Game Day: IceCaps vs. Devils
ICECAPS vs. DEVILS
The St. John’s IceCaps (6-7-0-0) host the Albany Devils (3-5-0-3) Friday and Saturday at Mile One Centre. This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
ICECAPS LAST TIME OUT
The IceCaps finished off their five-game road trip with a much-needed victory in Hershey last Saturday night. Derek Meech’s third period power play tally snapped an 0-for-29 skid with the man advantage and lifted the IceCaps to a 2-1 victory over the Bears.
DEVILS RECENT ACTION
Albany battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime but eventually lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Norfolk Admirals on Monday. Chad Wiseman had a goal and an assist for Albany while Alexander Urbom and Steve Zalewski both chipped in with a pair of assists.
STRUGGLING TO SCORE
Only one team ranks below the IceCaps in goals per game: the Albany Devils. St. John’s has managed just 2.08 goals per game while Albany is averaging 2.00 goals per game. Both teams’ power play efficiency has been equally as anemic. The IceCaps have dropped to 25th overall (11.4%) while the Devils have converted on only two-of-50 opportunities with the man advantage (4.0%).
INJURY BUG BITES AGAIN
Just as it looked like the IceCaps were returning to good health, the injury bug reared its ugly head once again. Joining the recovering Patrice Cormier in the infirmary are forwards Hunter Tremblay (concussion-like symptoms), Aaron Gagnon (ribs) and Jason King (undisclosed).
Through the first 13 games, St. John’s has allowed 20 goals combined in the first and third periods. In the second period alone, the IceCaps have allowed 19 goals while scoring just seven…St. John’s shares the AHL lead in one-goal victories (six) with the Lake Erie Monsters. All six of the IceCaps’ wins have been by one goal…St. John’s has allowed just three goals on 23 chances on the penalty kill at home, a success rate of 87.0% that places them 11th in the AHL.
STREAKS, MILESTONES and LEADERS
F Ray Sawada reached 100 career AHL points with his assist last Saturday against HER….F Kevin Clark is two points away from reaching 50 for his AHL career….D Derek Meech has three points (1G, 2A) in his last two games and is tied with F Alex Burmistrov for the team lead in scoring….D Ben Chiarot ranks fourth among all rookies in penalty minutes with 23….The IceCaps have sold out 44 consecutive home games heading into Friday’s contest at Mile One.
BIG GAME EXPERIENCE
Devils F Adam Henrique played a major role in helping the New Jersey Devils reach the Stanley Cup Finals last season. The rookie standout recorded 51 points (16G, 35A) in 74 regular season games and also chipped in with 13 points in 24 postseason contests, including two series-clinching goals. F Jacob Josefson and D Adam Larsson also gained playoff experience with New Jersey, suiting up in at least five games apiece.
Devils forwards Kelly and Darcy Zajac are the younger brothers of New Jersey F Travis Zajac. Kelly, after four seasons at Union College, is in his first full professional season while Darcy suited up in 66 games last season with Albany, notching 24 points (8G, 16A). Darcy originally signed with Adirondack (AHL) after completing four seasons with the University of North Dakota, where he was a teammate of current IceCaps F Jason Gregoire for two seasons.
STAYING WITHIN THE SYSTEM
The New Jersey Devils have always been known for their defensive systems, something the organization has attempted to instill in its approach to developing talent in their farm system. New Jersey has placed in the top-10 in goals against in the NHL for 14 consecutive seasons. This season, Albany ranks sixth overall in goals against per game (2.55) and fifth in shots allowed per game (27.18).
Although this weekend marks the IceCaps’ first ever matchup against the Devils, there’s a face that may be familiar to fans at Mile One Centre. New acquisition F Philip DeSimone spent 2011-12 with the Hamilton Bulldogs, playing in all 76 games as a rookie. In eight contests against the IceCaps, DeSimone led all Bulldogs scorers with three goals and five points, including a pair of goals in a 4-0 win at Mile One Centre on Oct. 14, 2011, the IceCaps’ inaugural home opener.
Four of the Devils’ top prospects hail from Sweden: D Adam Larsson (4th overall pick in 2011), F Jacob Josefson (20th overall in 2009, Mattias Tedenby (24th overall in 2008) and Alexander Urbom (73rd overall in 2009). Larsson, Josefson and Tedenby all played with IceCaps F Carl Klingberg on Sweden’s World Junior team either in 2009 or 2010.
WIN A SPECIAL MILITARY JERSEY!
Military Appreciation Night is tonight, Friday, November 16, during which the IceCaps will wear special military-themed jerseys. Six of these jerseys will be available in a special ticket draw during the current six-game home stand.
Fans can purchase tickets on the main concourse for $2 each or three for $5, with the prize draws taking place during the final game of the home stand on Sunday, Nov. 25.