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Preview: IceCaps renew hostilities with Marlies Posted by IceCaps on

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MARLIES (19-11-2-1, 41 PTS | 1st Place, North) at ICECAPS (18-14-1-2, 39 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 two wins in three games against the Portland Pirates, will look to continue their strong play at Mile One Centre as they prepare to face the North Division leaders, the Toronto Marlies for a two-game set Friday and Saturday.

The IceCaps are coming off a 4-2 victory against the Pirates on Tuesday night and will look to start a new home winning streak after seeing their three-game streak end with Monday’s 5-4 loss to Portland.

The IceCaps boast a strong 9-4-1-2 record inside the confines of Mile One Centre, a winning percentage of 0.656, good enough to place them in the top half of the league.

The Marlies are no slouches on the road and have nine wins in 18 attempts so far this season away from Ricoh Coliseum.

LAST GAME: Carl Klingberg scored a pair of goals and goaltender Eddie Pasquale survived a late Portland Pirates surge as St. John’s skated to a 4-2 victory over the Pirates on Tuesday night.

Portland’s Lucas Lessio and St. John’s’ Ben Chiarot traded first period goals before Klingberg’s first near the halfway point of the second period gave St. John’s its first lead of the hockey game.

Andrew Gordon padded the lead for St. John’s early in the third period — the eventual game-winner — before Portland’s Tobias Rieder closed the deficit to one with just over 12 minutes remaining.

Klingberg’s second of the game into the empty net sealed the deal for the IceCaps.

Pasquale finished the game with 28 saves between the pipes for the victory, while his Pirates counterpart Louis Domingue made 31 saves in recording the loss.

ICECAPS NOTES

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Scratched for the IceCaps: Jordan Hill, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden… Shots in the game were 35-30 for the IceCaps… Both St. John’s and Portland went 0-for-3 on the power play … Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. John Albert, 2. Andrew Gordon, 3. Lucas Lessio… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Zach Redmond.

INJURY UPDATE: Josh Lunden

TRANSACTIONS: None

QUICK HITS: The American Hockey League named Jason Jaffray captain for the AHL All-Stars Thursday afternoon. Jaffray, a two-time All-Star prior to this season (2007, 2010), will lead the AHL when they take on Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League in the AHL All-Star Classic presented by Assante Wealth Management on Feb. 11 & 12 at Mile One. The AHL also announced their full roster for the event, which includes 18 skaters and two goaltenders… Current leading scorer Eric O’Dell was the AHL’s leading scorer for the 2013 calendar year, notching 75 points (36 goals, 39 assists) in 70 games played over the last 12 months. St. John’s has been without the services of O’Dell since his callup to the Winnipeg Jets. O’Dell’s last game with the IceCaps was against the Marlies on Dec. 15. In the six games since his departure, the IceCaps have failed to win consecutive games, going 3-3-0-0 over than span… Starting goaltender Eddie Pasquale continues to hang around the leaderboard among the league’s top netminders. He ranks first in games played (26), minutes played (1543:56), seventh in save percentage (0.923) and eighth in wins (14) and goals-against-average (2.25). Remarkably, Pasquale has not lost consecutive starts this season… Brenden Kichton also remains near the top in many offensive categories both for rookies and defencemen, sitting third in defencemen scoring and fourth in rookie scoring with 27 points (7G, 20A). His 13 power play points are good for a tie for second amongst first-year players… JC Lipon’s seven fighting majors are the second-most by a rookie in the AHL (Hartford’s Michael Kantor leads with 10). The IceCaps’ record for most fighting majors in a season is 10, set by Garth Murray in 2011-12. Ryan Schnell currently leads the club with eight. As a team, the IceCaps have 40 fighting majors, which puts them on pace to shatter their mark of 71 from last season.

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The Marlies and the IceCaps have faced off twice so far this season, with Toronto taking a pair of victories at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. The teams faced off in the IceCaps’ fourth game of the season and dropped a 6-3 decision on Oct. 12. T.J. Brennan led the way with a hat trick plus an assist, while John Michael Liles and Trevor Smith each had multi-point games for the Marlies. Andrew Gordon, Will O’Neill and Jerome Samson replied for St. John’s.

While the game on Dec. 15 was a little closer, the Marlies still managed to top the IceCaps on the back of a 31-save performance from Drew MacIntyre.

Brad Ross, Carter Ashton and David Broll scored the goals for the Marlies while Brenden Kichton and Andrew Gordon replied for the IceCaps.

Michael Hutchinson made his first American Hockey League start of the season against the Marlies and finished with 17 saves.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ Andrew Gordon 3 PTS (2G, 1A) | Brenden Kichton 3 PTS (1G, 2A) |Jussi Olkinuora (0-1-0, 6.03 GAA, .818 SV%)
TOR: T.J. Brennan 5 PTS (3G, 2A) | Spencer Abbott 2 PTS (2A) | Drew MacIntyre (2-0-0, 2.50 GAA, .912 SV%)

MARLIES RECENT ACTION: JAN 4: TOR 5 UTI 2 | Josh Leivo netted a hat trick and goaltender Garret Sparks made 25 saves as the Marlies rolled over the Utica Comets 5-2 from Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on Saturday night.

Utica’s Alexandre Grenier opened the scoring in the first period but the Marlies responded with four consecutive goals, including a pair from Leivo and singles from Korbinian Holzer and Spencer Abbott. The Comets’ Kellan Lain stopped the bleeding at 12:05 of the final frame. Leivo completed the hat trick with an empty net goal with 19 seconds remaining in the game.

Utica’s starting goaltender, Joacim Eriksson, finished the game with 25 saves in a losing effort.

MARLIES’ TRANSACTIONS: Dec. 9: Christopher Gibson (G) Reassigned by Toronto (NHL) to Orlando (ECHL). Mike Duco (LW) Recalled from loan to Orlando (ECHL). Jan. 8: Carter Ashton (RW) Recalled from loan by Toronto (NHL). Peter Holland (C)    Loaned from Toronto (NHL). Jan. 6: Mike Duco (LW) Returned on loan to Orlando (ECHL).

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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