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PREVIEW: IceCaps look for sweep over Sound Tigers Posted by IceCaps on

After setting a new club record with their seventh straight win last night, the St. John’s IceCaps look to stay perfect in the month of March when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday in the second of two games at Mile One.

Unbeaten since Feb. 16, the IceCaps improved to 2-0 in March and 19-6-0-1 since the beginning of the calendar year. Their current 7-0-0-1 streak is the longest active point streak in the AHL and tied with Grand Rapids for the longest winning streak. The eight-game point streak ties a franchise-high, set back in the team’s inaugural 2011-12 season.

St. John’s has taken both meetings with Bridgeport this season and looks to complete its second straight series sweep, after defeating the Binghamton Senators in back-to-back games last weekend.

LAST NIGHT: Blair Riley scored the game-winning goal and Julian Melchiori notched his first of the season, as the St. John’s IceCaps downed the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2 Friday night at Mile One Centre to set a franchise-record with seven consecutive victories. (RECAP | HIGHLIGHTS)

Jerome Samson also scored for St. John’s, which now has points in eight straight, tying a club record. Michael Hutchinson was strong between the pipes, stopping 22-of-24, while Jason Jaffray pitched in with two assists.

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Kris Fredheim, Josh Lunden, Austen Brassard, Eddie Pasquale, Ryan Schnell… The IceCaps outshot the Sound Tigers 24-4 in the opening period – a new record for shots in a period – and 39-24 overall… Kael Mouillierat’s point streak came to end at eight games… St. John’s went 1-for-9 on the power play and killed off all five shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Julian Melchiori 2. Kevin Poulin 3. Blair Riley… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Patrice Cormier.

TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 6: John Albert (C) recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL)

QUICK HITS: Down to just 18 regular season games left, the IceCaps sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, four points up on the Norfolk Admirals and eight points back of the Manchester Monarchs, who sit atop the standings. St. John’s has finished its season series with Manchester but has three games in-hand… The IceCaps boast some impressive situational records, including a 29-1-0-1 mark when leading after two periods and a 22-5-0-1 mark when scoring the game’s first goal… Three of Blair Riley’s six goals have come in the last six games and his game-winner Friday was his third of the season, tied for the third-highest total on the team… Brenden Kichton’s assist last night gave him 33 for the season, tying him with Jason Jaffray for the IceCaps single-season record, set last season… Jerome Samson is five shots shy of tying Ben Maxwell’s club record of 173, set in 2012-13… Kael Mouillierat needs six points to break Eric O’Dell’s single-season mark of 55, also set last season… Heading into Saturday’s game, the IceCaps have killed off 15 of their last 16 penalties.

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Sound Tigers do not know each other very well, having met just once in the past two seasons prior to this weekend’s series. 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 4 PTS (1G, 3A) | Eric O’Dell 3 PTS (2G, 1A) | Michael Hutchinson (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .917 SV%)
BRI: Johan Sundstrom 3 PTS (2G, 1A) | Scott Mayfield 2 PTS (2A) | Kevin Poulin (0-1-0, 3.03 GAA, 0.923 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).

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