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Press release

Canadiens Trade Thomas to Arizona for Lessio

Canadiens Acquire Lessio in return for Thomas
MONTREAL SWAPS CHRISTIAN THOMAS TO ARIZONA FOR LUCAS LESSIO

 

thomas2

St. John’s IceCaps Media Release

MONTREAL (December 15, 2015) Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the acquisition of forward Lucas Lessio from the Arizona Coyotes, in return for forward Christian Thomas.

Lessio, 22, recorded 12 points (7 goals and 5 assists) in 24 regular season games thus far this season with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. He served 12 penalty minutes. The 6’1’’ and 212 lb left winger posted five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 29 career regular season games in the NHL.

A native of Maple, Ontario, Lessio was the Coyotes second round selection, 56th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The 23-year old Christian Thomas registered two assists in five games with the Canadiens thus far this season. He added 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 18 games with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. The Toronto native was acquired by the Canadiens from the New York in return for Danny Kristo on July 2, 2013.

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Press release

Canadiens Reassign Forward Christian Thomas to IceCaps

Thomas reassigned to IceCaps
FORWARD CHRISTIAN THOMAS RETURNS FROM MONTREAL

thomas2

St. John’s IceCaps Media Release

MONTREAL, QC — Left-winger Christian Thomas has been returned to the IceCaps after a two-week stint with the parent Montreal Canadiens.

Recalled to Montreal on November 26th, Thomas played five games with the Habs and picked up his first two NHL assists. In 18 games with the IceCaps this season, the 23-year-old collected seven goals and 14 points, which ranked Thomas fourth in team scoring at the time of his recall. He played 18 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15.

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Press release

Montreal Canadiens Recall Dustin Tokarski and Christian Thomas from IceCaps

TOKARSKI AND THOMAS RECALLED
Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 5:00 PM ET

Thomas and Tokarski

Montreal Canadiens Media Release

In Carey Price’s absence, goaltender Dustin Tokarski was recalled from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. It will mark the 26-year-old’s second stint in Montreal this season. He didn’t make any starts with the Canadiens while Price was previously sidelined with a lower-body injury, as Mike Condon was a mainstay between the pipes. Tokarski did come on in relief, though, as he was called into action to replace Condon in the game against the Colorado Avalanche on November 14. He gave up two goals on 13 shots against.

The Canadiens also placed Alexander Semin on injured reserve, and recalled forward Christian Thomas from the IceCaps. In 18 games wtih Sylvain Lefebvre’s squad this season, Thomas amassed seven goals and 14 points in 18 games. The 23-year-old left-winger ranks fourth in points on the IceCaps. He played 18 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15.

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IceCaps game report

Recap – Marlies vs IceCaps: IceCaps Score 8, Fall to Marlies in OT

Saturday November 14, 2015 
Mile One Centre, St. John’s, NL.

ICECAPS
St. John’s

St.JohnsIceCaps

8-9

MARLIES
Toronto

Mike McCarron (Photo courtesy of St. John’s IceCaps)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Thomas
Andrighetto – Hudon – Holloway
McNally – Dumont – Gregoire
MacMillan – Miceli – Fournier[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Barberio – Ellis
Bennett – Dietz
Hanley – Lernout[/one_half_last]

Goaltenders:

Fucale
Pasquale

Scratches: Eric Neilson, Connor Crisp (undisclosed injury), Jacob De la Rose (lower-body), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed injury)
Injured reserve:  Ryan Johnston (back surgery)

Game Report

Looking at the game sheet, you would be excused if you came to the conclusion that the AHL was testing new, larger nets at Mile One on Saturday night. Both starting goaltenders, Zach Fucale and Toronto’s Antoine Bibeau gave up eight goals. In Fucale’s case, three-quarters of the goals allowed could be categorized as soft or very soft.

After allowing his eighth goal, fourth of the third period, Fucale was lifted in favour of Eddie Pasquale. In a quirk of the scoring rules, despite making seven of eight stops, Pasquale was charged with the loss.

The IceCaps scored five goals in the second period and had an 8-4 lead with 19 minutes left in the third period. But the Marlies showed resilience, taking advantage of some shaky goaltending.

On the positive side was the night of Mike McCarron. The rookie centre set an IceCaps franchise record with two goals and three assists for five points. Defenceman Morgan Ellis has a solid game with two goals and an assist on four shots.

In 16 games, the IceCaps have now given up 59 goals which is tops in the league. Allowing 3.69 goals per game is not a recipe for success.

