Scratches: Mac Bennett, Jeremy Gregoire, Josiah Didier, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (undisclosed), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed), Gabriel Dumont (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
It’s been a good homestand for the IceCaps this time around, winning their last three games consecutively. But on this Valentine’s Day afternoon, the league-leading Marlies weren’t planning on giving the home team a clean sweep of the series.
Shots on goal were pretty even in the first period as the goaltenders Garret Sparks and Eddie Pasquale kept both teams out of the net.
Then Brett Findlay found mesh for his second goal of the season just five minutes into the second period. Discipline problems crept back in for the IceCaps as a parade to the penalty box seemed unending. Findlay solved Pasquale yet again in the third period as the Marlies continued to pepper the St. John’s goalie mercilessly.
Bud Holloway continued his heroics from the previous night and blasted home a shot from the blue line late in the third period on a power play. The IceCaps scrambled to try to find a way to even the score before the final horn, but couldn’t make it happen.
Gabriel Dumont was not in the lineup today, having left the game in the third period last night. The IceCaps now head out on their next road trip. First up is a visit to Syracuse to take on the crunch before heading to Binghamton for a back-to-back series Friday and Saturday night.
▲ Bud Holloway, Eddie Pasquale, Michael McCarron, Morgan Ellis
Scratches: Jeremy Gregoire, Mac Bennett, Bud Holloway (undisclosed), Victor Bartley (undisclosed) Injured reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
The season series against the Portland Pirates hasn’t been pretty for the IceCaps. After dropping the first two games in St. John’s, the IceCaps needed to come into Cross Insurance Arena strong and confident. They looked like neither of those things right from the start.
The Pirates poured on the offensive pressure early, forcing netminder Zach Fucale to be sharp early. The puck traveled back and forth down the sheet fairly evenly throughout the first period, until MacKenzie Weeger found the back of the net to put Portland on the board.
Rocco Grimaldi gave the home team a two-goal lead early in the second, but then the IceCaps seemed to find some much-needed energy. Lucas Lessio drove to the net hard on multiple shifts during the game and had quite a few good chances, but goaltender Mike McKenna stood tall.
Nikita Scherbak saved the IceCaps from a shutout loss by potting his third goal of the season, assisted by Charles Hudon and Sven Andrighetto. Discipline came completely unraveled in this game with the IceCaps taking eight minor penalties, two of which came from John Scott.
The IceCaps return to the ice on Friday night when they take on the Portland Pirates once more in this back-to-back series.
Scratches: Mac Bennett, Victor Bartley (day-to-day), Bud Holloway (day-to-day) Injured reserve: Connor Crisp (indefinite)
While the blizzard impacting much of the eastern coast of the United States dumped massive amounts of snow just south of Albany, the IceCaps and Devils took to the ice at Times Union Center for a rematch of last night’s game. St. John’s looked to continue their success from the previous game, and came out strong against Albany.
Eddie Pasquale and Scott Wedgewood were the two goaltenders protecting their respective nets, and they were the key to the game right off the bat. Lucas Lessio had a couple of good chances on breakaways, but Wedgewood denied him each time. The first line of Lessio, Michael McCarron, and Nikita Scherbak also drove hard to the net on a three-man rush, but Wedgewood stood strong against Scherbak’s shot.
Then in the second period, the IceCaps found a way past the opposing goalie. Max Friberg slid a perfect pass over to Gabriel Dumont to get the visitors on the board. The first line continued to impress, with multiple odd-man rushes which came close to adding to the goal tally. Finally, on a power play, Charles Hudon and McCarron connected with Sven Andrighetto to make a 2-0 game.
Tempers flared and while there was only one actual fight, things got very tense on the ice at times. Albany battled back, scoring a goal on the man advantage, but Pasquale and the entire team clamped down and held their lead to defeat the Devils once again.
The IceCaps next head to Portland, Maine for games against the Pirates on Wednesday and Friday before heading back to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolfpack on Saturday.
