Scratches: Eric Neilson, Michael McCarron (throat), Tim Bozon (undisclosed), Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed) Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
It was a must-win night for Sylvain Lefebvre’s IceCaps. After dropping the last two games to teams near the bottom of the standings, St. John’s needed to get back to winning ways before heading home – and they did it with style.
Lucas Lessio opened the scoring just 1:32 into the game with an unassisted goal. Just about three minutes later, Jeremy Gregoire received a perfectly placed pass from Markus Eisenschmid to out the IceCaps up 2-0. The Comets thought they had gotten one of those goals ba k, but the officials ruled it a no-goal due to being hit with a high stick. They did, however, finally get on the board halfway through the first period.
Josiah Didier took quite a beating in this game, seemingly skating with a target on his back. He was the recipient of quite a few hard hits, with two of them nasty enough to warrant Stefan Fournier and Mac Bennett dropping their gloves in Didier’s defense.
Dustin Tokarski looked sharp in net, allowing only one goal on 27 shots. The second period was relatively evenly played, but Brandon McNally added to the IceCaps tally early in the third with his first goal of the season. It was a decisive win for a team looking to continue the momentum on their next home stand.
The IceCaps return to St. John’s and will prepare to host the Portland Pirates on Friday.
▲ Josiah Didier, Markus Eisenschmid, Dustin Tokarski, Morgan Ellis
▼ Lucas Lessio, Charles Hudon
0 for 2
0 for 3
STJ: Lessio (9), Gregoire (3), McNally (1)
UTI: LaBate (2)
STJ: Tokarski (W) 3-3-4
UTI: Bachman (L) 6-6-2
AHL Three Stars
Dustin Tokarski STJ
Jeremy Gregoire STJ
Joseph LaBate UTI
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre
“We stayed poised, we stayed in control and we kept playing.”
“We had better sticks on the forecheck, we spent less time in our D-zone because we had better positioning and better sticks.”
“When you have good games like that from the support cast, it shows that it’s a team effort.”
Scratches: Eric Neilson, Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed) Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
As the road trip continued for the St. John’s IceCaps, they found themselves taking the ice in another NHL rink – this time in Buffalo at the First Niagara Center. The Rochester Americans got things started with a lot of energy, especially after the IceCaps gave them a few early power play opportunities.
The Americans converted one of those man advantages in the first period and went into the intermission with a one-goal lead.
The second period kicked off with a quick goal by Gabriel Dumont just 21 seconds in, but Rochester got it right back just over a minute later. Jacob de la Rose and Lucas Lessio were some of the strongest players on the puck tonight, checking well and skating hard. Dustin Tokarski was shaky at times, but settled in as the game wore on. Late in the period, Charles Hudon found the back of the net on a power play to even the score at 2-2.
St. John’s came out in the third looking a little slow and disorganized, but neither team could get a puck past the opposing goaltender. The overtime period was fast and frenzied, with Tokarski making some key saves to keep the IceCaps in it. However once the shootout came around, Tokarski was unable to stop any of the three Amerks shooters.
Mike McCarron left the game early in the third period after taking an apparent stick to the face and did not return to the bench. The IceCaps return to the ice on Thursday night when they take on the Senators in Binghamton, NY.
Tokarski and Tinordi recalled, Fucale reassigned to St. John’s
Sunday, 12.6.15 / 12:00pm ET
MONTREAL CANADIENS PRESS RELEASE
MONTREAL — The Canadiens announced on Sunday that goaltender Zachary Fucale has been reassigned to St. John’s in the AHL, and that goaltender Dustin Tokarski and defenseman Jarred Tinordi have been recalled from the IceCaps.
Fucale was called up last Monday, November 30, and was Mike Condon’s back up for three games, although he did not see any ice time.
Tokarski went 0-1-1 with a 2.45 goals against average and 0.925 save percentage over his two-game stint in the AHL.
