PREVIEW: IceCaps host Sound Tigers, aim for seventh straight win Posted by IceCaps on
Friday, March 7 and Saturday March 8
SOUND TIGERS (26-26-1-4, 57 PTS | 3rd Place, Northeast) at ICECAPS (34-19-1-3, 72 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic)
Puck Drop: 7:30 PM NT | Watch: Rogers TV, AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
The St. John’s IceCaps pushed their win streak to six games with their victory over the Binghamton Senators and are looking to make it seven in a row when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for a two-game set starting Friday night at Mile One Centre.
The IceCaps haven’t lost since Feb. 16 and would set a franchise record for most consecutive wins with a win on Friday night. The IceCaps last won six games in a row just over one month ago, when they rattled off a string of victories from Jan. 20 to Feb. 1 and outscored their opponents 26-12 in the process.
The IceCaps’ current streak has been equally strong, as they have outscored the opposition 28-14 in the six victories.
LAST GAME: Goaltender Michael Hutchinson stole the show last Saturday night and finished the game with a 42-save shutout as the IceCaps blanked the Senators 1-0 at Mile One Centre in St. John’s.
Eric O’Dell’s 15th goal of the season, a power play tally at the 11:41 mark of the first period, was the only goal of the game as both teams had hot goaltenders between the pipes.
Binghamton’s Andrew Hammond stood tall and allowed one goal on 25 shots in a losing effort.
The night belonged to Hutchinson, who recorded his second shutout of the season in just his 17th start.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Kris Fredheim, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Austen Brassard, Eddie Pasquale… Michael Hutchinson stopped all 17 shots he faced in the opening period… Hutchinson has won 12 of his 18 appearances this season… Kael Mouillierat extended his point streak to eight games, tying a team high this season… Kyle MacKinnon saw his five-game point streak come to an end… John Albert’s three-game goal streak was snapped… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Michael Hutchinson 2. Eric O’Dell 3. Stephane Da Costa… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Julian Melchiori.
INJURY UPDATE: Kris Fredheim, Ryan Schnell, Eddie Pasquale
TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 6: John Albert (C) recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL)
QUICK HITS: With just 19 games remaining in the 2013-14 AHL season, the IceCaps’ playoff hopes remain very strong. The team’s recent hot streak, the longest current winning streak in the AHL at six games, puts them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and just eight points behind the first place Manchester Monarchs, who have played three more games than the IceCaps… Though the weather may have been cold in St. John’s throughout the month of February, the IceCaps remained red hot, posting an 8-4 record in 12 games. Since the beginning of 2014, the IceCaps have been one of the hottest teams in the AHL, winning 18 of 25 games… Eric O’Dell seems to have found his scoring touch. With a goal in the team’s last game, he now has goals in back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 24 and has failed to score a point in just one of his last nine games since returning from a stint in Winnipeg on Feb. 9… With a win, overtime loss or shootout loss Friday, the IceCaps would tie the franchise record with points in eight straight games, set from Oct. 29 to Nov. 13, 2011.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Sound Tigers do not know each other very well, having met just once in the past two seasons. The teams last met earlier this season on Nov. 24 in Bridgeport where the IceCaps squeaked out a 4-3 victory at Webster Bank Arena.
St. John’s owns a 4-0-1-0 lifetime record against Bridgeport, including a 1-0-1-0 mark at Mile One.
STJ: Jerome Samson 3 PTS (3A) | Eric O’Dell 3 PTS (2G, 1A) | (x) Jussi Olkinuora (1-0-0, 3.02 GAA, .864 SV%)
BRI: Johan Sundstrom 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | Marc Cantin 1 PTS (1A) | (x) Parker Milner (0-1-0, 4.15 GAA, 0.862 SV%)
SOUND TIGERS RECENT ACTION: MAR 2: UTI 2 BRI 1 | Utica Comets’ goaltender Joacim Eriksson earned first-star honours with a 29-save performance as the Comets topped the Sound Tigers 2-1 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Sunday night. Utica struck early as Nicklas Jensen scored his 15th goal of the season just 17 seconds into the game. Bridgeport’s Alan Quine managed to tie the game four minutes into the second frame but Utica surged ahead for good on Benn Ferriero’s 19th of the year just 2:42 into the final period. Kevin Poulin got the start between the pipes for Bridgeport and made 27 saves.
SOUND TIGERS TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 5: Matt Donovan (D) Recalled from loan by NY Islanders (NHL). Mike Halmo Recalled from loan by NY Islanders (NHL). Mar. 4: Matt Mangene (C) Loaned from NY Islanders (NHL). Mar. 3: Justin Johnson (RW) Released from SPC. Mar. 2: Mike Halmo (LW) Returned on loan from NY Islanders (NHL). Mar. 1: Anders Nilsson (G) Recalled from loan by NY Islanders (NHL). Mar. 1: Kevin Poulin (G) Loaned from NY Islanders (NHL).