Preview: IceCaps tangle with Bears Posted by IceCaps on
ICECAPS (9-8-1-2, 21 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic) AT BEARS (6-6-2-2, 16 PTS | 5th Place, East)
Puck Drop: 8:30 PM NT | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
The St. John’s IceCaps have posted two wins and one loss to kick off their current six-game road trip and hope to improve upon their road record as they stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania to face the Bears at the Giant Center.
LAST GAME: The IceCaps fell down 2-0 early in the contest against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers but a hot power play and strong goaltending from Jussi Olkinuora paced the IceCaps to a 4-3 victory on Sunday, Nov. 24 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bridgeport opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the contest on a shorthanded goal by Johan Sundstrom and pushed the lead to 2-0 just over two minutes into the second frame on a goal by Anders Lee. The IceCaps settled into the game and got three consecutive goals from Andrew Gordon, Jerome Samson and Kael Mouillierat to put them ahead by one. Calvin de Haan tied the game with just under 12 minutes to play but Eric O’Dell’s tenth goal of the season on the power play just over three minutes later proved to be the game-winner as the IceCaps held on for the victory. Jussi Olkinuora stopped 19 shots to record his first ever professional victory. Bridgeport’s Parker Milner stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced in recording the loss.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Scratched for the IceCaps: Josh Lunden, Zach Redmond, Will O’Neill, JC Lipon, Austen Brassard, Julian Melchiori… St. John’s went 3-for-8 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Jerome Samson 2. Kael Mouillierat 3. Anders Lee. Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Cody Lampl.
INJURY UPDATE: Josh Lunden (undisclosed)
TRANSACTIONS: Nov. 23: Julian Melchiori (D) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL). Nov. 22: Zach Redmond (D) Returned on loan from Winnipeg (NHL).
QUICK HITS: Thanks to a two-point night (1G, 1A) in his last game against the Sound Tigers, centre Eric O’Dell remains the team’s leading scorer with ten goals and ten assists for 20 points in 19 games, good for a share of 12th place in the American Hockey League scoring race. His ten goals are tied for eighth most in the league so far this season. Goaltender Eddie Pasquale has been a busy man this season and is tied for the league lead in goaltender games played with 16. St. John’s boasts one of the league’s top power plays, cashing in on 20.9% of power play opportunities, good for seventh place in the league. To date, the IceCaps have drawn 110 penalties, the most in the American Hockey League.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Bears have squared off twice so far this season, with each team coming away with a lopsided victory. On Oct. 18 in St. John’s, Ben Chiarot, Jason Jaffray, John Albert and Austen Brassard broke open a close game with goals in the third period as St. John’s rolled to a 5-1 victory. JC Lipon scored the other IceCaps goal, while Jeff Taffe replied for Hershey. On Oct. 19, Hershey turned the table on St. John’s as Dmitry Orlov put up four points to help the Bears to a 4-0 victory over the IceCaps. Bears’ goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout victory. The IceCaps and Bears faced off four times last season, with each team earning two regulation victories. The Bears won both contests at Mile One Centre on Dec. 11 and 12, 2012, while St. John’s took both victories in Hershey on Nov. 10, 2012 and Jan. 25, 2013.
STJ: Ben Chiarot 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | John Albert 1 PT (1G) | Eddie Pasquale (1-1-0, 2.50 GAA, .900 SV%)
HER: Dmitry Orlov 4 PTS (1G, 3A) | Jeff Taffe 2 PT (1G, 1A) | Philipp Grubauer (1-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%)
RECENT ACTION: NOV 24: BNG 5 HER 1 | The Binghamton Senators got goals from five different players and goaltender Andrew Hammond made 34 saves to defeat the Hershey Bears 5-1 at the Giant Centre in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Shane Prince, Stephane Da Costa, Mark Stone, Andre Petersson and Matt Puempel all managed to beat Bears’ goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who made just 19 saves in the loss. Patrick Wey replied with the lone goal for the Bears, who have won just four of their last ten games dating back to Nov. 1.
TRANSACTIONS: Nov. 24: Tyson Strachan (D) Returned on loan from Washington (NHL). Nov. 22: Dmitry Orlov (D) Returned on loan from Washington (NHL).