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PREVIEW: IceCaps drive for five versus Crunch Posted by IceCaps on

Wednesday, March 26
ICECAPS (41-20-1-3, 86 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic) at CRUNCH (25-29-4-6, 60 PTS | 5th Place, East)
Puck Drop: 8:30 PM NT | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

The St. John’s IceCaps have won four consecutive games, including the first three games of their current six-game road trip, and hope to continue their winning ways as they head to the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York to face the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night.

The IceCaps have been red-hot since the middle of February and have won 13 of their last 14 contests dating back to Feb. 18. Their opponents, the Crunch, have been heading in the opposite direction and have lost four of their last five games.

SYR G1 Web (10 of 25)

LAST GAME: After posting and losing an early three-goal lead, the IceCaps fought hard against a tough Springfield Falcons team and came up with a gutsy 5-4 win at MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon.

A pair of goals from John Albert and a single from Kyle MacKinnon paced the IceCaps to a 3-0 lead over the Falcons after the opening 20 minutes.

The Falcons responded with a better effort in the second period and were able to cut the deficit to 4-2 heading into the third period, thanks to goals from Patrick McNeill and Michael Chaput, with Carl Klingberg adding a goal for the IceCaps.

The Falcons clawed their way back to even in the third period as McNeill’s second of the night and a power play goal from Falcons captain Ryan Craig tied the game with just over five minutes remaining.

The IceCaps would ultimately prevail as Zach Redmond scored with 1:19 left for his third point of the night (1G, 2A) to ruin any hopes of a Falcons comeback.

JC Lipon added three assists for the IceCaps, the first three-point game of his professional career.

Jussi Olkinuora was a busy man between the pipes for St. John’s and got the job done with a 33 save performance. Jeremy Smith was saddled with the loss in net for the Falcons and finished his night with 19 stops.

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Kris Fredheim, Kael Mouillierat, Patrice Cormier, Cody Lampl, Colton Beck, Adam Lowry …St. John’s was outshot 37-24… The IceCaps went 2-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-7 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Zach Redmond 2. Patrick McNeill 3. John Albert… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: JC Lipon.

TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 24:  Carl Klingberg (LW) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL). Carl Klingberg (LW) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL). Mar. 23:  Patrice Cormier (C) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL). Mar. 22:  John Albert (C) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL). Patrice Cormier Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL).

QUICK HITS: With their last three victories coming away from Mile One Centre, the IceCaps continue to prove they’re a force to be reckoned with both at home and on the road. The IceCaps’ 21 road wins are tied for the most in the American Hockey League with the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins… The IceCaps have no trouble finding the back of the net on the road as their 115 road goals scored puts them second in the category, trailing only the Binghamton Senators… Defenceman Zach Redmond snapped a nine-game pointless streak in a big way Sunday, registering three points (1G, 2A). Redmond will look to keep the momentum going versus the Crunch, a team he has fared well against this season. IN three games, Redmond has five points (1G, 4A)… IceCaps veterans Jason Jaffray (seven games) and Andrew Gordon (six games) both failed to record a point in Sunday’s win over the Falcons, snapping their respective point-scoring streaks… Rookie defenceman Brenden Kichton’s pair of assists Sunday gave him 35 for the season, breaking Jason Jaffray’s single-season club record of 33, set last season… John Albert has 13 goals in his last 11 AHL contests… With goaltender Michael Hutchinson recalled to the Jets, Jussi Olkinuora was called up from the ECHL’s Ontario Reign. Olkinuora posted the victory in his first start since being recalled. He hadn’t recorded an American Hockey league victory since Dec. 14, 2013. Olkinuora was the number one goaltender during his stint with the Reign and posted a 12-11-1 record as well as a 3.06 GAA and .882 SV% in 25 games played.

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The Crunch and the IceCaps have met three times thus far this season and the home team has come away with the victory in all three games.

Syracuse skated away with a 4-2 win in their building on Nov. 29 before the IceCaps pounded the Crunch 6-2 and 5-1 in back-to-back games on Dec. 10 and 11 in St. John’s.

Wednesday’s game will be the last between these two teams this season.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ:  Zach Redmond 5 PTS (1G, 4A) | Jason Jaffray 4 PTS (3G, 1A) Eddie Pasquale  (1-1-0, 2.00 GAA, .935 SV%)
SYR: Cedric Paquette 4 PTS (2G, 2A) | Brett Connolly 3 PTS (3A) | Cedric Desjardins (1-1-0, 3.54 GAA, 0.901 SV%)

RECENT ACTION: MAR. 23: SYR 3 ADR 0 | The Syracuse Crunch snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday, topping the Adirondack Phantoms 3-0 at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Sunday afternoon.

Evan Rankin paced the Crunch to a 1-0 lead after the opening period. Both teams played a close game and Syracuse wasn’t able to pull ahead until the third period when Philippe Paradis and Brett Connolly scored less than two minutes apart early in the third period.

Kristers Gudlevskis earned the shutout victory with his 31-save performance, while the Phantoms’ Cal Heeter made 25 saves in a losing effort.

TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 10:  Dan Milan (D) Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Brampton (CHL). Yanni Gourde (LW) Signed to SPC.

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