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Weekend Preview: IceCaps visit Bulldogs, Marlies Posted by IceCaps on

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ICECAPS (14-10-1-2, 31 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic) AT BULLDOGS (12-10-0-3, 27 PTS | 1st Place, North)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM ET | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

Coming off a home sweep against the Syracuse Crunch at Mile One Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday, the St. John’s IceCaps will attempt to push their winning streak to three games as they hit the road to face their Southern Ontario rivals, the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies on Saturday and Sunday.

The IceCaps outscored the Crunch 11-3 during their two-game set, giving the team 31 points in 27 games and bumping them into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the Binghamton Senators.

The upcoming pair of games at Copps Coliseum and Ricoh Coliseum respectively, will be the team’s last games before the Christmas break. The IceCaps will return to action on Dec. 27 with another three games on the road against division rivals Worcester Sharks and Manchester Monarchs as well as the Northeast Division leading Springfield Falcons.

The IceCaps’ upcoming game against the Hamilton Bulldogs will be evenly matched, as both teams are boasting two-game winning streaks and sport identical 7-3 records over their last ten games.

The Marlies are on a streak of their own. After recording three consecutive victories from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30, the Marlies are losers of two straight and have not yet recorded a victory in the month of December.

LAST GAME:
Kyle MacKinnon scored his first two goals as an IceCap and Brenden Kichton, Zach Redmond and Jason Jaffray each added singles as the IceCaps completed the sweep of the Syracuse Crunch with a 5-1 victory at Mile One Centre on Wednesday night. | FULL RECAP | HIGHLIGHTS

The IceCaps opened the scoring for the second straight game as Kichton walked out of the corner and beat Crunch goaltender Cedric Desjardins with a backhand shot at 12:47 of the opening frame.

Redmond and MacKinnon scored 23 seconds apart in the first three minutes of the third period to push the lead to three and MacKinnon’s second of the night just 23 seconds into the final frame put the game out of reach.

The Crunch stopped the bleeding at 3:37 of the third period as Philip-Michael Devos broke IceCaps starting goaltender Eddie Pasquale’s shutout with a shot that beat him high glove side.

Jaffray finished the scoring with a highlight-reel shorthanded goal with just over two minutes to play. | WATCH

Pasquale made 25 saves to record the victory, while Desjardins stopped 31 of the 36 shots he faced for the loss.

ICECAPS NOTES

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed: Cody Lampl, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori, Travis Ehrhardt, Austen Brassard… St. John’s went 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Kyle Mackinnon 2. Eric O’Dell 3. Jason Jaffray. Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Jerome Samson.

INJURY UPDATE: Josh Lunden and Julian Melchiori

TRANSACTIONS: None

QUICK HITS: Eric O’Dell continued his ascent to the top of the AHL leaderboard this past week, notching three assists in the team’s most recent game, giving him 27 points (11G, 16A), good for a tie for fifth in the league scoring race. Despite putting up six points in his last seven games, O’Dell has not scored a goal in seven contests, dating back to his pair of two-goal performances against Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 23 and Bridgeport on Nov. 24… Thanks in part to an 11-goal two-game set against Syracuse, the St. John’s IceCaps are now one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. The team’s 82 goals scored are third most in the Eastern Conference and sixth most in the league… Since his return from a callup to Winnipeg on Nov. 22, defenseman Zach Redmond has been nothing short of hot. In the six games since his return, Redmond has amassed eight points (2G, 6A), including the game-winning goal against Syracuse on Dec. 11. In the nine games he has played for the IceCaps this season, he has totaled ten points and failed to record a point in just three of those nine games.

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS:
In just the IceCaps’s third game of the season, the Hamilton Bulldogs topped the IceCaps 3-2 on Oct. 11 from Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ont.

Patrick Holland scored a shorthanded game-winner at the 5:15 mark of the third period and Dustin Tokarski made 33 saves to secure the win for Hamilton. Greg Pateryn opened the scoring with a shorthanded tally just 4:26 into the game before Andrew Gordon tied the game halfway through the first period. Mike Blunden and Ben Chiarot traded goals in the second period before Holland’s third period goal put the game away. Eddie Pasquale earned Third Star honours and made 31 saves in the loss.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ: Andrew Gordon 1 PT (1G) | Ben Chiarot 1 PT (1G) | Eddie Pasquale (0-1-0, 3.00 GAA, .911 SV%)
HAM: Mike Blunden 2 PTS (1G, 1A) | Patrick Holland 1 PT (1G) | Dustin Tokarski (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, 0.943 SV%)

BULLDOGS’ RECENT ACTION: DEC 8: HAM 6 LE 2 | Gabriel Dumont netted a goal and an assist and Louis Leblanc, Patrick Holland and Martin St. Pierre each had two points as the Bulldogs feasted on the Lake Erie Monsters 6-2 from Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. Dumont’s first of the game at 14:20 of the first period opened the scoring and the Bulldogs increased their lead to 2-0 with Nick Tarnasky’s eighth goal of the year. Bryan Lerg cut the deficit to one at 14:31 of the second period before Hamilton exploded for four consecutive third-period goals as Holland, Stefan Fournier, Dumont and Leblanc were all able to find the net behind goaltender Calvin Pickard, who made 22 saves for the loss. Robert Mayer made 28 saves to earn the victory.

TRANSACTIONS: Dec. 6: Ben Duffy (C) Recalled from loan to Hamilton (AHL). Scott Zurevinski (LW) Signed to PTO.

Sunday, Dec. 15

ICECAPS (14-10-1-2, 31 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic) AT MARLIES (12-9-1-0, 25 PTS | 3rd Place, North)
Puck Drop: 3:00 PM ET | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: The IceCaps hope their second visit to Ricoh Coliseum goes a little better than their first as they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Toronto Marlies on Oct. 12. TJ Brennan netted a hat trick and added an assist and John-Michael Liles, Spencer Abbott and Trevor Smith each added two points as the Marlies rolled over the IceCaps. Brennan scored his first two goals within the opening three minutes of the first period before the IceCaps surged to take a 3-2 lead thanks to goals by Andrew Gordon, Will O’Neill and Jerome Samson. Toronto put the game away with second period goals from Liles and Wade MacLeod and a pair of third period markers from Brennan and Stefan Legein. Jussi Olkinuora made 27 saves, while Drew MacIntyre won the game for Toronto with 21 saves.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:
STJ: Andrew Gordon 1 PT (1G) | Jerome Samson 1 PT (1G) | Jussi Olkinuora (0-1-0, 6.00 GAA)
TOR: TJ Brennan 4 PTS (3G, 1A) | Trevor Smith 2 PTS (2A) | Drew MacIntyre (0-1-0, 3.00 GAA)

RECENT ACTION: DEC 7: HAM 2 TOR 1 | Martin St. Pierre’s two-goal performance was all the Bulldogs needed to defeat the Marlies 2-1 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. St. Pierre’s second of the game at 1:02 of the second period proved to be the game-winner. Korbinian Holzer got the Marlies on the board at 17:54 of the second period but Robert Mayer shut the door and made 22 saves to earn the win. Drew MacIntyre made 21 saves in a losing effort.

TRANSACTIONS:
Dec. 9: Mike Duco (LW) Recalled from loan to Orlando (ECHL). Dec. 6: John-Michael Liles (D) Recalled from loan by Toronto (NHL). Dec. 5 Jerred Smithson (C) Returned on loan from Toronto (NHL). Jerry D’Amigo (LW) Recalled from loan by Toronto (NHL).

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