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PREVIEW: Playoff drive continues with trio of games Posted by IceCaps on

Friday, March 21
ICECAPS (38-20-1-3, 80 PTS | 4th, Eastern Conference) at WOLF PACK (27-29-1-6, 61 PTS | 11th, Eastern Conference)
Puck Drop: 8:30 PM NST | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

The St. John’s IceCaps are playing some of their best hockey of the season of late having won ten of their last eleven games and will need to keep the ball rolling as they prepare for a busy road stretch that sees the team play three games in three days, all against different Northeast Division opponents.

The IceCaps are coming off a successful seven-game homestand that saw the team come away with six of a possible seven victories. The lone loss came against the Portland Pirates on Friday March 14. In spite of the loss, the IceCaps emerged from their homestand having outscored their opponents 25-16 dating back to Feb. 28.

St. John’s kicks off its road trip with a game against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday night before heading to Bridgeport to face the Sound Tigers on Saturday night. The IceCaps will be in tough on Sunday afternoon as they end their three-in-three in Springfleid against the Falcons, who currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST GAME: Goaltender Tyler Beskorowany earned his first victory in front of the Mile One faithful on Saturday night as the St. John’s IceCaps completed the third period comeback to earn a 3-2 victory over the Portland Pirates.

Andrew Gordon opened the scoring with his 21st of the season in the first period before the Pirates roared back with goals from Brandon Yip and Jordan Szwarz in the second period to take a one goal lead into the third.

Carl Klingberg pounced on a juicy rebound allowed by Pirates’ starter Mark Visentin just 4:58 into the third period to tie the game.

Josh Lunden, who missed the majority of the season due to injury, picked the right time to notch his first goal of the season. His tally with just under seven minutes remaining proved to be the game winner as the IceCaps were able to hold on for the victory.

Beskorowany was solid and finished the game with 29 saves, while Visentin was saddled with the loss.

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Kris Fredheim, Kael Mouillierat, Patrice Cormier, Cody Lampl, Eddie PasqualeMichael Hutchinson was recalled to the Winnipeg Jets prior to Saturday night’s game… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Kyle MacKinnon 2. Jordan Szwarz 3. Josh Lunden… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Jordan Hill.

ICECAPS NOTES

INJURIES: Eddie Pasquale, Kael Mouillierat, Kris Fredheim

TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 18: Colton Beck (LW) Signed to ATO. Mar. 16: Jussi Olkinuora (G) St. John’s Reassigned by Winnipeg (NHL) from Ontario (ECHL). Mar. 15:  Michael Hutchinson (G) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL). Patrice Cormier (C) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL). Ryan Mior (G) Signed to One-Day PTO. Mar. 13: Jamie MacQueen (LW) Signed to PTO.

QUICK HITS: With his assist against Portland on Saturday night, IceCaps’ captain Jason Jaffray has pushed his point streak to five games. He has amassed eight points (1G, 7A) during the streak… Jaffray isn’t the only IceCaps veteran on a hot streak as Andrew Gordon has also recorded points in four consecutive games… With his assist on Josh Lunden’s game-winning goal on Saturday night, goaltender Tyler Beskorowany has become just the second goalie to record a point this season. Eddie Pasquale recorded a single assist in 31 games , while Beskorowany accomplished the feat in just his second game of the season. Pasquale holds the team record for assists recorded by a goaltender in a single season, with two assists last season… St. John’s saw its franchise record nine-game winning streak snapped on Friday as the IceCaps fell 7-4 to the Portland Pirates, matching the longest winning streak in the American Hockey League this season. The streak started on Feb. 18 and during their run, the IceCaps outscored their opponents 39-19.

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Wolf Pack have squared off just once this season with St. John’s taking the two points in a 6-2 victory in Hartford on Jan. 25.

Kael Mouillierat notched a hat trick and added an assist and captain Jason Jaffray chipped in with a goal and two assists to lead the offensive charge for the IceCaps.

Adam Lowry and Jerome Samson rounded out the scoring for St. John’s while Jesper Fast scored both Wolf Pack goals.

St. John’s holds a lifetime 5-0 record in Hartford.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ: Kael Mouillierat 4 PTS (3G, 1A) | Jason Jaffray 3 PTS (1G, 2A) | Michael Hutchinson (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .923 SV%)
HAR: Jesper Fast 2 PTS (2G) | Oscar Lindberg 2 PTS (2A) | David Leneveu (0-1-0, 6.01 GAA, 0.778 SV%)

WOLF PACK RECENT ACTION: MAR 19: HAR 4 BRI 1 | The IceCaps’ next two opponents faced off against each other on Wednesday night and the Hartford Wolf Pack came out on top, defeating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-1.

