PREVIEW: IceCaps host Penguins Posted by IceCaps on
PENGUINS (13-5-1-2, 29 PTS | 1st Place, East) at ICECAPS (11-9-1-2, 25 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 return to Mile One Centre after a successful six-game road trip to host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for a two-game set to kick off a four-game homestand.
The IceCaps won four of six on the road and picked up eight of a possible twelve points against several tough opponents, including the Penguins. The IceCaps and the Penguins met twice during the team’s road trip and split a pair of games on Nov. 22 and 23.
LAST GAME: The IceCaps ended their road trip on a positive note last Saturday night as they stole a 4-3 shootout victory over the Binghamton Senators at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The IceCaps didn’t hold a lead in regulation and were playing catch-up all game after Binghamton captain Mike Hoffman opened the scoring just 2:41 into the first period. Jerome Samson’s eighth goal of the year on the power play drew the IceCaps even with just over three minutes to play in the opening frame. Stephane Da Costa helped the Senators regain the lead with 6:18 remaining in the second period before the IceCaps’ Andrew Gordon replied to tie the game at two just over three minutes later. The back-and-forth tennis match continued into the third as Binghamton’s David Dziurzynski’s first marker of the year gave the Senators their third lead of the game with just over half a period remaining. The IceCaps were able to tie the game once again as Carl Klingberg beat Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond to knot the score 3-3 with just 28 seconds left on the clock. The teams skated to a scoreless overtime period, forcing the game into a shootout. Goals from Eric O’Dell and Jerome Samson were enough as the IceCaps skated away with the victory. IceCaps goaltender Jussi Olkinuora, playing in his second game of the road trip, made 36 saves to record his second professional victory.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Scratched for the IceCaps: Cody Lampl, Travis Ehrhardt, Austen Brassard, Josh Lunden, Will O’Neill, Blair Riley… St. John’s went 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Fredrick Claesson, 2. Mike Hoffman, 3. Jussi Olkinuora. Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Carl Klingberg.
INJURY UPDATE: Josh Lunden (undisclosed)
TRANSACTIONS: Dec. 1: John Albert (C) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL)
QUICK HITS: The month of November proved to be the strongest of the season thus far for the IceCaps, as they posted a 7-4-0-2 record for 16 points in 13 games. By comparison, the team opened the season with a 4-5-1-0 record with nine points in 10 games during the month of October… On Dec. 1, the Winnipeg Jets recalled centre John Albert. The next day, he played his first ever NHL game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. At the ten-minute mark of the second period, Jets’ defenseman Dustin Byfuglien sprung Albert with an outlet pass and he beat Rangers’ netminder Cam Talbot with a wrist shot to record his first NHL goal on his first shot… The IceCaps will play their next four games at home at Mile One after completing a six-game road trip. The IceCaps haven’t played at home since their 2-1 shootout loss to the Worcester Sharks on Nov. 16… After playing in just two games during the opening month of the season, IceCaps goaltender Jussi Olkinuora has now played three games in just over two weeks. Olkinuora failed to earn a victory in his first two starts in October but claimed his first victory as a pro on Nov. 24 with a 19-save performance as the IceCaps defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-3.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Penguins have met twice this season with both games occurring on the IceCaps’ recent six-game road trip. The IceCaps took round one of the two-game set with a 2-1 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Friday, Nov. 22. The Penguins jumped out to a first period lead on a goal by Harry Zolnierczyk but the IceCaps got strong goaltending down the stretch from Eddie Pasquale (31 saves) and goals from Travis Ehrhardt and Patrice Cormier to squeak out the win. Saturday night’s game was a different story. With the IceCaps clinging to a 1-0 lead thanks to a second period power play goal by Eric O’Dell, the Penguins exploded for five third-period goals en route to a 5-2 victory. Tom Kostopolous, Bobby Farnham, Andrew Ebbett, Zach Sill and Jayson Megna each scored singles for the Penguins in the third frame, while O’Dell added his second of the game in the closing frame.
STJ: Brenden Kichton 3 PTS (3A) | Eric O’Dell 2 PTS (2G) | Eddie Pasquale (1-1-0, 2.50 GAA, .900 SV%)
WBS: Tom Kostopolous 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | Brendan Mikkelson 2 PTS (2A) | Eric Hartzell (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .935 SV%)
PENGUINS RECENT ACTION: NOV 30: HER 3 WBS 2 | The Hershey Bears survived a late third-period rally to hold off the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins 3-2 in overtime at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Stanislav Galiev and Jeff Taffe paced the bears to a 2-0 lead heading into the final frame but third period goals from Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Mike Carman forced the game into overtime. David Kolomatis beat Penguins goaltender Jeff Deslauriers with seven seconds remaining in overtime to earn the victory.
TRANSACTIONS: Dec. 2: Anton Zlobin (LW) Reassigned by Pittsburgh (NHL) from Wheeling (ECHL). C.J. Severyn (C) Signed to PTO. Dustin Stevenson (D) Returned on loan to Wheeling (ECHL). Harrison Ruopp (D) Reassigned by Pittsburgh (NHL) from Wheeling (ECHL). Mike Carman (C) Released from PTO.
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!