 

The IceCaps will have the week to work on team defense before a two-game series against the Syracuse Crunch at Mile One Centre.

▲     Michael McCarron, Morgan Ellis, Bud Holloway, Charles Hudon

▼     Zach Fucale

 Statistics 
ICECAPS MARLIES
 37 Shots 39
1 for 4 Power Play 2 for 5
10 Penalty Minutes 8
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 IceCaps (8-5-2-1) 1 5 2 0 8
 Marlies (11-3-1-0) 3 1 4 1 9
Scorers Goalies
  • STJ:  Hudon (6), McCarron (7), Ellis (3), Thomas (7), Ellis (4), Holloway (5), McCarron (8), Hudon (7)
  • TOR:  Brennan (6), Arcobello (5), Soshnikov (5), Hyman (2), Arcobello (6), Leivo (4), Leivo (5), Carrick (2)
  • STJ: Fucale (L)  6-2-0, Pasquale
  •  TOR: Bibeau, Sparks (W)  6-2-1
 AHL Three Stars
ahl14_200
  1. Michael McCarron  STJ
  2. Josh Leivo  TOR
  3. Sam Carrick  TOR

 Video highlights
 Post-game interview
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre

  • Not available for this game.

Quotes courtesy of 

 Social Media: Follow @IceCapsReport on Twitter
https://twitter.com/IceCapsAHL/status/665734343214678016

https://twitter.com/CHatzitoliosMTL/status/665696076133986304

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IceCaps game report

Recap – Marlies vs IceCaps: Thomas Wins It in Overtime

Friday November 13, 2015 
Mile One Centre, St. John’s, NL.

ICECAPS
St. John’s

St.JohnsIceCaps

3-2

MARLIES
Toronto

Christian Thomas (Photo courtesy of St. John’s IceCaps)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Holloway
Hudon – Dumont – Andrighetto
Scherbak – Eisenschmid – Thomas
McNally – Gregoire – Fournier[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Barberio – Ellis
Bennett – Dietz
Hanley – Lernout[/one_half_last]

Goaltenders:

Fucale
Pasquale

Scratches: Josiah Didier, Eric Neilson, Connor Crisp (undisclosed injury), Jacob De la Rose (lower-body)
Injured reserve:  Ryan Johnston (back surgery)

Game Report

It was the first game for the IceCaps following their six-game road trip that ended last Saturday in Hershey with an exciting comeback win. The week had been spent practicing to prepare for the homestand as well as attend to some of the problems that cropped up while in Pennsylvania. The opponents were the arch-rival Toronto Marlies for the first of 12 games this season.

St. John’s was welcoming Nikita Scherbak back to the lineup after he missed the entire rad trip with a lower-body injury. Unfortunately for the rookie forward, the return would be short-lived. With seven minutes left in the first period, the Marlies’ Viktor Loov delivered a solid shoulder check into the chest of Scherbak as he was coming out of the IceCaps zone. Scherbak missed the rest of the first period, took one shift in the second and wasn’t seen on the ice after that.

The first period ended with no scoring after an entertaining period. It was a great playoff-like atmosphere at the Mile One Centre with an equal mix of Marlies – IceCaps fans. A “Go Leafs Go” chant was loudly heard throughout the night.

St. John’s also lost the service of Markus Eisenschmid as he was on the wrong end of a big hit.  The short bench led to some line juggling as the game went on.

Perhaps suffering a little in the second period from being down to three lines, the Marlies dominated outshooting the IceCaps 16-7. Yet it was St John’s who got the only goal of the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Charles Hudon stretched out to redirect a Bud Holloway shot.  Hudon looked to the rafters after picking up his fifth goal of the season indicative of his relief following a less than stellar performance on the road trip.

The IceCaps dodged a bullet when Nikita Soshnikov blew past Hudon and Mark Barberio only to be thwarted by the pad of Fucale. St. John’s then took a 2-0 lead on a great individual effort from Darren Dietz.

Zach Fucale had a solid game particularly in the second frame making 16 saves but a mistake in the third with 11:13 remaining put the Leafs on the board. Casey Bailey scored into the wide open cage as Fucale had taken himself out of the play, overplaying the puck and sliding well beyond the crease behind the goal line.

The goal gave a boost to the Marlies who ramped up the pressure in the period. Christian Thomas took a bad offensive zone penalty for tripping. It took just 18 seconds for Mark Arcobello to score on the power-play going high glove hand on Fucale. The two teams did not add to their totals ending the third period in a 2-2 tie.

