The St. John’s IceCaps took two-of-four points during their two-game road trip through Southern Ontario this past weekend, maintaining their lead atop both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.
WEEK IN REVIEW:Friday, February 17 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4 St. John’s IceCaps 3
Friday, the IceCaps visited the Hamilton Bulldogs and fell victim to a bad start and a questionable call early in the third period. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead just 7:55 into the opening stanza, sending reigning Reebok/AHL Player of the Week Eddie Pasquale to the showers early. David Aebischer came on in relief and held the fort, allowing the conference-leading IceCaps to get back in the game. After Philip DeSimone gave Hamilton a 4-0 lead early in the second, St. John’s began to mount a comeback. Kevin Clark and Shawn Weller both potted their ninth goals of the season midway through the fram, and Paul Postma
blasted a power play tally (his 11th of the season, tops among all AHL defencemen) to close the gap to 4-3 heading into the final 20 minutes. In the third, the IceCaps appeared to tie the game when Ben Maxwell
rifled a shot past Bulldogs goalie Nathan Lawson on the power play. However, referee Mark Lemelin determined there was incidental contact made with Lawson, preventing him from being given the opportunity to make save. The disallowed goal seemed to deflate the visitors, who couldn’t muster any more great scoring chances against a tightchecking Bulldogs team, falling by a final of 4-3.Saturday, February 18 – St. John’s IceCaps 2 Toronto Marlies 1
Despite Pasquale’s struggles the previous night, coach Keith McCambridge showed faith in the young netminder by throwing him back into the fire against the Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon. Playing in his hometown, the Toronto native did not disappoint, turning aside 24 shots in a well-played 2-1 St. John’s victory. Patrice Cormier
ensured the team would not succumb to another slow start, scoring less than three minutes into the game to put the visitors on top 1-0. Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton scored a nice goal on a breakaway halfway through the second period to tie things at one, but Carl Klingberg
responded with a highlight reel effort of his own in the third. Klingberg beat the Toronto defence and went backhand-forehand to tuck a shot past Ben Scrivens for his 14th of the season and eventual game-winner.
The IceCaps play just one game this week, their third of a seven-game road trip that doesn’t see the team return to play at home until March 9. Friday, the IceCaps look for revenge against the Bulldogs at the Bell Centre in Montreal. St. John’s has won two-of-three as the visiting team and leads the season series 3-2.ICECAPS NOTES:
- Special Teams Update: After going 1-for-8 this weekend, the IceCaps PP ranks tied for third at 20.8%, while the PK unit has improved to 10th overall at 83.5%.
- Quick Starts: The IceCaps have scored the first goal of the game 27 times this season, going 22-3-1-1 in those contests for an .852 winning percentage, third best in the AHL.
- Calling the Shots: The IceCaps have fired a ton of pucks on net this season but have also limited opponents in the same category. St. John’s is fifth in shots for per game at 32.98 and allow the sixth fewest shots against per game at 28.23.
- Debuting: C Maxime Macenauer made his IceCaps debut this weekend. The Laval native played in both games, recording one shot and two minutes in penalties with a plus-1 rating while playing on a line with Garth Murray and Kevin Clark Friday and Spencer Machacek and Carl Klingberg Saturday.
- Klingberg ‘Klicking’: After going 14 games without a goal to begin 2012, Carl Klingberg has found the twine three times in his past seven contests, including two goals in his last three games. The rookie Swede is second in team goal scoring with 14, one behind Jason King and Jason Jaffray.