Tale of the Tape: IceCaps vs. Penguins
The IceCaps face the Penguins in the Calder Cup playoffs for the first time in team history.
Since their inaugural season in 1999-00, the Penguins have earned a playoff berth 11 times in 13 seasons, reaching the Calder Cup finals three times. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s career playoff record is 72-68. This is the 10th straight playoff appearance for the Penguins; the club has reached the second round in eight of the past 10 seasons.
WHO TO WATCH
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
#7 Derek Meech
The veteran defenceman played just five regular season games with the IceCaps but proved his worth in the team’s first round series against Syracuse. The Winnipeg native recorded five points (3G, 2A) in the four games, including two game-winning goals — and the series-clinching tally in Game 4 in overtime. Meech is tied with Aaron Gagnon for the team lead in goals (3) and points (5) and leads in plus/minus (+5).
#44 Arturs Kulda & #3 Brett Festerling
Responsible for shutting down the Crunch’s top offensive threats, the pairing of Kulda and Festerling did a tremendous job of limiting forwards Kyle Palmieri and Patrick Maroon to just two points total (the duo also finished a combined minus-8). The Penguins do not possess the same level of elite offensive talent as the Crunch, but Kulda and Festerling should be on the ice a lot for coach Keith McCambridge when the IceCaps need to shut things down defensively.
#16 John Albert, #17 Garth Murray, & #27 Ray Sawada
The IceCaps’ bonafide checking unit was a huge factor in round one, especially at home where it fed off the crowd’s energy. Albert, Murray and Sawada combined for three goals and seven points in the two games at Mile One Centre and during the regular season, the three forwards recorded eight points versus the Penguins. Sawada was not a member of the team for its two January losses to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Mile One but was a big factor in the club’s two victories in the Penguins’ home barn, notching three points.
#10 Ben Street
A BC native with ties to St. John’s, Street was the Penguins’ leading scorer in the regular season, recording 57 points (27 G, 30 A) and 11 power play goals, second on the team. Street was instrumental in the club’s two victories at Mile One in January, notching four points including the overtime game-winner on January 15. After being held to just one goal in the team’s five-game opening round series against Hershey, the Penguins will be counting on Street for an offensive spark.
#26 Cal O’Reilly
O’Reilly is a proven AHL scorer with plenty of playoff experience. The seven-year pro has played in 36 postseason games for his career and notched three goals — all on the power play — in the Penguins’ opening round series victory over the Bears. The playmaker has also suited up for 113 career NHL games, recording 41 points. In 288 games in his AHL career, O’Reilly has recorded 265 points.
Tied for tops amongst Penguins’ goal scorers with 27, Lerg was a thorn in the side of the IceCaps this season. In three games, Lerg scored three goals and added an assist, including a pair of shorthanded markers. Lerg’s four shorthanded goals this season were the second highest total in the league.
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
#40 Eddie Pasquale
After a solid rookie season, Pasquale carried over his success into the first round where he stymied the Crunch en route to a 3-1 series victory. The AHL All-Rookie netminder stopped 138-of-148 shots and came up with a 40-save performance in a 5-1 Game 3 win, earning a standing ovation from the Mile One faithful. Pasquale was 2-1-0 with a miniscule 1.98 goals-against average in three starts versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the regular season.
#39 Brad Thiessen
Thiessen had an up-and-down regular season for the Penguins, finishing the year with 23 wins but a disappointing 2.82 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. However, Thiessen got the job done in the team’s opening round series against Hershey, backstopping the Penguins to a 3-2 series win and allowing just 11 goals in the five games. The BC native was sensational in last year’s postseason, starting 12 games and posting a 1.67 goals-against average with a .940 save percentage in leading his club to a second round loss. Thiessen won his only start against the IceCaps this season, a 6-4 win at Mile One Centre on January 14.
BY THE NUMBERS (regular season)
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
First place, Atlantic Division
Second place, Eastern Conference
Second place, East Division
Fourth place, Eastern Conference
Overall record: 43-25-5-3 (94 PTS)
Road record: 23-10-2-3
One-goal games: 19-4-5-3
Scoring first: 28-7-1-2
Opponent scoring first: 15-18-4-1
Outshooting opponent: 30-17-4-1
Overall: 20.6% (73/355) – 3rd
Home: 19.4% (36/186) – 10th
Road: 21.9% (37/169) – 3rd
Overall: 82.8% (260/314, 54 GA) – 13th
Home: 77.6% (111/143, 32 GA) – 29th
Road: 87.1% (149/171, 22 GA) – 2nd
Points: Machacek (50)
Goals: King (22)
Assists: Machacek/DeSantis (32)
Overall record: 44-25-2-5 (95 PTS)
Home record: 18-16-2-2
Road record: 26-9-0-3
One-goal games: 20-8-2-5
Scoring first: 29-7-1-2
Opponent scoring first: 15-18-1-3
Outshooting opponent: 26-19-2-3
Overall: 18.8% (65/346) – 10th
Home: 17.2% (32/186) – 17th
Road: 20.6% (33/160) – 5th
Overall: 81.6% (284/348, 64 GA) – 22nd
Home: 82.3 % (135/164, 29 GA) – 16th
Road: 81.0% (149/184, 35 GA) – 18th
Points: Street (57)
Goals: Street/Lerg (27)
Assists: McDonald (35)
2011-12 Regular Season Series
|Power play||2/16 (12.5%)||2/17 (11.8%)|
|Scoring||Maxwell: 3GP, 2G-2A-4P||Lerg: 3GP, 3G-1A-4P|
|Festerling: 4GP, 1G-2A-3P||Street: 4GP, 2G-2A-4P|
|Machacek: 3GP, 1G-2A-3P||Mormina: 4GP, 1G-2A-3P|
|Goaltending||Pasquale: 2-1-0, 1.98 GAA||Munroe: 1-2-0, 3.62 GAA|
|Aebischer: 0-1-0, 5.05 GAA||Thiessen: 1-0-0, 4.00 GAA|
|Killeen: 0-0-0, 2.58 GAA|