In overtime, Thomas atoned for his costly penalty by rifling a shot from the faceoff dot blocker side on Garret Sparks. Fucale picked up an assist as he banked a pass off the boards to Thomas.

It was the second straight win for the IceCaps in extra time. After giving up a two-goal third period lead, it was also another character test passed successfully for the young team.

The same teams play again on Saturday at Mile One to complete the two-game series.

▲     Zach Fucale, Morgan Ellis, Bud Holloway, Sven Andrighetto, Darren Dietz

 Statistics 
ICECAPS MARLIES
 29 Shots 38
1 for 2 Power Play 1 for 3
13 Penalty Minutes 11
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 IceCaps (8-5-1-1) 0 1 1 1 3
 Marlies (10-3-1-0) 0 0 2 0 2
Scorers Goalies
  • STJ:  Hudon (5), Dietz (3), Thomas (6)
  • TOR:  Bailey (2), Arcobello (4)
  • STJ: Fucale (W)  6-2-0
  •  TOR: Sparks (L)  5-2-1
 AHL Three Stars
ahl14_200
  1. Zachary Fucale  STJ
  2. Christian Thomas  STJ
  3. Victor Loov  TOR

 Video highlights
 Post-game interview
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre

  • “It was geography. It was playing them 36 times in three years, and that’s not counting the times they played each other before I was there. It’s because they’re division rivals, big-club rivals.”

Quotes courtesy of The Telegram

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Multimedia

St. John’s IceCaps Preview: Finishing Strong [VIDEO]

Zach Fucale (Photo by Amy Johnson | Rocket Sports Media)
Zach Fucale (Photo by Amy Johnson | Rocket Sports Media)

WILKES-BARRE, PA. — After an impressive start to the season, the St. John’s IceCaps have been brought back to earth with just one win in their past four games, all on the road. The six-game road trip through Pennsylvania wraps up with a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday with games in Wilkes-Barre and Hershey.

While playing well for periods of each game, the IceCaps are learning that a sixty-minute effort from the full lineup is required to be successful on a consistent basis.  You can find comprehensive game reports for each game of the road trip here.

The line of Mike McCarron, Daniel Carr and Christian Thomas has led the way. With six goals, McCarron has taken over the team lead with six goals. Bud Holloway has a share of the lead in AHL scoring with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points.

Zach Fucale has made three straight starts. Eddie Pasquale played the better part of two period against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday after Fucale was lifted for giving up three goals on three shots early in the second period.

Mark Barberio has picked up at least a point in each of the last four road games. Greg Pateryn has been added to the defensive corps being assigned to the IceCaps for a conditioning stint.

Check out our IceCaps preview below!

Categories
IceCaps game report

IceCaps Strong Start Fueled by McCarron

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

Michael McCarron (Photo by Julia Holman-Price | Rocket Sports Media)
Michael McCarron (Photo by Julia Holman-Price | Rocket Sports Media)

ST. JOHN’S, NL. — The IceCaps had a big opening weekend in St. John’s against the Rochester Americans. As they took both games by scores of 5-2 and 6-2 respectively.

In Game 1 the Christian Thomas – Michael McCarron – Daniel Carr line made some noise registering two goals from Thomas on some fast transition plays. McCarron enjoyed the experience playing with the two wingers saying “[Thomas and Carr] are two veteran guys who have been around, they really want the puck, so it’s my job to get the puck to them.”

Zachary Fucale also made his first professional start allowing two goals on 33 shots. His head coach spoke highly of his debut. “I know he’s won some pretty big games in World Juniors and the Memorial Cup, he looked good out there” said Sylvain Lefebvre.

Sven Andrighetto also tallied a pair and veteran Bud Holloway rounded out the scoring with one of his own.

In Game two, the McCarron line took over once again, but this time it was the big centerman making noise as he registered his first career goal, and had a far shorter wait for goals number 2 and 3 as he completed the hat trick.

Both games were taken over by the diminutive Thomas and Andrighetto, as they showed the stuff that saw them called up with the Canadiens at times last year. Dustin Tokarski got the nod in game 2 and rebounded from a rough loss last weekend allowing just two goals on 31 shots. Thomas added his third in two nights, while Morgan Ellis and Joel Hanley found themselves on the scoreboard as well.

