PREVIEW: IceCaps set sights on 10th straight win Posted by IceCaps on
Puck Drop: 7:30 PM NT | Watch: Rogers TV, AHL Live | Listen Live: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM
Looking to make it 10 wins in a row, the St. John’s IceCaps face off against the Portland Pirates Friday night in the second of three games this week at Mile One Centre.
The IceCaps tied an AHL season-high with their ninth straight win Wednesday, bouncing the Pirates 5-1 on the strength of four second period goals. JC Lipon scored twice and Michael Hutchinson stopped 27 shots to give the IceCaps points in their last 10 overall.
With 16 games to play, St. John’s sits fourth in the Eastern Conference, 11 points clear of ninth place Hershey (67 points) and six points up on its nearest competitor, the fifth place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
St. John’s will wear white and green St. Patrick’s Day jerseys for both games this weekend.
LAST GAME: Buoyed by a four-goal second-period outburst, including two from JC Lipon, the IceCaps pounded the Pirates 5-1 Wednesday night at Mile One Centre to extend their win streak to nine. Andrew Gordon, Jerome Samson, and Jason Jaffray each scored one and added an assist for the IceCaps, who also extend their consecutive points streak to 10 games with the win. Adam Lowry had a pair of assists. Michael Hutchinson was strong between the pipes for St. John’s, meanwhile, stopping 27-of-28 for his 15th win.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Kris Fredheim, Kael Mouillierat, Ryan Schnell, Eddie Pasquale… Jason Jaffray is on a hot streak, picking up two points in each of his last three games… The IceCaps capitalized on 2-of-5 power plays, while killing off all five of Portland’s man-advantage opportunities… St. John’s outshot Portland 37-28… Eric O’Dell was recalled to the Winnipeg Jets prior to Wednesday night’s game… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. JC Lipon 2. Adam Lowry 3. Andrew Gordon… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Jason Jaffray.
INJURY UPDATE: Kris Fredheim, Eddie Pasquale, Kael Mouillierat
TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 14: Jamie MacQueen (LW) signed to a PTO. Mar. 12: Eric O’Dell (C) recalled from loan by Winnipeg. Mar. 6: John Albert (C) recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL)
QUICK HITS: Michael Hutchinson ranks first among qualifying goaltenders in SV% (.929) and fourth in GAA (2.14)… The IceCaps .650 points percentage is tied for fourth best in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons… Ben Chiarot’s +23 rating is good for fourth in the AHL… Jason Jaffray has gone scoreless just twice in his last nine games, recording 11 points (2G, 9A)… Including Wednesday’s win, the IceCaps are 22-10-1-3 versus the Atlantic Division this season, compared to just 10-11-1-2 last season… Jerome Samson’s two shots Wednesday moved him past Ben Maxwell for the club record for shots on goal in a season with 174… In addition to being the first two IceCaps to hit the 20-goal plateau, Samson and Andrew Gordon are tied for the club lead in power play goals with nine apiece.
PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: To say that the IceCaps and Pirates are familiar foes is an understatement. The teams have already faced off eight times this season prior to the current series, with the IceCaps holding a commanding edge, winning seven of the eight contests. The IceCaps have won their last four meetings against the Pirates, who haven’t earned a win against St. John’s since a 5-4 victory at Mile One Centre on Jan. 6. After this weekend’s games, the teams will face off again one more time on April 19 in Portland, the IceCaps’ final game this season.
STJ: Andrew Gordon 14 PTS (5G, 9A) | Jason Jaffray 12 PTS (3G, 9A) Eddie Pasquale (4-1-0, 1.88 GAA, .943 SV%)
POR: Lucas Lessio 8 PTS (5G, 3A) | x Brandon McMillan 8 PTS (2G, 6A) | Louis Domingue (1-2-0, 2.86 GAA, 0.915 SV%)
PIRATES RECENT ACTION: MAR. 9: SPR 9 POR 3 | The Portland Pirates suffered their third straight loss last Sunday night as they dropped a 9-3 blowout to the Springfield Falcons in front of their home fans at Androsgoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. The Falcons jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the opening period thanks to goals from Patrick McNeill, Sean Collins, Dana Tyrell and Darryl Boyce. Portland’s Brett Hextall stopped the bleeding early in the second period but Springfield’s offense roared back as Michael Chaput, Andrew Joudrey and Austin Madaisky all scored before the end of the second, giving the Falcons a 7-1 lead. Louis Domingue and Mark Visentin combined to allow nine goals on 30 shots.
PIRATES TRANSACTIONS: Mar. 12: Sebastian Stalberg (RW) acquired on loan from San Jose. Cade Fairchild (D) acquired on loan from Phoenix. Mar. 11: Joel Hanley (D) and Jordon Southorn (D) signed to PTOs. Andy Miele (C) Recalled from loan by Phoenix (NHL). March 8: Justin Weller (D) Reassigned by Phoenix (NHL) from Gwinnett (ECHL). Sam Klassen (D) Signed to PTO.