IceCaps extend amazing road streak
Head Coach Keith McCambridge to guide Eastern Conference team at AHL All-Star game
The St. John’s IceCaps won their first shootout of the season, defeating the Toronto Marlies 4-3 in an entertaining American Hockey League game Saturday at Ricoh Coliseum.
Jason King, Aaron Gagnon and Ben Maxwell – with the winner – scored in the shootout, while David Aebischer stopped three of four Toronto shooters to give St. John’s the win. Aebischer was solid all afternoon, as he stopped of 32 of 35 shots he faced on the day, further cementing his place as the team’s number one goaltender.
The win allowed the IceCaps to remain unbeaten in regulation time on the road this year and sent head coach Keith McCambridge to the all-star game. The two points picked up Saturday afternoon means St. John’s will finish with the best winning percentage as of Jan. 1, meaning McCambridge will guide the Eastern Conference team during the all-star game Jan. 30 in Atlantic City.
Toronto opened scoring in the first period on a strange play. Will Acton picked up a rebound off the back boards to deposit the puck past Aebischer at 3:53.
Red-hot Paul Postma continued his strong play, as he extended his scoring streak to 10 games with a first-period power play goal. Postma pinched in from the blueline, took a beautiful feed from team captain Jason Jaffray and fired a shot from the left hash marks past Marlies netminder Ben Scrivens to tie the game at one with the IceCaps enjoying a two-man advantage. The big rearguard now has 15 points in his last 10 contests and has been outstanding since being returned from the Winnipeg Jets.
Jaffray looked to put the IceCaps up 2-1 at 10:18 on a slapshot from the point, but rookie Carl Klingberg was given credit for redirecting the puck, for his team-leading 11th goal of the season, as Postma picked up his second point of the night.
The Marlies sent the teams to the dressing rooms tied at two with a late first period goal, by captain Ryan Hamilton.
Arturs Kulda gave St. John’s the lead in the second before the Marlies’ Hamilton sent the game into overtime with his 13th of the season.
An exciting overtime – in which both teams had breakaway chances foiled by solid goaltending – solved nothing, sending St. John’s to just its second shootout of the season. This time, however, the club proved successful, earning the extra point from the 3-1 shootout victory.
St. John’s now has earned a point in every road game so far this season. Saturday’s win gives St. John’s a 12-0-2-1 mark away from home this season, one game shy of the AHL record for consecutive road games without a regulation loss in one season, set by the 2010-11 Milwaukee Admirals. The IceCaps can tie the record when they take on Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum again on Sunday. The win also catapulted the club back into first place in the Atlantic Division, one point up on the Manchester Monarchs.
These two teams face off again New Year’s Day in Toronto, on the final day of the club’s six-game road trip. The team returns home to start a six-game homestand next Friday and Saturday against the Monarchs.
Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Sunday’s game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., with the pregame shows set to begin at 4:00 (all times Newfoundland).