But the night was overshadowed by McCarron, and it was a big shadow. Standing at 6-foot-6-inches and a lean 228 pounds, he left a lasting impression on the IceCaps fans. It was clear McCarron was sent down to refine his game, and it was evident his skating will likely be a part of that refinement. But what he was working on with his skating, he more than made up with his size and hockey smarts.

First impression of McCarron is that he has a high hockey IQ. He understands his place on the ice, finding his way to the front of the net making life impossible for opposing defensemen and goaltenders. He has the tools to make a very successful career out of that role. A role which is currently undertaken by Brendan Gallagher on the first power-play unit, Habs fans should be drooling over the prospect of this mammoth working his magic in the crease for years to come.

Furthermore, and perhaps more impressive, was his defensive game. Coach Lefebvre chose to give McCarron more responsibility on the penalty kill in game 2, filling in where Jacob De La Rose stood the night before. It’s another reminder of what the AHL can provide for these top prospects. The Canadiens are so focused on putting the right players on the ice every time, whereas the AHL affords an opportunity to give many players exposure in different scenarios.

After game one we had the opportunity to speak with McCarron, and he was cleared excited about the experience so far “I got to play in front of some pretty big crowds in London and Oshawa, in the Memorial Cup [Quebec City] got to play in some big rinks and this was right up there it was pretty fun. [The fans] were electric.”

McCarron went on to say “I think i’m still trying to figure out this league, you don’t have that much time with the puck anymore, you got to make quicker plays.“ It was clear in game 2 that McCarron had figured it out, and if he can continue to bring that energy on a nightly basis we could be in for a treat late into the 2016 spring.

Categories
Feature

IceCaps Pre-Season Report

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

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ST. JOHN’S, NL. — On the eve of the St. John’s IceCaps first game of the year in Hartford against the host Wolfpack, one cannot help but feel the buzz that is brought to the city this time of year. Typically every October you can feel it in St. John’s, but this year, under new management and new affiliation there is something special about being connected to the most storied franchise in sports.

In the Coleman’s Cup Training Camp series against rival Toronto Marlies, the IceCaps came back from a Game 1 loss to win games 2 and 3, and the first training camp series win of the franchise history. Game 1 occurred in Stephenville, NL during the IceCaps annual road trip to start the year. Jeremy Gregoire and Morgan Ellis tallied goals for the IceCaps but it wasn’t enough as they lost in the final minute to the Marlies.

Game 2 took place in Corner Brook, NL and was a complete reversal; the IceCaps went out and hammered the Marlies 5-2 on the back of last year’s rookie standout Daniel Carr as he registered two goals. Other scorers were Stefan Fournier, Connor Crisp and Markus Eisenschmid.

Game 3 was held in Gander, NL. The boys took over with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Marlies. Carr registered the lone goal in the shootout, following up a strong performance through the camp. Nikita Scherbak finally seemed to find his groove with a goal and two assists for a game high three points. Joel Hanley, Bud Holloway and Gabriel Dumont were the other goal scorers.

In the four years that the IceCaps have called St. John’s home, they have managed a 50 per cent success rate at finding the playoffs. It’s not necessarily the best percentage, but when they’ve made it to the dance they’ve stuck around all night, making it to Eastern Conference Finals in their inaugural season, and following that up with a loss to the Texas Stars in their third season in town. The exciting part of this is never in those four years did the team ooze the potential it possesses with this combination of young prospects and veterans.

With final cuts from the Canadiens last week, the baby Habs managed to find support in the likes of former Calder Cup Champion and World Junior Champion, Dustin Tokarski. He’ll add to a goalie tandem which has already proved to be competitive between blue chip prospect Zach Fucale and hometown favourite Eddie Pasquale.

Also clearing waivers or being sent down were former AHL Defenseman of the Year, Mark Barberio, incumbent Captain Gabriel Dumont, Christian Thomas, Charles Hudon, Sven Andrighetto, Nikita Scherbak, and Michel Therrien’s favourite pet project Jacob De La Rose.

New projected lines look like we could see Carr – McCarron – Scherbak as a fixture which was present during the Canadiens rookie camp and into regular camp. JDLR could also see time on a top unit with Andrighetto and Hudon. Dumont, Thomas and Gregoire/Bozon may round out the top 9.

The impressive part of these line combinations is the versatility with many of them playing multiple positions through junior and pro ranks.

