Preview: IceCaps in search of points in Worcester Posted by IceCaps on
Friday, Feb. 21 (9:00 PM NT) and Saturday Feb. 22 (8:30 PM NT)
ICECAPS (29-19-1-3, 62 PTS | 3rd Place, Atlantic) AT SHARKS (23-22-3-1, 50 PTS | 4th Place, Atlantic)
Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
The St. John’s IceCaps turned in one of their most memorable performances of the season in their last game against the Portland Pirates and hope to keep the ball rolling as they head to Worcester, MA for a two-game set against their division rivals, the Worcester Sharks, on Friday and Saturday.
The weekend pair will be the fourth and fifth games of a six-game road swing that has seen mixed results from the team. After losing a pair of close games in Providence and Manchester, the IceCaps broke records and their three-game winless streak in a 7-5 win over the Portland Pirates on Tuesday night.
LAST GAME: The Pirates and IceCaps combined for 12 goals, 78 shots and 96 penalty minutes at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee last Tuesday night and it was the IceCaps who came away with a 7-5 victory.
Andrew Gordon notched a pair of goals and a pair of assists and John Albert added three points and two goals of his own as the IceCaps exploded for six second period tallies en route to victory.
The teams skated to a 1-1 draw after the opening frame with Portland’s Rostislav Klesla and the IceCaps’ Kyle Mackinnon trading goals.
Gordon and Brenden Kichton scored in the first 1:23 of the second period to surge the IceCaps to a quick 3-1 lead, before Portland’s Andy Miele kept the game respectable with his 20th of the season just over a minute later.
Eric O’Dell’s first goal since returning from Winnipeg restored the IceCaps’ two-goal lead just over eight minutes into the period and Gordon’s second of the night at 13:17 gave the IceCaps a commanding 5-2 lead.
The Pirates fought back quickly as Lucas Lessio responded with a goal just 20 seconds later to make it a 5-3 game.
Albert took control for the rest of the second period as he notched a pair of goals, including a shorthanded marker, just 2:38 apart to end what would be a wild second period.
Portland’s Lessio and Brett Hextall responded with goals in the third period but couldn’t get any closer as the IceCaps held on for the win.
Michael Hutchinson allowed five goals on 29 shots and earned the victory for St. John’s, while Portland starter Marc Visentin was pulled from the game early in the third period after allowing seven goals on 37 shots. Louis Domingue finished the game between the pipes for the Pirates and made 12 saves in 18:21 minutes of ice time.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Patrice Cormier, Josh Lunden, Austen Brassard, Eddie Pasquale, Kris Fredheim, Ryan Schnell… John Albert’s shorthanded goal was his league-leading fourth of the season and third in the last five games… St. John’s tied a franchise best with 23 shots in the second period… Blair Riley’s 22 penalty minutes were the most by an IceCap in one game this season… St. John’s went 1-for-7 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. John Albert 2. Andrew Gordon 3. Lucas Lessio… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: JC Lipon.
TRANSACTIONS: Feb. 14: Tyler Beskorowany (G) Signed to PTO.
QUICK HITS: The St. John’s IceCaps set a pair of franchise records during their 7-5 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night. The club set new highs for most goals in a period (6) and most shots in a game (49)… Brenden Kichton’s power play goal in the second snapped a lengthy 0-for-19 drought with the man advantage. The IceCaps had gone four straight games without a power play goal… Eric O’Dell extended his point streak to seven games, the longest by an IceCaps player this season… Even after going winless in three before their win against Portland, the IceCaps have played well lately and are 6-3-1 in their last ten games… The Sharks haven’t won in the three games since their 4-2 victory over the IceCaps on Feb. 9. They have been outscored 17-2 in those three contests.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Sharks have met seven times thus far this season with Worcester leading the season series with five wins against one overtime loss and one shootout loss.
The teams last faced each other in St. John’s on Feb. 8 and 9, where they split the weekend series. St. John’s won 5-2 on Feb. 8 before Worcester responded with a 4-2 victory on Feb. 9.
STJ: Jason Jaffray 6 PTS (1G, 5A) | Jerome Samson 5 PTS (5G) | Eddie Pasquale (1-1-0, 1.95 GAA, .923 SV%)
WOR: Freddie Hamilton 5 PTS (2G, 3A) | Brodie Reid 5 PTS (2G, 3A) | Harri Sateri (3-1-0, 2.22 GAA, 0.922 SV%)
RECENT ACTION: FEB 16: SPR 4 WCR 1 | The Worcester Sharks, coming off a 8-0 beating at the hands of the Binghamton Senators in their last game, continued to struggle as they dropped a 4-1 contest to the Springfield Falcons at MassMutual Center on Sunday night.
Michael Chaput scored an early pair of goals to pace the Falcons to a 2-0 lead by the 5:47 mark of the second period before the Sharks’ Daniil Tarasov cut the lead to one just over two minutes later.
Jonathan Marchessault scored an insurance goal with just over five minutes left in the third period and Chaput completed the hat trick into the empty net to seal the win.
Springfield starter Mike McKenna made 29 saves for the win, while the Sharks’ Troy Grosenick made 29 saves and settled for the loss.
TRANSACTIONS: Feb. 12: Tyler Gron (C) Returned on loan to Ontario (ECHL)