Tinordi was assigned to the IceCaps on November 26 for conditioning purposes, registering a pair of assists over six games with St. John’s.
Scratches: Dalton Thrower, Mac Bennett, Tim Bozon, Michael Bournival (concussion), Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Jacob De la Rose (lower-body), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
Sometimes the games that you are ‘supposed’ to win are the hardest to play.
Fans of the Montreal Canadiens organization divided their attention between the IceCaps and the Habs on Saturday night. The Canadiens were in North Carolina to face the last place team in the Eastern conference of the NHL. They came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 final in Raleigh.
St. John’s was in Binghamton to wrap up their road trip against the Senators, winners of just five games coming into this night. Marc MacMillan opened the scoring just four minutes into the game. Matt Puempel replied quickly for the Senators.
The Sens started the game with a bit of a chip on their shoulders and were ornery throughout. Just over eight minutes in Jeremy Gregoire tangled with Max McCormick. It was an extended tilt with a flurry of blows. The IceCaps bench took note of McCormick getting in an extra punch to the head while Gregoire was on the ice.
Just two minutes later Mike McCarron put down Nick Tuzzolino with a single solid punch. Tuzzolino left the ice for repairs in the dressing room. The fight was over so quickly that the two were given minors for roughing.
The IceCaps failed to develop any momentum after their first goal. Similarly the one-sided fight did nothing to spark the lethargic offense. And the Senators, who haven’t been in many games this season, seized the chance for a rare win.
The backbreaker for the IceCaps was a Senators goal by Ryan Dzingel with just 85 seconds left in the second period.
The IceCaps are really feeling the impact of injuries and call-ups at this point of the season. They have become a one line offense of Mike McCarron, Charles Hudon and Bud Holloway. While having great season in their own right, McCarron and Hudon play different games and have shown little chemistry playing together.
The IceCaps will return to St. John’s on Sunday with a four game home-stand on the schedule starting on Friday against the Rochester Americans..
▲ Mark MacMillan, Brett Lernout, Jarred Tinordi, Darren Dietz, Mike McCarron
Scratches: Dalton Thrower, Mark Barberio (undisclosed), Eric Neilson, Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Jacob De la Rose (lower-body), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured reserve: Ryan Johnston (back surgery)
The IceCaps, looking to continue their win streak, started off tonight’s game in Albany with seven shots on goal in the first period. It would be the highest number of shots on goal for St. John’s in any period for the rest of the game. After a fairly uneventful opening 10 minutes, Michael McCarron got called for a boarding penalty which led to a quick power play goal by the Devils.
20 seconds later, Gabriel Dumont responded with a goal of his own to even the score, assisted by Joel Hanley and Stefan Fournier. Not long after that, Jeremy Gregoire and Corey Tropp dropped the gloves for a spirited fight.
But it was a hard hit to the head on Jeremy Gregoire in the second period that sent Dan Kelly to the dressing room for the night with a match penalty. Gregoire eventually made his way off the ice under his own power, albeit very bloodied.
The Devils peppered Dustin Tokarski all night long. Tokarski, down from the Habs on a conditioning stint, responded well after shaking off some the rust from not playing in Montreal yet this season. He had some key saves during the game and especially in overtime.
Outshot 38-18 by the Albany Devils, the IceCaps couldn’t get out of their own zone long enough to get the game winner before Paul Thompson found an opening short side to end the game. Also down for a conditioning stint is Jarred Tinordi, who played exceptionally well throughout the game.
The IceCaps have now earned points in nine straight games.
▲ Charles Hudon, Jarred Tinordi, Gabriel Dumont, Dustin Tokarski
0 for 5
1 for 5
STJ: Dumont (5)
ALB: Sislo (12), Thompson (6)
STJ: Tokarski (L) 2-2-3
ALB: Danis (W) 12-2-3
AHL Three Stars
Paul Thompson ALB
Dustin Tokarski STJ
Marc-Andre Gragnani ALB
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre
“If you ask [Gabriel Dumont] if he wants that puck again, he could have won it for us. (Yann) Danis made a couple of good saves. Overtime can go either way.”
