Tale of the Tape
The IceCaps face the Crunch in the club’s first ever playoff series.
Since their inaugural season in 1994-95, the Crunch have earned a postseason berth nine times, reaching the conference finals once in the 1995-96 season. Syracuse’s career playoff record is 31-38. This is the team’s first playoff appearance since the 2008-09 season.
Dec. 6: W 4-3 at St. John’s (Recap | Box Score)
Dec. 7: L 5-3 at St. John’s (Recap | Box Score)
Mar. 3: L 6-4 at Syracuse (Recap | Box Score)
Mar. 23: L 5-4 (SO) at Syracuse (Recap | Box Score)
WHO TO WATCH
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
#4 Paul Postma
An AHL First-Team All Star in 2011-12, Postma has played just once since suffering a lower body injury in a game on Mar. 18. When healthy, the mobile, puck-moving defenceman is an integral part of the IceCaps’ third ranked power play, as the threat of his hard shot draws defenders towards the middle of the ice. His 13 goals were the third highest total amongst AHL defenceman.
#10 Spencer Machacek & #28 Patrice Cormier
Tied for second on the team with 18 goals, Machacek and Cormier return to the IceCaps after a brief stint with the Winnipeg Jets. Machacek was tremendous for the parent club in his 11-game stint, recording nine points (2g, 7a), and his 50 points in 61 games for the IceCaps were just three shy of his career high. Cormier started the season slowly but was a force right before his call-up in early April, scoring a pair of goals in the IceCaps’ division-clinching victory at Hershey on Mar. 31.
#39 Brock Trotter
Obtained on loan in a trade with the Portland Pirates back on Mar. 3, Trotter has suited up for just two games with the IceCaps but brings a proven playoff pedigree to the Atlantic Division champions. The offensively-gifted forward scored 19 points in 19 playoff games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2009-10 postseason, guiding them to a conference finals appearance. Trotter could see time with the aforementioned Machacek and Cormier, giving the line another dangerous scorer.
#21 Kyle Palmieri, #22 Peter Holland & #19 Patrick Maroon
The lifeblood of the Crunch’s offence, the trio of Palmieri, Holland and Maroon combined for 88 goals and 192 points in the regular season. Appearing together for much of the season, the line boasts size (Maroon is listed at 6’4, 225 pounds) and scoring ability (Palmieri and Maroon accounted for 55 goals, second most of any two teammates in the AHL) and should be a handful for the defence corps of the IceCaps. Palmieri’s 33 goals tied him for third in the league despite playing in just 51 games; the sniper also managed four goals in 18 games with the Anaheim Ducks.
#26 Riley Holzapfel
Holzapfel is someone IceCaps fans are plenty familiar with already. The offensive forward began the season in St. John’s, notching 15 points in 29 games but missing several months after suffering a facial injury during a practice in late November. Holzapfel was then traded by Winnipeg to Anaheim for forward Max Macenauer (currently injured for the IceCaps) and has blossomed since the deal, recording 22 points in 28 games for Syracuse while showing more of an edge with 34 minutes in penalties. Expect the Regina native to be motivated facing his former club.
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
#40 Eddie Pasquale
The IceCaps’ rookie netminder is coming off a stellar regular season in which he was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team after posting a 23-12-1 record with a 2.41 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and four shutouts in 38 games. Since the middle of January, the Toronto native has gone 16-8-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average as the IceCaps primary goaltender. Pasquale also won Reebok/AHL Player of the Week honours for the period ending Feb. 12, finishing the week with a 3-0-0 record with a 1.32 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage.
#35 Iiro Tarkki
Tarkki was a workhorse for Syracuse, appearing in 50 of the team’s 76 games going 24-17-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage with two shutouts. The Finland native enters the series on a hot streak, winning 13 of his last 15 decisions and sporting a 4-1-0 record with a 1.37 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage in his last five outings.
BY THE NUMBERS
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS
First place, Atlantic Division
Second place, Eastern Conference
Fourth place, East Division
Seventh place, Eastern Conference
Overall record: 43-25-5-3 (94 PTS)
Overall: 20.6% (73/355) – 3rd
Overall: 82.8% (260/314, 54 GA) – 13th
Points: Machacek (50)
Overall record: 37-29-5-5 (84 PTS)
Overall: 19.0% (63/332) – 9th
Overall: 77.5% (265/342, 77 GA) – 30th
Points: Maroon (74)
2011-12 Regular Season Series
|Power play||9/20 (45.0%)||6/21 (28.6%)|
|Scoring||DeSantis: 4GP, 2G-4A-6P||Palmieri: 3GP, 5G-3A-8P|
|Gagnon: 4GP, 2G-4A-6P||McMillan: 4GP, 3G-2A-5P|
|King: 4GP, 2G-3A-5P||Holland: 4GP, 1G-4A-5P|
|Goaltending||Pasquale: 0-1-1, 2.29 GAA||Bobkov: 1-0-0, 1.06 GAA|
|Aebischer: 1-1-0, 5.19 GAA||Deslauriers: 1-0-0, 3.00 GAA|
|Tarkki: 1-1-0, 5.20 GAA|