▲ Nikita Scherbak, Max Friberg, Lucas Lessio, Michael McCarron, Eddie Pasquale
Scratches: Mac Bennett, Victor Bartley (day-to-day), Bud Holloway (day-to-day) Injured reserve: Connor Crisp (indefinite)
After a disappointing overtime loss on Wednesday night in Bridgeport, the IceCaps headed into tonight’s game against the Albany Devils looking a little less-than-enthusiastic. Just over four minutes into the game, the Devils got on the board and outshot the visitors 9-0 in the first half of the game. It looked like it could be a long night for the IceCaps.
But towards the start of the second period, St. John’s found their focus when Morgan Ellis sent a slapshot past Yann Danis to even the score. 20 seconds later Jim O’Brien potted his second of the night, but it only took Nikita Scherbak another 20 seconds to brings things back to 2-2 on his second goal of the season.
Finding themselves on a 5-on-3, the IceCaps continued to pressure the Devils and Charles Hudon found the mesh off a shot from the faceoff circle to give his team their first lead of the game. Sven Andrighetto and Ryan Johnston assisted on the goal.
In the third period Andrighetto added to his point tally with a fortunate puck deflection off his skate to give the IceCaps a 4-2 lead which they were able to maintain until the final horn.
Discipline was key for this game, and for once it was because the IceCaps stayed out of the penalty box. Hudon seemed to hit his head or face in the third period and headed off to the dressing room after taking a while to get up off the ice.
The IceCaps have a rematch with the Albany Devils on Saturday afternoon for a matinee game.
▲ Nikita Scherbak, Charles Hudon, Morgan Ellis, Sven Andrighetto
Scratches: Mac Bennett, Jeremy Gregoire, John Scott, Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
The IceCaps haven’t had a good run of things at home this week, losing all four games they’ve played at Mile One Centre since returning from their last road trip. Tonight’s game needed to be successful, especially given the roster and line combo upheaval the IceCaps and their parent team, the Montreal Canadiens, had experienced during the previous 24 hours.
To recap the roster moves and trades, Jacob de la Rose was recalled to the Montreal Canadiens, Daniel Carr and Sven Andrighetto were reassigned to the IceCaps, Brandon McNally was reassigned to the Brampton Beast, the Canadiens traded Jarred Tinordi and Stefan Fournier to Arizona in exchange for John Scott and Victor Bartley, and Eric Neilson was released from his PTO. Bartley stayed with Montreal, but Scott is due to report to the IceCaps on Sunday. Nikita Scherbak came back from injury for this game, and Ryan Johnston made his pro debut coming off IR from back surgery.
Less than a minute into the game Eddie Pasquale gave up a goal on the the Marlies’ first shot on goal, by Brendan Leipsic. It was soon followed by another one and St. John’s found themselves down 2-0. The reunited first line of Carr, Michael McCarron, and Bud Holloway rediscovered their chemistry pretty quickly, though, and connected to give Holloway the first IceCaps goal of the night. Less than 60 seconds later Charles Hudon fires a laser through Antoine Bibeau and the game was tied 2-2.
But before the end of the first period, Leipsic would find the back of the net again, as would Nikita Soshnikov. Pasquale was pulled from net again, and the IceCaps looked to find an answer that simply wouldn’t surface. Discipline proved to be a problem as the game wore on, with St. John’s taking six consecutive minor penalties through the first and second periods alone.
Leipsic would add insult to injury in the second period by earning himself a hat trick. Another Toronto goal after that proved to be an insurmountable comeback for the IceCaps even with a late game goal by Carr. The IceCaps face the Marlies again on Sunday for a matinee game at Mile One.
▲ Daniel Carr, Sven Andrighetto, Bud Holloway, Michael McCarron
Andrighetto and Carr reassigned to IceCaps, de la Rose recalled to Canadiens
SVEN ANDRIGHETTO AND DANIEL CARR RETURN TO ST. JOHN’S
St. John’s IceCaps Media Release
ST. JOHN’S, NL — Forwards Sven Andrighetto and Daniel Carr have been reassigned to the IceCaps and forward Jacob de la Rose recalled to the Montreal Canadiens.
