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On the Road With the IceCaps: Coming Together [GALLERY]

IMG_5676
(Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)

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 Rink at Lehigh Valley (Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)
The Rink at Lehigh Valley (Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)

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.

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The Rink at Lehigh Valley (Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)

“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.

Dustin Tokarski (Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)
Dustin Tokarski (Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)

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.

(Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)
(Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)

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.

 

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IceCaps game report

Recap – IceCaps vs Bears: St. John’s Allows Third Period Hershey Comeback

Saturday October 31, 2015 
Giant Center, Hershey, PA.

ICECAPS
St. John’s

St.JohnsIceCaps

2-4

BEARS
Hershey

Daniel Carr (Photo courtesy of St. John’s IceCaps)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Thomas
Andrighetto – Hudon – Holloway
McNally – De la Rose – Dumont
Gregoire – Eisenschmid – Neilson[/one_half]

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

Goaltenders:

Fucale
Tokarski

Scratches: Josiah Didier, Mac Bennett, Ryan Johnston (hernia), Mark MacMillan, Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Connor Crisp, Tim Bozon (shoulder)
Injured reserve:

Game Report

Buoyed by their win Friday night in Allentown, the St. John’s IceCaps came out flying in Hershey on Saturday. Darren Dietz opened the scoring with a perfectly placed wrister from the point before the game was four minutes old.

Shots on goal were 10-1 for the IceCaps with just seven minutes played in the first period. Hershey’s veteran goaltender Justin Peters prevented any further damage in the first period, particularly with two big pad saves on Charles Hudon during an IceCaps 5-on-3 man advantage.

The IceCaps dominated the first period outshooting the Bears 14-5. The Giant Center fans showed their disappointment in the home team during a late first period power-play as Hershey looked completely out of sync.

St. John’s went up 2-0 just 69 seconds into the second period as he knocked down a loose puck and ripped it from the circle.  Just over two and a half minutes later, Hershey captain Garrett Mitchell intercepted a Dietz clearing attempt and beat Zach Fucale glove side.

Fans in the Giant Center woke up and so did the Bears. They took over the game in the second period outshooting the IceCaps 14-7.

The momentum for the home team continued into the third with Liam O’Brien converting a 3-on-1 to tie the game at two just over four minutes into the third period. Paul Carey tapped in a cross-ice feed to give the Bears their first lead at 9:58.

At the midpoint of the third period, shots on goal were 7-0 for Hershey.

The IceCaps mounted a fierce attack looking for the tying goal in the final two minutes but were turned away by Peters. Dustin Gazley scored an empty-netter for a 4-2 final.

After a very good first period, the IceCaps went to sleep. For a 30 minute stretch in the second and third periods, they were outshot 21-7. The loss, was St. John’s second in three games on this six-game road trip.

The IceCaps get the day off on Sunday before returning to the ice for practice on Monday. St. John’s next game is on Wednesday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

▲     Zach Fucale, Darren Dietz, Daniel Carr, Mark Barberio

 Statistics 
ICECAPS BEARS
 28 Shots 30
0 for 3 Power Play 0 for 3
6 Penalty Minutes 6
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 IceCaps (6-3-1-1) 1 1 0 2
 Bears (4-3-o-1) 0 1 3 4
Scorers Goalies
  • STJ:  Dietz (2), Hudon (4)
  • HER:  Mitchell (2), O’Brien (1), Carey (2), Gazley (3)
  • STJ: Fucale (L)  4-1-0
  • HER: Peters (W)  2-1-1
 AHL Three Stars
ahl14_200
  1. Paul Casey  HER
  2. Justin Peters  HER
  3. BD Gazley  HER

 Video highlights
 Post-game interview
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre

  • “Well, it did (momentum changed) in the third period. The goal they got, it killed us, killed our momentum. We had no legs in the third period. Why? I don’t know. You have to give [the Hershey Bears] credit, they played well and they played hard.”
  • “You try to stay positive, you try to get them going but at the same time, they have to do it themselves. They have to regroup.”
  • “Obviously everybody thought that there should have been a penalty on the play. But we stopped playing hard, we stopped making plays, we stopped moving our feet and that’s our DNA.”
  • “We felt desperate, we played desperate hockey. We spent time in their zone and we had a couple of chances. They played well, their goalie made big saves especially in the first period on our power-play. He made a huge save (on Hudon.) If we score there…”
  • “Even when the score was 2-0, we did have some scoring chances and we didn’t capitalize. The game could have gone either way but it didn’t.”
  • “We looked a little tired in the third period. We’re a team that’s in pretty good shape so [fatigue] shouldn’t be a factor.”

