Weekend Preview: IceCaps vs. Admirals Posted by IceCaps on
The St. John’s IceCaps look to continue their winning ways this weekend as they host the Norfolk Admirals Friday and Saturday night at Mile One Centre.
The IceCaps are coming off a two-game sweep of the Connecticut Whale last weekend and have won six straight games overall. After a 5-2-3-0 record in the season’s opening month, the IceCaps are a perfect 6-0-0-0 in November and have built a comfortable eight-point lead in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.
On Saturday, the IceCaps put up a team record eight goals in defeating the Whale 8-4. Captain Jason Jaffray recorded a hat trick for St. John’s, while Carl Klingberg and Spencer Machacek also enjoyed three-point nights. On Sunday, Peter Mannino rebounded after a rough first period to stop 35-of-38 shots and Eric O’Dell scored the game-winner with 3:01 left to play in regulation to give St. John’s a 4-3 victory.
Leading the charge for St. John’s is centre Marco Rosa, whose team-high 14 points shows the balance the team is receiving offensively. No IceCaps player is in the top-20 in league scoring, yet the team ranks first overall in goals scored. Rookie Carl Klingberg leads the team with eight goals but is trailed closely by Jason King and Jaffray (seven each), who was recalled by the Winnipeg Jets after Saturday night’s game.
Of course, the offence is only half the story; the men behind the masks have been just as integral to the IceCaps’ streak. Eddie Pasquale, the odd man out for the first three weeks of the season with three goalies on the roster, has won all six of his starts, including five during the current win streak. Pasquale also ranks inside the top-10 in goals against average and wins. Peter Mannino, reassigned to St. John’s last Friday after a two week stint with the Jets, made 35 saves Sunday afternoon and helped steal a win for the IceCaps.
At the other end of the rink, the Admirals are coming off a 5-3 win over Eastern Division rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night. Rookie phenom Cory Conacher scored twice and offensive defenceman Mark Barberio notched three points in the win.
Conacher, an undrafted free agent out of Canisius College, not only leads his team in scoring but also leads all rookies with 18 points in 15 games. Small in stature at 5’8” and 180 pounds, Conacher has drawn comparisons to winger Martin St. Louis, one of the NHL’s most consistent scorers since the lockout, and a member of Norfolk’s parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Admirals also boast reigning Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month Carter Ashton, whose 11 goals are tops among first year players. The rugged 6’3”, 215-pound power forward has also racked up 28 penalty minutes in his 16 games this season.
This weekend marks the first time the IceCaps and Admirals will meet this season. The two teams met three times in the preseason as part of the inaugural Mary Brown’s Cup, played in Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor and St. John’s. Norfolk won the series two games to one to capture the trophy.
Both contests, and all 76 games this season, can be heard on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador with play-by-play man Brian Rogers. Pregame show begins at 7:00 p.m. with the drop of the puck set for 7:30.