PREVIEW: IceCaps finish regular season in Worcester, Portland Posted by IceCaps on
FRIDAY, APRIL 18TH & SATURDAY, APRIL 19TH
With a playoff spot secured, the St. John’s IceCaps wrap up their 2013-14 regular season on the road against a pair of familiar foes as they face the Worcester Sharks and Portland Pirates on Friday and Saturday.
Both the Sharks and the Pirates are out of the running for a playoff spot in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference but will be tough foes for the IceCaps, who by virtue of an overtime loss by the Binghamton Senators Wednesday, have clinched fourth place in the East and home-ice advantage in the first round.
The IceCaps have played well in the month of April, suffering just one regulation loss in six contests while amassing three victories and eight points.
LAST GAME: The IceCaps took advantage of a large influx of returning players from the parent Winnipeg Jets on Sunday afternoon as they rolled over the Hartford Wolf Pack 6-2 in the team’s final home game of the regular season.
After Hartford’s Chris McCarthy opened the scoring early in the opening frame, the IceCaps responded with three consecutive goals from Blair Riley, John Albert and Kael Mouillierat to grab a 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Carl Klingberg and Jerome Samson pushed the lead to 5-1 near the middle of the second period before Hartford’s Danny Kristo stopped the bleeding with his 24th goal of the season at 12:46.
Albert added an insurance goal in the third period to help seal the victory.
Tyler Beskorowany registered the victory with his 28-save performance while Wolf Pack starter David LeNeveu only survived the first period after allowing three goals on 15 shots. Dov Grumet-Morris came on in relief and allowed three goals on 19 shots over two periods.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Will O’Neill, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori, Colton Beck, Austen Brassard, Michael Hutchinson, Eddie Pasquale… John Albert extended his point streak to six games… Jerome Samson has goals in back-to-back games… With Mouillierat’s man-advantage marker, the IceCaps ended their power-play drought (0-for-27)… St. John’s went 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off 4-of-6 shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Carl Klingberg 2. John Albert 3. Kael Mouillierat… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Andrew Gordon… Sunday’s game marked the 114th straight regular season sellout at Mile One Centre, as the IceCaps have sold out every home game in their three-year existence.
INJURY UPDATE: Eddie Pasquale
TRANSACTIONS: Apr. 12: Ben Chiarot (D), Carl Klingberg (LW), Eric O’Dell (C), Michael Hutchinson (G), Patrice Cormier (C) and Zach Redmond (D) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL).
With their victory against Hartford, the IceCaps’ have set a new franchise single-season record with 44 wins and have bested their current season-high for points (currently at 95), both originally set in the 2011-12 campaign.
The IceCaps presented their 2013-14 end-of-season awards prior to the team’s final home game against Hartford. Andrew Gordon took home MVP honours; Ben Chiarot was named Top Defenceman; Brenden Kichton was awarded Top Rookie; Jason Jaffray earned Statoil Community Man of the Year; and John Albert was selected as the Fans Choice winner as a result of a fan vote on the IceCaps’ Facebook page.
With his two-goal night against Hartford, John Albert now has ten goals in his last ten games – including three multi-goal outings – since being re-assigned by the Jets on Mar. 23.
Friday, April 18th (9:00 PM NT)
ICECAPS (44-23-2-5, 95 PTS | 4th, Eastern Conference) at SHARKS (35-33-4-2, 76 PTS | 11th, Eastern Conference)
WATCH: Rogers TV, AHL Live | LISTEN LIVE: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Sharks have squared off nine times this season with Worcester holding a slight edge, earning five victories.
The Sharks hold a 5-3-1-0 record against the IceCaps this season, but the IceCaps have won the last two games against Worcester and outscored the Sharks by a combined score of 8-2 in two games in Worcester on Feb. 21 and 22.
STJ: Jason Jaffray 7 PTS (2G, 5A) | Kyle MacKinnon 6 PTS (2G, 4A) | Michael Hutchinson (3-1-0, 1.76 GAA, .951 SV%)
WOR: Freddie Hamilton 6 PTS (3G, 3A) | Brodie Reid 5 PTS (2G, 3A) | Harri Sateri (3-2-0, 2.33 GAA, .912 SV%)
SHARKS RECENT ACTION: APR 12: NOR 3 WOR 0 | The Worcester Sharks were unable to beat Norfolk Admirals goaltender Brad Thiessen as he made 28 saves en route to a 3-0 victory at DCU Center on Saturday.
Antoine Laganiere scored the game-winning goal at the 12:33 mark of the opening frame before Andre Petersson added a pair of insurance markers in both the second and third periods.
Sharks’ starter Troy Grosenick was saddled with the loss, finishing the game with 26 saves.
SHARKS TRANSACTIONS: Apr. 14: Matt Tennyson (D) Recalled from loan by San Jose (NHL). Nick Jones (D) Released from ATO. Apr. 11: Matt Nieto (LW) Reassigned by San Jose (NHL) to Ontario (ECHL). Matt Nieto (LW) Returned on loan from San Jose (NHL).
Saturday, April 19th (8:30 PM NT)
ICECAPS (44-23-2-5, 95 PTS | 4th, Eastern Conference) at PIRATES (24-38-3-9, 60 PTS | Last Place, East)
LISTEN LIVE: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The Portland Pirates haven’t enjoyed playing the IceCaps this season.
The division rivals have squared off 11 times, with St. John’s coming away with nine victories.
Portland last defeated St. John’s on Mar. 14, a 7-4 win at Mile One Centre.
The IceCaps are undefeated in the five games played in Portland (Lewiston) this season.
STJ: Andrew Gordon 16 PTS (6G, 10A) | Jason Jaffray 15 PTS (3G, 11A) | Eddie Pasquale (4-1-0, 1.88 GAA, .943 SV%)
POR: Lucas Lessio 10 PTS (6G, 4A) | Tobias Rieder 8 PTS (5G, 3A) Mark Visentin (0-7-0, 5.80 GAA, .854 SV%)
RECENT ACTION: APR 13: NOR 3 POR 2 (SO) Jesse Blacker scored the only goal in the shootout as the Norfolk Admirals edged the Portland Pirates on Sunday afternoon.
Norfolk held a 2-1 lead late into the third period thanks to goals from Emerson Etem and Nic Kerdiles before Lucas Lessio scored with just four seconds remaining in regulation to force extra time.
Admirals’ starter Brad Thiessen earned the victory and finished with 32 saves, while Pirates’ starting goalie Chris Rawlings finished the night with 26 saves.
TRANSACTIONS: Apr. 14: Brandon Gormley (D) Returned on loan from Phoenix (NHL). Connor Murphy (D) Returned on loan from Phoenix (NHL). Tyler Gaudet (C) Reassigned by Phoenix (NHL) from Sault Ste. Marie (OHL).