Preview: IceCaps vs. Bruins
By Chris Doyle
The St. John’s IceCaps continue their recent string of divisional play when they host the Providence Bruins Tuesday and Wednesday night at Mile One Centre.
After a draining, physical series against the Worcester Sharks this past weekend in which they split the two games, the IceCaps will attempt to better their home record against the last place team in the Atlantic Division. The IceCaps sport a 17-2-2-1 mark on the road but are just 11-10-3-0 on home ice.
Friday, St. John’s received goals from blueliners Arturs Kulda and Paul Postma, as well as the eventual game-winner from feisty winger Kevin Clark in a 3-2 win. Eddie Pasquale recorded his third straight victory, making 24 saves in the process. Saturday’s game included six fights and a combined 112 minutes in penalties, and the Sharks scored two goals 18 seconds apart in the third period en route to a 4-2 triumph and a series split.
Several IceCaps forwards left this weekend’s action worse for wear. John Albert left Friday’s game and did not return, and did not dress for Saturday’s tilt. As well, Jason Gregoire was hit hard Saturday and left the game in obvious pain. Their status is uncertain heading into the series with Providence.
As a result, the IceCaps made a pair of roster moves Monday, recalling winger Michael Forney from Colorado of the ECHL and signing winger Josh Lunden to a professional tryout contract. Forney, a native of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, has played in 44 games for Colorado, recording 37 points (13g, 24a) and 47 minutes in penalties. Lunden, who hails from Coquitlam, BC, has spent the majority of this season playing for the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, collecting 31 points (13g, 18a) and 44 penalty minutes in 30 games. The 25-year-old has also played one game for the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL.
St. John’s has won five of its last six games overall and sits six points up on Manchester for first in the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins, meanwhile, have been red hot recently, recording points in their last seven games and winning their last four. Providence defeated the Springfield Falcons 4-1 Friday and followed that up with a 3-2 win in Adirondack against the Phantoms Saturday. Goaltender Anton Khudobin has won his last five starts and winger Carter Camper has notched seven points in his last five games.
The Bruins’ recent surge has moved them into a tie with Portland for fourth place in the Atlantic Division after spending much of the season occupying the basement.
St. John’s is 1-0-1-0 in two meetings with Providence so far this season. St John`s won 4-1 in the season opener back on October 7 for its first victory in team history. Paul Postma`s second period goal stood as the game-winner, while David Aebischer made 21 stops in the win. On October 30, the IceCaps fired 43 shots at Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin but were unable to come away with the two points as the home team won in overtime 4-3.
Catch all the action with IceCaps play-by-play broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com or on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Pregame show begins at 7:00 p.m. with the drop of the puck set for 7:30 (all times Newfoundland).