Post-game interview with Sylvain Lefebvre

Post-game interview with Zach Fucale

Audio from interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for IceCaps Hockey Report | Rocket Sports Media.

Quotes and audio courtesy of Rocket Sports Media

 Social Media: Follow @IceCapsReport on Twitter
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IceCaps game report

Recap – IceCaps vs Phantoms: McCarron Scores Game-Winner

Friday October 30, 2015 
PPL Center, Allentown, PA.

ICECAPS
St. John’s

St.JohnsIceCaps

3-2

LehighValleyPhantoms

PHANTOMS
Lehigh Valley

Jeremy Gregoire (Photo by St. Johns IceCaps)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Thomas
Andrighetto – Hudon – Holloway
McNally – De la Rose – Dumont
Crisp – Gregoire – Neilson[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Barberio – Ellis
Bennett – Dietz
Didier – Thrower[/one_half_last]

Goaltenders:

Fucale
Tokarski

Scratches: Brett Lernout, Joel Hanley, Ryan Johnston (hernia), Mark MacMillan, Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Tim Bozon (shoulder), Markus Eisenschmid
Injured reserve:

Game Report

Sylvain Lefebvre was true to his word. The IceCaps head coach promised that his club would be better on Friday and his troops delivered.

It was a much better start with the St. John’s IceCaps outshooting their hosts 12-10 in the scoreless first period. As happened on Wednesday, Sven Andrighetto opened the scoring rifling a wrister just 30 seconds into the second period.  Charles Hudon was the beneficiary of a great pass from Bud Holloway to score a power-play goal at 6:56 of the second giving the IceCaps a 2-0 lead.

It was the second assist of the game for Holloway.

Lehigh Valley’s Chris Conner scored the next two goals of the game to bring the Phantoms even with just under six minutes gone in the third period.

Mike McCarron scored the game-winner as he batted a rebound out of the air on the backhand. Even Phantoms goalie Anthony Stolarz was impressed telling The Morning Call, “For me, it’s just a slow shot coming in. Those are the hardest to control. I actually did a good job to get it off the ice, heading to the corner. McCarron made a nice play to whack it in the back door.”

The play was ruled onside by the lone linesman on the ice (the second linesman exited for undisclosed reasons in the third period) but the call was disputed by the Phantoms.

Compared to their game on Wednesday in this same building, St. John’s was stronger in all areas of the ice. A solid forecheck, an improved physical game and good goaltending each contributed to the win.

The only area lacking in this game was discipline. Lefebvre said that taking too many penalties has been an issue all season. The penalty-killers limited Lehigh Valley to one power-play goal on four opportunities.

It was the first game of the year for defenceman Josiah Didier and Dalton Thrower and forwards Brandon McNally and Eric Neilson. Thrower took exception when Fucale was driven into the back of the goal in the first period by Lehigh Valley forward Petr Straka.  Midway through the second, Neilson took on Phantoms heavyweight Derek Mathers.

This was a well-played hockey game on both sides. The IceCaps were relentless on the puck all over the ice. Their pace and work effort were the difference.

Next up for the IceCaps is the Hershey Bears on Saturday night.

▲     Sven Andrighetto, Bud Holloway, Mike McCarron, Zach Fucale, Mark Barberio, Darren Dietz, Christian Thomas

 Statistics 
ICECAPS PHANTOMS
 26 Shots 25
1 for 2 Power Play 1 for 4
17 Penalty Minutes 13
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 IceCaps (6-2-1-1) 0 2 1 3
 Phantoms (3-5-o-o) 0 1 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • STJ:  Andrighetto (4), Hudon (3), McCarron (5)
  • LV:  Conner (3), Conner (4)
  • STJ: Fucale (W)  4-0-0
  • LV: Stolarz (L)  3-2-0
 AHL Three Stars
ahl14_200
  1. Mike McCarron  STJ
  2. Chris Conner  LV
  3. Bud Hollway  STJ

