Game Day: IceCaps vs. Admirals
ICECAPS vs. ADMIRALS
The St. John’s IceCaps host the defending Calder Cup champion Norfolk Admirals Saturday and Sunday at Mile One Centre. Norfolk enters play having won 32 consecutive regular season games dating back to last season. The Admirals’ last regular season loss came way back on Feb. 5 in a 4-2 loss at Springfield.
The clubs last met in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals when the Admirals ousted the IceCaps in four games. Their last regular season meeting was on Mar. 30 in Norfolk, a 2-1 Admirals victory.
This year’s Norfolk Admirals team is affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks after serving as the farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning for four seasons.
RETURN OF THE CAPTAIN
The IceCaps welcomed back Jason Jaffray Wednesday night against the Pirates after the captain had been sidelined since Mar. 28 with a neck injury suffered in a game at Norfolk. Jaffray underwent successful spinal fusion during the summer and rehabbed with the goal of getting back in the lineup for the start of the season. The Alberta native finished fourth on the club with 18 goals last season despite playing in just 47 games.
Tuesday’s matchup between the IceCaps and Pirates set several team records for goals. St. John’s tied its franchise record for goals scored with eight (set on Nov. 12 of last season in an 8-4 win over Connecticut) and set new marks for goals allowed (seven) and total goals by both teams (15).
STREAKS, MILESTONES and LEADERS
F Kevin Clark is two points away from reaching 50 for his AHL career….After scoring 19 career NHL goals in two seasons, F Alex Burmistrov scored his first AHL goal with his OT winner in Tuesday’s 8-7 win over POR….F Derek Whitmore reached 150 career points with his two assists Tuesday vs. POR….F Ivan Telegin sits inside the top-15 in rookie scoring with four points (1G, 3A).
The Admirals moved to 4-0-0-0 with their 6-3 win over the Connecticut Whale last Saturday at the Scope in Norfolk. Kyle Palmieri paced the Admirals with three points (1G, 2A) while Troy Bodie and rookie Chris Wagner each had a goal and an assist. First-year goaltender Frederik Anderson stopped 32 shots for his second win in as many starts.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
The IceCaps go from facing the league’s top offence to taking on its second-best unit. Through four games, Norfolk is averaging 4.75 goals per game and have six players averaging a point per game or more. Palmieri has six points (2G, 4A) to lead the way while young defenceman Sami Vatanen’s five points (1G, 4A) are good for seventh amongst AHL defencemen.
The Admirals (whose returning players spent last season in Syracuse as members of the Crunch) boast a number of players who made life tough for IceCaps goaltenders in 2011-12. In just three games last season, Palmieri had five goals and eight points, including a hat trick on Dec. 7 in a Crunch win at Mile One centre. Brandon McMillan, Peter Holland and Patrick Maroon also put up impressive numbers, combining for 15 points in the four matchups.
Norfolk’s roster consists of six rookies, including defenceman Hampus Lindholm, an 18-year old who is the youngest player in the AHL this season. The Swedish-born rearguard recorded his first point (an assist) in last Saturday’s win vs. Connecticut. Forward Chris Wagner, a product of Colgate University, has four points (1G, 3A, top-15 in rookie scoring) and is +5 through four games. Both goaltenders – Frederik Anderson and Igor Bobkov – are also in their rookie seasons.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS (2011-12)
REGULAR SEASON RECORD VS: 1-3-0-0
AT ST. JOHN’S: 1-1-0-0
|Nov. 18, 2011||L 6-2||Smith||STJ – Pasquale, NOR – Janus|
|Nov. 19, 2011||W 3-1||Machacek||STJ – Mannino, NOR – Tokarski|
AT NORFOLK: 0-2-0-0
|Mar. 29, 2012||L 2-0||Palat||STJ – Aebischer, NOR – Tokarski|
|Mar. 30, 2012||L 2-1||Devos||STJ – Aebischer, NOR – Janus|
PLAYOFFS RECORD VS: 0-4-0-0
AT ST. JOHN’S: 0-2-0-0
|May 21, 2012||L 1-0||Labrie||STJ – Pasquale, NOR – Tokarski|
|May 22, 2012||L 4-0||Oberg||STJ – Pasquale, NOR – Tokarski|
AT NORFOLK: 0-2-0-0
|May 17, 2012||L 6-1||Ouellet||STJ – Pasquale/Aebischer, NOR – Tokarski|
|May 19, 2012||L 3-1||Picard||STJ – Pasquale, NOR – Tokarski|