“They have good special teams. They showed that again tonight. For us to get a point here on the road, it’s a big point for us.”
TOKARSKI AND THOMAS RECALLED
Thursday, 11.26.2015 / 5:00 PM ET
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.
IceCaps Assign Pasquale to Brampton
GOALTENDER EDDIE PASQUALE REASSIGNED TO ECHL CLUB
St. John’s IceCaps Media Release
ST. JOHN’S, NL (November 21, 2015) – Montreal Canadiens and St. John’s IceCaps General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the IceCaps have assigned goaltender Eddie Pasquale to the Brampton Beast of the ECHL.
Pasquale posted a 1-1-1 record with the IceCaps, including a 2.99 goals against average and a .914 save percentage. The 25-year-old Toronto native registered a 4-1 win-loss record with the Beast, including a 3.88 goals against average and a .877 save percentage, earlier this season. He was signed in July to a one-year American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.
An original IceCap, Pasquale played three seasons in St. John’s from 2011-12 to 2013-14 and holds many team records, including most games played by a netminder – 112.
Selected by the Atlanta Thrashers 117th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Pasquale was traded by the Winnipeg Jets to the Washington Capitals last summer in an exchange of draft picks. However, he sat out the entire 2014-15 season recuperating from hip surgery.
WHITEHALL, PA. — A hockey practice is not only a learning experience for the players on the ice but also instructive for those who follow the team. The IceCaps Hockey Report team caught up with the IceCaps as they were put through their paces during the road trip in Pennsylvania.
The players were wide-eyed as they entered the well-worn old barn. Jacob De la Rose said that it reminded him of the rink where he played his minor hockey. But as they walked along the boards to the dressing room many commented that the ice looked good. “I can smell good ice,” said Eric Neilson.
“When we pulled in, everyone was like ‘Woah, what is this?’,” said Mike McCarron, “But the ice was good. It was a good practice. Guys were moving their feet good.”
McCarron was the first to take the ice at the arena known as “The Rink at Lehigh Valley.”
The IceCaps began practice will a typical line-rush drill but with a twist. They didn’t use pucks. The invisible puck drill was a trademark of former Canadiens forward Jimmy Roberts back in his coaching days primarily with the St. Louis Blues organization. According to IceCaps team broadcaster Brian Rogers, it was the coaching staff’s tribute to Roberts, who passed away on October 23rd of this year.
IceCaps assistant coach Donald Dufresne played for Roberts when Jimmy was the coach and general manager in the mid-90’s of the Worcester IceCats (Blues AHL affiliate.) Canadiens assistant coach J.J. Daigneault was also a member of that roster.
Passing without a puck was, for the most part, tape-to-tape. The line rushes by the forwards were creative and the phantom shots were of the booming variety. But it was the goaltending where imaginations flourished with spectacular glove saves and the occasional double-pad stack.
“The guys, I think they missed their shots,” said Zach Fucale, “That was a little bit of a fun time to start the practice. It got everyone fired up.”
The 3-on-3 drill was especially intense with some solid contact. It was a spirited, high-energy practice with players being encouraged to be very vocal to communicate with teammates. This is a talented, strong skating team with good camaraderie.
“Sorry Tick” drowned out the rest of the ice noise as a restrained shot from defenceman Brett Lernout got up a little high on Dustin Tokarski. The body language of the former Canadiens backup and his lack of crispness in a shoot-in drill hinted that Tokarski is not necessarily enthusiastic about his new assignment. (Tokarski was recalled by the Canadiens on Sunday in light of an injury to Carey Price.)
With the net empty, Lernout practised one-timers in rapid-fire succession displaying a potent shot and remarkable accuracy. After several minutes, he celebrated loudly his several dozen goals.
The head coach showed that he still has a little velocity to his shot as a blast from the stick of Sylvain Lefebvre went part way through the twine remaining caught up in the netting for all to see.