 Video summary
 Post-game interview
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre

  • “We had more energy, that’s for sure, a better start too. 
  • “Even we’re up 2-0 and 2-1 after the second period, that’s where we gotta get it done. We made a nice play on the 2-on-1 but we fought, we battled and when we got the third goal we played really well. We kept the play in deep. We kept the puck towards the back of the net and we controlled the play and ground them out and taking energy out of them.”
  • “It was a great team effort tonight.”
  • “In the second period I thought we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit by taking bad penalties. But our PK has been good all year so far. We have to give those guys credit for the dirty job that they have to do.”
  • “I felt that 5-on-5 tonight we controlled the play pretty much the whole night.”
  • “We have to play our game and that was more our game that we played tonight.”
  • “That’s playing fast and using our speed and getting pucks behind their defencemen especially with the ‘D’ corps that they have. They have experience with (Andrew) MacDonald and (Davis) Drewiske and (Matt) Lashoff but we have to put the puck behind them.”
  • “It’s not easy to go back for defencemen now-a-days where you can’t hold up. You gotta skate. You gotta make it tough on them. With the skills up front we’re going to score goals. If you have them take penalties on you then our power-play is playing pretty well right now and scoring some goals.”
  • “[Jacob De la Rose] is good at both positions (centre and left wing.) I think he may feel a bit more comfortable at centre. But I think that, at centre right now, he’s using more of his legs and speed and reach. And he’s good on faceoffs. I liked his game tonight.”
  • “[Sven Andrighetto] has played well especially tonight and last game. I didn’t like his penalties in the second period. You know what it’s a learning process here. ‘If you take one, don’t take two’ and he knows that. He was having a great game. I told him ‘Don’t let that screw your game up.’ But he played well in the third period. He’s playing more aggressive and playing more involved physically. By that I mean he keeps the puck and he battles for the puck and that makes him a better hockey player.”
  • “Since the start of the season we’ve taken too many penalties. We have to cut that down for sure. Because we’re a team that should have the other team take penalties on us because of our speed and our skills. A lot of those penalties were taken with our ‘D’ zone coverage. If you take a penalty on the forecheck or taking hooking penalties 200 feet from your net, those are bad penalties and those are tough to kill.”
  • “Hershey is a good team. It’s not going to be an easy game, we know that. I that that winning the game tonight is a big booster for us. We just have to dig deep and find energy. We know we don’t have that long to travel but we need to regroup here and find the energy tomorrow.”

Post-game interview with Sylvain Lefebvre

Post-game interview with Sven Andrighetto

Audio from interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for IceCaps Hockey Report | Rocket Sports Media.

Quotes and audio courtesy of Rocket Sports Media

 Social Media: Follow @IceCapsReport on Twitter
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IceCaps game report

Recap – IceCaps vs Phantoms: Slow Start to Road Trip for Baby Habs

Wednesday October 28, 2015 
PPL Center, Allentown, PA.

ICECAPS
St. John’s

St.JohnsIceCaps

1-5

LehighValleyPhantoms

PHANTOMS
Lehigh Valley

Sven Andrighetto Photo by St. Johns IceCaps)
Sven Andrighetto (Photo by St. Johns IceCaps)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Carr – McCarron – Thomas
Andrighetto – Hudon – Holloway
De la Rose – Dumont – Eisenschmid
Crisp – MacMillan – Gregoire[/one_half]

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

Goaltenders:

Tokarski
Fucale

Scratches: Josiah Didier, Dalton Thrower, Ryan Johnston (hernia), Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed), Brandon McNally (undisclosed), Eric Neilson, Tim Bozon (shoulder)
Injured reserve:

Game Report

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.

▲     Sven Andrighetto

 Statistics 
ICECAPS PHANTOMS
 18 Shots 28
1 for 3 Power Play 1 for 4
13 Penalty Minutes 11
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 IceCaps (5-2-1-1) 1 0 0 1
 Phantoms (3-4-o-o) 1 3 1 5
Scorers Goalies
  • STJ:  Andrighetto (3)
  • LV:  Cousins (2), Cousins (3), Goumas (1), Gostibehere (1), Leier (3)
  • STJ: Tokarski (L)  2-2-2
  • LV: Stolarz (W)  3-1-0
 AHL Three Stars
ahl14_200
  1. Nick Cousins  LV
  2. Taylor Leier  LV
  3. Shayne Gostibehere  LV
Nick Cousins

 Video Highlights 
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
 Post-game interview
Coach Sylvain Lefebvre

  • “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)

Quotes and audio courtesy of Rocket Sports Media

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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.

