beginning at 9:00 PM NT.
Nine IceCaps are currently on the injured list: Patrice Cormier (knee), Hunter Tremblay (concussion-like symptoms), John Albert (upper body), Travis Ramsey (hand), Jason King (head), Eric O’Dell (lower body), Alex Burmistrov (upper body), Jason Jaffray (shoulder) and Julian Melchiori (finger). Shawn Weller suffered a broken finger during the first period of Tuesday’s game and is out indefinitely.
STREAKS and LEADERS
F Ray Sawada and D Paul Postma extended their point streaks to four games with their assists in the second period… D Zach Redmond has recorded a point in three straight games (1G, 3A) and now leads the club in goals with seven and power play goals with four… G Mark Dekanich has lost four straight decisions but has not allowed more than three goals in any of those starts… Tuesday marked the 53rd consecutive sellout at Mile One Centre, one game shy of the second longest sellout streak in AHL history, set by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.… G Eddie Pasquale is seventh in the AHL in save percentage (.924) and tied for 13th in goals-against average (2.45).
Like St. Johns, Hershey has struggled during its first 24 games, posting a nearly identical record of 12-12-1-0 and sitting in 9th place in the Eastern Conference, leapfrogging the IceCaps after last night’s win. The Bears have struggled to find the back of the net with regularity, ranking just 21st in goals for (2.64) compared to third last season (3.21). The losses of last year’s scoring champion Chris Bourque and former MVP Keith Aucoin have hurt the club and last year’s goal-scoring leader Ryan Potulny has just three tallies in 15 games. F Jeff Taffe has been one of the lone bright spots; the veteran forward sits 10th in points (25) and tied for second in assists (19) after picking up a pair of helpers Tuesday.
D Tomas Kundratek ranks fourth in goals (eight), 10th in points (16), third in power play points (11) and second in shooting percentage (17.8%) amongst AHL defencemen. Kundratek scored the game-winning goal on the power play 40 seconds into the third period Tuesday and is tied with Jon DiSalvatore (who also scored Tuesday) for the team lead with eight tallies… D Steve Oleksy sits third amongst all defencemen in penalty minutes (91)… The Bears are 1-2-0-0 against the Atlantic Division and improved to 7-5-0-0 on the road this season… Hershey recalled D Brett Flemming from the ECHL’s Reading Royals Monday.
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!