This provides the IceCaps with potentially the deepest front nine in the Eastern conference, but certainly the most potential. If the Canadiens can remain healthy this year, residents of St. John’s will be in for a treat watching this team and you can feel the anticipation in the air.

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Ignore Press release

Canadiens Assign McCarron, Carr, 7 Others to St. John’s IceCaps

More reinforcements en route to St. John’s
NINE MORE PLAYERS REASSIGNED

 (Photo by St. John's IceCaps)
(Photo by St. John’s IceCaps)

St. John’s IceCaps MEDIA RELEASE

MONTREAL, QUEBEC (September 27, 2015) –Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today that nine players have been reassigned to the St. John’s IceCaps.

The following players have been assigned to St. John’s:

Michael McCarron
Jeremy Grégoire
Darren Dietz
Joel Hanley
Daniel Carr
Bud Holloway (ƀ)
Christian Thomas (ƀ)
Gabriel Dumont (ƀ)
Morgan Ellis (ƀ)
(ƀ) – requires NHL waivers

There are still 31 players at Montreal’s camp (18 forwards, 10 defensemen, 3 goaltenders); including four injured players: Max Pacioretty, Nikita Scherbak, Noah Juulsen and Michaël Bournival.

The newest IceCaps will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador tonight to continue their training camp. St. John’s will play three pre-season games against the Toronto Marlies on October 1st, 2nd and 4th.

IceCaps season tickets remain available and can also be purchased in person at the Mile One Centre box office, by phone at 709-576-7657 or online at www.mileonecentre.com.

Categories
Feature

St. John’s IceCaps Projected Lineup 2015-16

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

Sven Andrighetto (Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)

ST. JOHN’S, NL. — In the next couple months the All Habs team will be taking an in-depth look at the St. John’s IceCaps roster for the upcoming season 2015-16. For the lineup below the assumption is that Daniel Carr, Charles Hudon and Jarred Tinordi will start the year with the parent club, while players like Mark Barbeiro, Sven Andrighetto and Christian Thomas are listed in this lineup. It’s understood that several players could be interchanged. With that said, we will be featuring a piece on each player while forecasting if we will see them play with the big club this season.

Forwards:

Christian Thomas – Gabriel Dumont – Nikita Scherbak
Tim Bozon – Mike McCarron – Sven Andrighetto
George “Bud” Holloway – Jeremy Gregoire – Stefan Fournier
Connor Crisp – Brandon McNally – Mark MacMillan

Defense:

Mark Barbeiro – Darren Dietz
Mac Bennett – Morgan Ellis
Joel Hanley – Brett Lernout
Ryan Johnston – Dalton Thrower
Josiah Didier

Goaltenders:

Mike Condon
Eddie Pasquale
Zach Fucale

The first line begins with Gabriel Dumont, the Bulldogs captain and leading goal scorer from last season. Nikita Scherbak is a blue chip prospect so expect him to be surrounded with the right pieces to help him learn to be a pro, while getting critical minutes.

The second line, Bozon – McCarron – Andrighetto, has a youth aspect to it, but I believe the size differential between the three, their abilities to score from different parts of the ice and most of all, their work ethic will make them a successful second line.

Holloway – Gregoire – Fournier appears to be a solid third line on paper, all responsible in their own end with a scoring upside.

Finally Crisp – McNally – MacMillan which I have affectionately called “the McCrisp line.” I fully expect that Connor Crisp will quickly become a fan favourite in St. John’s.

Defence is a little tougher to project, we really don’t know what the pairings will look like, depends on their shot hand and experience. I’m sure that head coach Sylvain Lefebvre already has an idea of the pairings he’s anticipating.

Goaltending is a very straight forward category as I believe that we will see all three of these players start a game for the IceCaps this season. What is yet to be seen is how Marc Bergevin & co. would like to develop prospect Zachary Fucale. I believe that Fucale is likely to play in Brampton as the starter for the Beast (ECHL) to start the season.

With that said, I think there are questions surrounding Dustin Tokarski who is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2016. Tokarski’s fate will start a domino effect which could result in Mike Condon backing up Carey Price in Montreal.  Fucale could take starts in St. John’s while Eddie Pasquale (IceCaps record holder under the Jets regime) would likely sit as backup either way. It is worth noting after watching Pasquale over the last few years, I believe he is capable of overtaking Condon if given enough time this season.

~~~

With one month left until preseason action begins, I’ll be taking a look at each player in-depth, providing you an idea of what to expect in St. John’s and potentially Montreal in 2015-’16.