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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 Reassign Charles Hudon, Sven Andrighetto to St. John’s IceCaps

Canadiens reassign Hudon, Andrighetto to St. John’s
PAIR OF FORWARDS TO JOIN ICECAPS THIS WEEK

12094737_1064487996937506_3474225757134700966_oHudon

St. John’s IceCaps MEDIA RELEASE

MONTREAL, QC – The Montreal Canadiens announced Monday that forwards Charles Hudon and Sven Andrighetto have been reassigned to the St. John’s IceCaps.

A Canadiens’ 5th round pick in 2012, Hudon, 21, finished second in AHL rookie scoring last season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, notching 57 points in 75 games and winning MVP of the AHL All-Star Classic after recording a hat trick.

Andrighetto, 22, finished his second AHL season in 2014-15, tallying 43 points in 60 games with Hamilton and earning his first NHL callup. The Switzerland native played 12 games with Montreal, registering two goals and an assist.

The IceCaps open the 2015-16 season Saturday, October 10th when they visit the Hartford Wolf Pack. Broadcaster Brian Rogers has the call at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Fans can also tune in via AHL Live.

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Player Features

IceCaps Roster Feature – Sven Andrighetto

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

Sven Andrighetto (Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)
Sven Andrighetto (Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)

ST. JOHN’S, NL. — In this exclusive IceCaps Report series, we will feature 30 players which may call Mile One Centre home at some point this season leading up to puck drop in the fall. You will also be interested in our St. John’s IceCaps Projected Lineup for 2015-16.

In alphabetical order our first feature is Sven Andrighetto. The Zurich, Switzerland native is no stranger to offense. After playing competitively through the junior and pro ranks in his home country, Andrighetto moved over the North America for a chance at one day playing in the NHL. Signing with Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL.

Andrighetto had a breakout campaign in 2011-12 with 74 points (36G – 38A) in 62 games played. He followed that up with an even better sophomore year finishing sixth in scoring in the “Q” posting 98 points (31G-67A) in 53 games played. To put that in perspective his 1.85 pt/g clip was good for fourth in the league, a tick behind Jonathan Drouin (2.14), Nikita Kucherov (1.91) and a shade ahead of 2013-14 Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon (1.70).

Andrighetto knows how to light the lamp but how he projected into the pro ranks remained to be seen as at 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds, he’s not necessarily terrorizing opposing defensemen on the boards. In his rookie season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Sven posted a respectable 17 goals and 27 assists in 64 games played.

Finally in 2014-15 Andrighetto found himself at the Bell Centre splitting the season between the Canadiens and the Bulldogs. On December 6th, 2014 in Dallas, Andrighetto managed to score on his first and only shot of the game, he would go on to add a goal and an assist in the next two games, however that would be all he would manage before being sent down to the Bulldogs nine games later. He finished the season with 14 goals and 29 assists in Hamilton.

Andrighetto doesn’t figure to be a shutdown guy, or a physical third liner. His potential with the Canadiens is strictly a top-6 role, and it is entirely up to him to determine how far he goes within the organization. At this point we have him slotted to play on the IceCaps top two lines filling the RW roles with rookie Nikita Scherbak. If he goes on to play the entire season in St. John’s fans can expect him to lead the way offensively. However if the Habs run into injury problems early-on, won’t be long before the brass give him another chance to shine in La Belle Province.

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.

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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.

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Press release

Bulldogs Announce Injury Updates on Andrighetto, Dumont, Tinordi

INJURY UPDATE ON ANDRIGHETTO, DUMONT, TINORDI

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Hamilton Bulldogs Press Release

MONTREAL, QUE. – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the following injury updates on forwards Sven Andrighetto and Gabriel Dumont as well as defenceman Jarred Tinordi.

Sven Andrighetto
Suffered upper body injury on April 18 – out 1-2 weeks

Gabriel Dumont
Broken foot – out 4-6 weeks

Jarred Tinordi
Underwent wrist surgery on April 20 – out 2-3 months