Game Day: IceCaps vs. Whale
Puck drop: 7:30 PM NT
Listen Live: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
Watch: Rogers TV, AHL Live
The St. John’s IceCaps (21-24-1-2, 45 PTS) host the Connecticut Whale (20-21-4-2, 46 PTS) Saturday for the first of two critical matchups this weekend. St. John’s is looking to jump back into the playoff race after dropping two games against the Worcester Sharks this week.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: Oct. 14: STJ 3 CT 2 | Spencer Machacek scored the game-winning goal at 7:55 of the third period to give the IceCaps a 3-2 victory over the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center. On his 24th birthday, Machacek banged home a rebound off his own shot on a St. John’s power play to give his team a lead they would not relinquish, and propel the IceCaps to the team’s first victory of 2012-13. Mark Dekanich was sensational in his IceCaps debut, making 35 saves for his first victory. Alex Burmistrov and Hunter Tremblay had a pair of assists each, while Zach Redmond and Max Macenauer also scored for St. John’s. Whale goaltender Scott Stajcer stopped 22-of-25 shots in getting tagged with the loss in his pro debut.
STJ: Spencer Machacek 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | Hunter Tremblay 2 PTS (2A) | x Alex Burmistrov 2 PTS (2A) | Mark Dekanich 1-0-0, 2.00 GAA
CT: Kyle Jean 1 PT (1G) | Kris Newbury 1 PT1 (1G) | Sean Collins 1 PT (1A) | x Scott Stajcer 0-1-0, 3.04 GAA
LAST GAME: The Worcester Sharks blanked the St. John’s IceCaps 4-0 Wednesday night to sweep the two-game series at Mile One Centre. John McCarthy scored twice and Harri Sateri stopped 21 shots for the shutout, while Tim Kennedy picked up a pair of helpers. Daniil Tarasov scored the game-winner for the second straight night with his second period tally. For St. John’s, Eddie Pasquale stopped 30 shots while Kael Mouillierat and Eric O’Dell had four shots each. The two teams squared off for five fights and combined for 125 penalty minutes, including three scraps in the opening 20 minutes.
QUICK HITS: Former IceCaps D Zach Redmond scored his first NHL goal (a shorthanded marker) Thursday in the Jets’ 3-2 loss vs. TOR. Redmond played 24:04 in the game, second only to Ron Hainsey, and has three points (1G, 2A) in his last two games… F Spencer Machacek led the IceCaps with six points (1G, 5A) in four games vs. CT last season. In the only matchup this season between the IceCaps and Whale, Machacek had a goal and an assist, scoring the game-winner on his 24th birthday. F Jason Jaffray potted four goals in just three meetings with the Whale in 2011-12, including a hat trick in an 8-4 win at Mile One Centre on Nov. 12, 2011… St. John’s set new club records for penalty minutes in a game (55), most penalty minutes by an opponent (70), and most combined penalty minutes (125) in Wednesday night’s 4-0 loss to WOR… The IceCaps are a perfect 5-0-0-0 vs. CT all time and 2-0-0-0 at Mile One Centre… STJ is 6-6-0-0 vs. the Northeast Division after going 8-2-2-0 last season… When playing on Saturdays, the IceCaps are 7-8-1-1… STJ is 18-3-0-0 when allowing fewer than three goals in a game… In games following a home loss, the IceCaps are 6-6-1-1… The IceCaps have recorded five shutouts this season but have been shut out seven times.
INJURY REPORT: F Aaron Gagnon (lower body) practiced in full this week and is nearing a return to the lineup after missing the last 14 games. F John Albert (upper body) has missed all four games on the current home stand after re-aggravating a previous injury. Also injured: Jason King (head), Shawn Weller (finger), and Ivan Telegin (undisclosed).
STREAKS AND LEADERS: G Eddie Pasquale has started 12 straight games for St. John’s and 15 of the last 16… F Ryan Schnell has 50 penalty minutes in just 15 games, the fourth highest total on the club… F Ben Maxwell leads the IceCaps in games played, having suited up in all 48 contests. Maxwell also leads the team in shots on goal with 101… F Eric O’Dell’s 20.3% shooting percentage is tops on the club and seventh amongst active AHL skaters.
TRANSACTIONS: Feb. 6: STJ releases F Josh Lunden from PTO
RECENT ACTION: Feb. 5: ALB 4 CT 3 | Connecticut’s attempted comeback fell just short as the Whale dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Albany Devils Tuesday night at XL Center in Hartford. Trailing 3-0 with just a half period of hockey left, the Whale stormed back with three goals in a 7:21 span to force overtime but eventually succumbed in the shootout. Kris Newbury scored his team-leading 16th goal of the season while Mike Varnace and Kelsey Tessier also scored for Connecticut. Cameron Talbot took over for Jason Missiaen between the pipes early in the first and stopped 25-of-26 shots but allowed two goals on three chances in the shootout.
QUICK HITS: F Ryan Bourque is the son of NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque and the younger brother of former AHL and current NHL forward Chris Bourque. Ryan won a Gold Medal with Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships (0-3-3 in 7 GP)… Whale F Shayne Wiebe recorded four assists in 12 games with the St. John’s IceCaps last season… F Kris Newberry spent two seasons with the St. John’s Maple Leafs (2003-04 and 2005-05), leading the team in penalty minutes with 153 in 2003-04, his first season as a pro… F Christian Thomas is the son of Steve Thomas, who played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Detroit Red Wings. He is currently a player development consultant for the Tampa Bay Lightning… Whale F Michael Pelech is the younger brother of Worcester Sharks defenceman Matt Pelech… Head coach Ken Gernander was recently inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame. Gernander is the AHL’s all-time leader with 123 career playoff games played and is the league’s all-time leading scorer among American-born players with 624 points in 973 games. Gernander was originally drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the fifth round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, but played in just 27 NHL contests.
TRANSACTIONS: Feb. 7: CT (AHL) signs F Michael Pelech to a PTO; recall D Jyri Niemi from Greenville (ECHL) | Feb. 5: NYR (NHL) re-assign F Brandon Mashinter to CT (AHL) | Feb. 4: NYR (NHL) recall F J.T. Miller and F Brandon Mashinter from CT (AHL); re-assign F Benn Ferriero to CT (AHL) | Feb. 4: NYR (NHL) assign F Nick Palmieri to CT (AHL) | Feb. 4: NYR (NHL) trade F Mike Rupp to MIN (NHL) for F Darroll Powe and F Nick Palmieri
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!