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Preview: IceCaps host Monarchs for three Posted by IceCaps on

IceCaps vs Manchester G2 web (29 of 39)

MONARCHS (25-10-2-4, 56 PTS | 1st Place, Atlantic) at ICECAPS (19-15-1-2, 41 PTS | 3rd Place, Atlantic)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM NT | Watch: Rogers TV, AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

The St. John’s IceCaps, coming off a weekend split against the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies, will be in tough again this weekend as they prepare for a three-game set against their Atlantic Division rivals, the Manchester Monarchs.

The two teams will face off on Friday, Saturday and Monday at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. The Monarchs, despite boasting the American Hockey League’s third best winning percentage (0.683), hold a losing record against the IceCaps thus far this season. In five games contested between the teams in 2013-14, the IceCaps have handed the Monarchs three of their ten regulation losses, with Manchester winning the other two matchups.

The Monarchs have struggled of late, claiming just four victories in their last ten games. The IceCaps have fared slightly better over their last ten contests, winning five and losing five.

LAST GAME: The IceCaps emerged victorious in a fight-filled affair last Saturday night as they topped the Toronto Marlies 5-4 in a shootout at Mile One Centre.

Toronto struck first early in the opening frame, as Marlies forward Wade MacLeod beat Eddie Pasquale just 23 seconds into the game.

The IceCaps responded in a big way before the period ended as Adam Lowry notched a pair of goals to give the IceCaps the lead heading into the first intermission.

Patrice Cormier pushed the lead to 3-1 early in the second frame before the Marlies started to claw back. Peter Holland’s first goal of the night 3:06 into the third period cut the deficit to 3-2.

Carl Klingberg restored the two-goal lead mid way through the final period before Holland and T.J. Brennan scored less than two minutes apart to force the game into extra time.

Neither team scored in overtime, resulting in a shootout. Jerome Samson, Kael Mouillierat and JC Lipon found the back of the net in the shootout, while only Spencer Abbott replied for the Marlies, giving St. John’s the victory.

Pasquale made 35 saves to earn the victory. Marlies’ starter Drew MacIntyre kicked out 22 shots in a losing effort.

ICECAPS NOTES

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Scratched for the IceCaps: Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori… Shots in the game were 39-27 for the Marlies…  St. John’s went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill… Four fights took place in the first period…Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Adam Lowry, 2. Peter Holland, 3. Kael Mouillierat… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: JC Lipon

INJURIES: Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori, Ryan Schnell

TRANSACTIONS: Jan. 16: Carl Klingberg recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL). Jan. 12:  Jussi Olkinuora (G) Reassigned by Winnipeg (NHL) to Ontario (ECHL). Michael Hutchinson (G) Reassigned by Winnipeg (NHL) from Ontario (ECHL). Jan. 10: Zach Redmond (D) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL).

QUICK HITS: While Eric O’Dell may have fallen out of the AHL scoring race since his call-up to the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 26, he has been making a great impression on his new teammates, scoring his first NHL goal on Jan. 11 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He added his second career goal and first game-winning goal in his very next game on Jan. 13 against the Phoenix Coyotes. To date, O’Dell has played in eight games for the Jets and has recorded two goals, five shots-on-goal and is a +2… In O’Dell’s absence, two of his teammates have surged ahead to share the team scoring lead. Both Brenden Kichton and Kael Mouillierat now have 30 points this season, one ahead of O’Dell…  With his goal against the Marlies on Jan. 11, Patrice Cormier snapped his season-long 15-game goalless streak. He had not scored since Nov. 27… Both Kichton (1G, 6A) and JC Lipon (1G, 5A) enter play Friday with five-game point streaks… Andrew Gordon (2G, 3A) and Kael Mouillierat (2G, 3A) are riding four-game point streaks… Adam Lowry (4G, 4A) has eight points in his last eight games… Monarchs F Zach O’Brien, a native of St. John’s, makes his second pro appearance at Mile One in a regular season game. O’Brien, who was signed to an amateur tryout contract at the end of the 2011-12 season, played one game for St. John’s. The rookie spent training camp with the IceCaps this season before signing with Ontario (ECHL) and eventually being inked to a professional tryout contract with Manchester on Nov. 15. In 14 games, O’Brien has four goals and eight points.

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Monarchs have become familiar foes this season as the teams have already met five times.

Neither team has won consecutive games against each other this season. The IceCaps won the first game of the season series 3-1 in Manchester on Oct. 25 before the Monarchs responded with a 5-3 win the following night.

St. John’s defeated Manchester 5-2 at Mile One Centre on Nov. 8 but dropped the next game 3-2 on Nov. 9.

The IceCaps hold a 3-2 season lead over the Monarchs thanks to their 3-1 victory in Manchester on Dec. 28.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ x Eric O’Dell 7 PTS (1G, 6A) | Kael Mouillierat 6 PTS (3G, 3A) |Eddie Pasquale (3-1-0, 2.00 GAA, 0.937 SV%)
MCR: Jordan Weal 5 PTS (0G, 5A) | Tyler Toffoli 4 PTS (2G, 2A) | Jean-Francois Berube (0-1-0, 3.03 GAA, 0.880 SV%)

MONARCHS RECENT ACTION: JAN 12: MCH 2 PRO 1 | The Providence Bruins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead but couldn’t find the back of the net again as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the Bruins 2-1 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Jan. 12.

Zach Trotman opened the scoring for Providence in the first period but Vincent LoVerde’s first goal of the season just 2:44 into the second period and Zach O’Brien’s fourth of the season 5:33 into the final frame was enough to earn the victory.

Manchester’s Martin Jones stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced to earn the win. The Bruins’ Niklas Svedberg took the loss, finishing the night with 19 saves.

TRANSACTIONS:

Jan. 16: Linden Vey (C) Recalled from loan by Los Angeles (NHL). Mathias Niederberger (G) Recalled from loan to Ontario (ECHL).  Jan. 15: Martin Jones (G) Recalled from loan by Los Angeles (NHL). Jan. 14: Tyler Toffoli (RW) Returned on loan from Los Angeles (NHL).

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 watch 29 home games live on Rogers TV in Newfoundland and listen on the radio at 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. And, watch all the games streaming live online at www.ahllive.com!

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