Carr played 17 games with Canadiens collecting five goals – including his first NHL goal on the first shift of his first NHL game, on December 5 – and two assists over 17 outings. The 24-year-old had eight goals and 17 points in 21 games with the IceCaps.
Andrighetto has played 17 games in Montreal this season, scoring four goals with one assist. The 22-year-old sniped seven goals and nine assists in 18 games with the IceCaps earlier this season.
In 24 games with St. John’s this season, de la Rose registered two goals and seven assists.
Scratches: Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Michael McCarron (throat), Tim Bozon, Angelo Miceli, Mac Bennett Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
The most memorable moments of the night both came from Bud Holloway: a desperation skate save in the dying minutes of the game with the IceCaps net empty and a kiss that he planted on the helmet of linemate Charles Hudon when the Kiss Cam featured the duo on the score clock during a stoppage of play.
It was that kind of night.
The Senators took advantage of an IceCaps team who got into Binghamton in the wee hours of the morning. The BSens came out of the gate strong scoring just 1:20 into the opening frame. The Senators went up by two on their first power-play of the game seven minutes into the game.
To say the game was physical is putting it mildly. Chippy play, scrums after whistles, and multiple scraps between Stefan Fournier and Guillaume Lepine. Finally, late in the second period, the IceCaps began to show some life after Sven Andrighetto and Fournier each potted a goal.
The momentum had seemingly swung in the visiting team’s direction, but they couldn’t fully surmount a comeback to tie the game. Zach Fucale held off the Binghamton offense through the final horn, but the Senators were able to edge out the IceCaps 3-2.
The IceCaps will start the new year and complete their road trip on Saturday when they meet the Utica Comets.
▲ Mark MacMillan, Jacob de la Rose, Sven Andrighetto
▼ Mark Barberio, Michael Bournival
0 for 2
1 for 2
STJ: Andrighetto (7), Fournier (5)
BNG: Robinson (5), O’Dell (12), Lindberg (4)
STJ: Fucale (L) 8-5-2
BNG: Driedger (W) 8-6-0
AHL Three Stars
Eric O’Dell BNG
Cole Schneider BNG
Stefan Fournier STJ
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre
“They work hard, especially in their building, you know, they’re tough to play against. They’re big, they’re strong, they forecheck hard, they protect the puck well.”
“I thought that we showed some character to at least put ourselves in a situation where we have ourselves a chance to win.”
“I like his game. [Sven Andrighetto] showed some speed and showed some aggressiveness on the forecheck.”
Post-game interview with Sylvain Lefebvre
Post-game interview with Lucas Lessio
Audio from interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for IceCaps Hockey Report | Rocket Sports Media.
Scratches: Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Jacob De la Rose (lower-body), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Mac Bennett (undisclosed), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed), Joel Hanley (undisclosed) Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
The IceCaps came out strong Friday night when they took to the Mile One ice against the Syracuse Crunch. They skated hard, maintained pressure, and kept the Crunch on a defensive stance. But discipline soon became an issue once again, with two minor penalties going against St. John’s in the first period alone.
Neither team found the back of the net in that opening frame, but Sven Andrighetto potted a power play goal just a few minutes into the second period, his fifth of the season. Stefan Fournier followed that with an even-strength goal just a minute and a half later and the IceCaps looked to have the dominant momentum.
Then came more penalties, five total for the IceCaps on the night, and Syracuse started to wear down the home team. The latter portion of the second period and the entirety of the third were slow and sloppy for the IceCaps as the two teams traded goals back and forth.
An ill-timed penalty against Mike McCarron late in the third provided an opening for the game tying Syracuse goal, and for the third consecutive game the IceCaps headed to overtime. It took less than a minute for Andrighetto to end the evening the same way he started it, clinching the OT win for his team.
Scratches: Josiah Didier, Eric Neilson, Connor Crisp (undisclosed injury), Jacob De la Rose (lower-body) Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
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
1 for 2
1 for 3
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
Zachary Fucale STJ
Christian Thomas STJ
Victor Loov TOR
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.”
