IceCaps WHL graduates off to strong start Posted by IceCaps on
By Ed Veilleux
When players make the jump from the junior ranks to the pros, it’s impossible to predict how well the transition will go.
Even for a player with the credentials of Brenden Kichton, having won WHL defencemen of the year and scoring 85 pts in 71 games last season, fans can only hope that translates to professional success.
Luckily, through two games, Kichton has delivered.
The rookie has tallied three points in his first two pro contests, including his first goal Saturday, a power play blast from the point that found the top corner.
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge praised Kichton’s play after the game.
“Defensively, Brenden is smart in his positioning and where he needs to be on the ice,” the coach said. “I like where his game is at right now. I thought these two games were two really strong outings for him. That’s quite the feather in his cap for a first-year pro.”
Kichton showed obvious signs of offensive prowess throughout the weekend and displayed a tendency to want to join the play when the puck is moved down the ice.
Overall, St. John’s fans can expect Kichton to help the forwards contribute offensively, and if he can continue to show the smart positioning McCambridge praised him for, the sky is the limit.
Two other rookies stood out over the weekend: fellow WHL graduates Adam Lowry and JC Lipon.
Lowry scored his first pro goal Friday night, as he tapped home a loose puck past down-and-out Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg. Expect the young power forward to go to the net often.
Though the young 6’5 centre played nine games with the IceCaps at the end of last season, Lowry still qualifies as a rookie this season.
Lipon will be familiar to fans of Canada’s World Junior team, as he represented his country at the tournament last year.
The Regina-born forward scored on a deflection Friday night for his first professional goal, bringing the IceCaps to within one in a game they would eventually tie late and lose in overtime. Lipon also showed some vision on the weekend, using his passing skills to move the puck around well.
IceCaps weekend watch
The IceCaps took three of a possible four points last weekend, meeting the Providence Bruins Friday and Saturday at Mile One Centre.
On Friday, St. John’s found themselves on the hard end of a 4-3 OT loss, in which they rallied back from a two-goal deficit.
Saturday night, the IceCaps won a high-tempo 5-1 game, in which fans were treated to a bit of everything, from goals and fights to huge saves.
Though Eric O’Dell and Jerome Samson led scorers with four points each, 11 IceCaps found themselves on the scoresheet over the weekend.
Goalie Eddie Pasquale made both starts, allowing five goals and posting a .925 save percentage.
Coming up, the IceCaps travel to Hamilton to play the Bulldogs on Friday and visit the Marlies in Toronto on Saturday.
The team returns home the following weekend to face the Hershey Bears on Oct. 18 and 19 at Mile One Centre.