McCarron was second-to-last off the ice as the session ended just over an hour after it began.
Check out our gallery of photos from IceCaps practice.
Scratches: Josiah Didier, Dalton Thrower, Ryan Johnston (hernia), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Brandon McNally (undisclosed), Eric Neilson, Tim Bozon (shoulder) Injured reserve:
After a six game home stand, the IceCaps embarked on six game road tour of Pennsylvania. Up first were the Lehigh Valley Phantoms entering the game with a record of 2-4-0-0. The Phantoms were coming off a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies, with the Flyers affiliate looking slow and out of sync in most aspects of their game.
In Wednesday night’s game the Phantoms came out strong and didn’t let up putting the IceCaps on their heels for the entire first period. In a bout early in the period, Connor Crisp was taken down by a stiff right to the face from Derek Mathers. After 20 minutes the shots on goal were 14-3 for the home team.
Thanks to a Sven Andrighetto power-play goal and some fine goaltending from Dustin Tokarski, the IceCaps were fortunate to be tied 1-1 after the first frame.
While the shots were far more even in the second (10-8 for the Phantoms) three Lehigh Valley goals would sink the IceCaps. St. John’s was passive in this game and found themselves having difficulty negotiating the neutral zone. Turnovers were also an issue throughout the game.
It was the highest goal output for the Phantoms all season. The IceCaps simply couldn’t get their speed game out of the box. One wonders if the visitors underestimated their hosts.
Former Hab Aaron Palushaj had two assists for the Phantoms playing on the top line with Tim Brent and Taylor Leier. Another alumn from the Canadiens organization, Davis Drewiske had one shot on goal for Lehigh Valley.
It was the first game for Mark MacMillan recently called up from the Brampton Beast. MacMillan was filling in for an injured Nikita Scherbak.
According to coach Lefebvre, the IceCaps will be better prepared on Friday when they return to the PPL Center.
“The scoreboard tells you about the game and how it went. I thought that the first period we just weren’t there. We’re just coming off six games in nine nights in St. John’s. We were travelling (on Tuesday.) So, not to make excuses, but it looks like our team was flat in the first period and they had some jump. I know that we’re going to be better on Friday.“
“I don’t think that they’re a team that… in the standings, it doesn’t really reflect what kind of team that they have. Their defense stabilizes their play and the goaltending. They have two or three lines that, they have speed so they…”
“We didn’t know them at all, they didn’t know us at all either but we wanted to make a better first impression. But I know we’re going to be better on Friday.”
“Well obviously (the goal on Friday is) to bring more energy. We need to come out… our starts have been really good in St. John’s so now we need to do the same thing on the road. If we do that we’re going to be fine.”
“What I’ve been impressed with is the balance that we’ve had throughout the lineup and also in our transitional game. We want to play a fast game and we have some forwards that can make some plays. We want to give them the puck and be able to do their work.”
“Tonight we couldn’t get through the neutral zone and get pucks in. We had too many turnovers and we looked not very sharp mentally and it cost us.”
“We’re a team that is good with the puck. We try to have it and not give it away but sometimes… I got to give [the Phantoms] credit tonight. They played really well and they were in our face. We didn’t have much time and space to work with. Adding to that, we weren’t very sharp mentally and physically. It doesn’t make for a good recipe.”
“[Our goaltending] has been good. It hasn’t been the problem.”
“[Nikita Scherbak was out of the lineup due to] injury. He’s going to be (out) maybe a week or so.”
Audio from an interview with IceCaps coach Sylvain Lefebvre conducted by Amy Johnson for IceCaps Hockey Report following the game.
Phantoms coach Scott Gordon
“Even though they got the goal, you have to recognize what the situation was in the game at that point. We were going pretty good. You can’t control that puck going in the net, in a sense, but it’s how you respond to it, and we responded well.” (speaking to The Morning Call)