BRAMPTON, ON — The first year AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, the St.John’s IceCaps are off to a good start through their first 14 games of the season. They are currently third in the Eastern Conference’s North Division with a 7-5-1-1 record for 16 points. Part of the IceCaps early success this season has largely been in part to some of the new faces that either made the jump to the professional ranks or signed this past summer with the Canadiens or the IceCaps organization.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the IceCaps early success is goalie Zach Fucale who is 5-2-0 so far in his seven games, helping his team pick up 10 out of a possible 14 points. Fucale has been mostly solid in his first professional season, although has a middling goals against average of 3.10 and a save percentage of .906 so far. Meanwhile he even chipped in offensively with one assist. The Canadiens 2013 2nd round draft pick has shown his ability to match up to the professional game so far, he will likely only get better as the season moves along.
George “Bud” Holloway, the 27-year-old former third round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, who is back playing in North America for the first time since the 2010-11 season, is the current leader in assists with 11 and points with 15 through the first 14 games. Holloway really impressed while playing overseas in Europe for four seasons signing a one-year, two-way deal with the Canadiens on July 1st.
Holloway was given a chance to crack the deep Canadiens lineup in training camp, however he was unsuccessful in doing so and was sent to the AHL where he has taken on a bit of a veteran role for the young IceCaps team. Holloway brings a ton of leadership to the IceCaps lineup and overall makes them a much better team. Holloway could be a call up later in the season for the Canadiens if injuries occur, however for now, the leading scorer of the IceCaps remains put.
Two first year professionals in Michael McCarron coming out of the Oshawa Generals organization and Nikita Scherbak out of the Everett Silvertips organization are proving that not everyone’s adjustment to the professional game is a difficult one. Big Michael McCarron is in a tie for third in IceCaps scoring with 11 points in 14 games, including six goals so far on the year while being tied for 18th in AHL scoring on the season. Big Mac is a very intimidating presence when he is on the ice, so far this season he has shown he is not afraid to shoot the puck or play his style which is great news.
Nikita Scherbak on the other hand has had a pretty pedestrian start to the season. In eight games he has three points and is a minus-5. For Scherbak, the adjustment to the professional game, speed and play hasn’t been the issue, it has been some injuries have kept him out. Once he gets back to being fully healthy, he will find it easier to play his skilled game and the points will start to come.
Daniel Carr, Sven Andrighetto and Charles Hudon were pegged as players who could have a shot to crack the Canadiens roster out of training camp as well, with two of them being full second year professionals. The trio are all off to good starts this season.
Daniel Carr who had 24 goals last season for the Hamilton Bulldogs is second in team scoring with 12 points in 14 games. Charles Hudon, who was named to the AHL’s all-rookie team last season with 57 points in 75 games, is off to a solid start with 10 points in 14 games.
Lastly, there is diminutive Swiss forward, Sven Andrighetto, who is now playing in his third professional season. In his first season, Andrighetto registered 44 points; last season he tallied 43 points in 40 games. Andrighetto has started this season with nine points in 14 games.
For the IceCaps, these three – two of which were Captain and Assistant Captain at the Rookie Tournament in September – are all being watched closely by the Canadiens and their fans. They figure to be among the top call-ups for the Canadiens if there are any injuries. These young leaders are at the forefront of a, so far, successful St. John’s team in it’s first year as the Habs AHL affliliate.
The IceCaps boast prospects that the Canadiens can afford to wait on. The fact that the Canadiens can afford to let these prospects play together for a long period of time, to grow and learn together, is huge. It also gives the Canadiens management time to really see what type of players they have in the AHL and even in the ECHL with their ECHL affiliate, the Brampton Beast. With the talent the Canadiens organization boasts, the IceCaps figure to be competitive this season. A young, hungry team that can really do some damage this season, the Canadiens know success is paramount in the AHL and ECHL to create a winning environment for these prospects to grow from and translate into success at the next level.
The St.John’s IceCaps next play the Toronto Marlies on Friday, November 13th at home and the Brampton Beast with the likes of Angelo Miceli, Tim Bozon, Mark MacMillan and more next play the Saturday, November 14th vs the Elmira Jackals.