Bridgeport’s Aaron Root may have opened the scoring but Hartford would have the last laugh as they scored four consecutive goals in the second and third periods en route to their first victory in their last three games. Michael Haley tied the game near the middle of the second period before Danny Kristo gave the WolfPack the lead 2:11 into the third . Dylan McIlraith added the insurance goal before Oscar Lindberg added an empty netter to secure the win. Dov Grumet-Morris made 29 saves for Hartford, while Kevin Poulin made just 20 saves in a losing effort.

WOLF PACK TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 18: Josh Nicholls (RW) Reassigned by New York (NYR) (NHL) to Greenville (ECHL). Nick Latta (C) Signed to ATO. Mar. 15: Josh Nicholls (RW) Reassigned by N.Y. Rangers (NHL) from Greenville (ECHL).

 

Saturday March 22
ICECAPS (38-20-1-3, 80 PTS | 4th, Eastern Conference) at SOUND TIGERS (27-30-2-4, 60 PTS | 12th, Eastern Conference)
Puck Drop: 8:30 PM NST | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps have found success against the Sound Tigers this season, having won all three matchups by a single goal. St. John’s won in Bridgeport 4-3 on Nov. 24 before heading to St. John’s for a pair of 3-2 victories on Mar. 7 and Mar. 8 (OT).

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ: (x) Eric O’Dell 4 PTS (3G, 1A) | Jerome Samson 4 PTS (1G, 3A) | (x) Michael Hutchinson (2-0-0, 1.93 GAA, .902 SV%)
BRI: (x) Johan Sundstrom 3 PTS (2G, 1A) | Scooter Vaughan 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | Kevin Poulin (0-2-0, 2.90 GAA, .921 SV%)

TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 18:  Jesse Root (C) Signed to ATO. Matthew Pistilli (RW) Released from PTO. Mar. 17: Adam Brace (RW) Recalled from loan to Stockton (ECHL). Riley Wetmore (C) Recalled from loan to Stockton (ECHL). Mar. 16: Alan Quine (LW) Reassigned by NY Islanders (NHL) to Stockton (ECHL). Joe Diamond (RW) Reassigned by NY Islanders (NHL) to Stockton (ECHL). Mar. 15:  Justin Mercier (LW) Released from PTO. Kevin Moore (G) Released from PTO.

 

Sunday March 23
ICECAPS (38-20-1-3, 80 PTS | 4th, Eastern Conference) at FALCONS (38-18-1-5, 82 PTS | 2nd, Eastern Conference)
Puck Drop: 4:30 PM EDT | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps and Falcons have met just once this season. On New Years Eve, the IceCaps’ Kael Mouillierat and Kyle MacKinnon paced the IceCaps to a 2-1 lead early in the second period but ultimately fell to the Falcons 3-2.

Jonathan Marchessault scored with two seconds left in the second period to tie the game and Jean-Francois Jacques scored 1:18 into the third to steal the IceCaps’ momentum. Andrew Joudrey added a late goal to keep the game out of reach.

Falcons’ starter Jeremy Smith made 31 saves for the victory, while Eddie Pasquale kicked out 29 pucks and took the loss.

Springfield owns a 7-1-1-0 lifetime record against the IceCaps.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ: Kael Mouillierat 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | Kyle Mackinnon 1 PTS (1G) | Eddie Pasquale (0-1-0, 4.19 GAA, .879 SV%)
SPR: Darryl Boyce 2 PTS (2A) | Jake Hansen 2 PTS (2A) | Jeremy Smith (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .939 SV%)

RECENT ACTION: MAR 15: SPR 4 PRO 2 | The Providence Bruins peppered the Springfield Falcons’ net for three periods but it was the resilient Falcons who were able to weather the storm to defeat the Bruins 4-2 at MassMutual Center in Springfield.

Springfield’s Michael Chaput and Providence’s Seth Griffith traded first period goals before the Falcons were able to surge ahead on a pair of goals from Sean Collins and Dana Tyrell.

The Bruins’ Ryan Spooner replied with a shorthanded goal just over seven minutes into the third period but the Falcons’ Ryan Craig sealed the victory with a dagger with just over five minutes remaining.

Springfield starter Mike McKenna kicked out a busy 31 shots to earn the victory while Malcolm Subban stopped 13 of the 17 shots he faced.

TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 20:  Anton Forsberg (G) Reassigned by Columbus (NHL) from Modo Hockey Ornskoldsvik (SHL). Mar. 17:  Mike Clemente (G) Returned on loan to Evansville (ECHL). Mar. 13:  Cody Goloubef (D) Returned on loan from Columbus (NHL).

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