At the unofficial midpoint of the 2012-13 American Hockey League season, the St. John’s IceCaps find themselves in a battle for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The IceCaps split four games on the road this past week, winning in Binghamton and Hershey but falling to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Syracuse. The club concluded its six-game road trip with a respectable 3-2-0-1 record and now returns to Mile One to open up a six-game home stand, beginning with a pair of games against the Senators this Friday and Saturday.
WEEK IN REVIEW:
Monday, January 21 – St. John’s IceCaps 3 Binghamton Senators 2
The St. John’s IceCaps came away with a big 3-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators in a rare Monday night game at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Kael Mouillierat and Jason Gregoire scored in the final frame while Eddie Pasquale was sharp once again, making 32 saves for his 11th victory of the season.
Jason Jaffray extended his scoring streak to four games with his assist in the first period as the IceCaps won their second straight and extended their point streak to four games.
Wednesday, January 23 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 St. John’s IceCaps 0
The St. John’s IceCaps were blanked 3-0 by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena, snapping the team’s season-high four game point streak.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored all three goals in the first period and capitalized on a tired IceCaps team, which was playing its fourth game in six nights. Former IceCap Riley Holzapfel notched a goal and an assist while goaltender Brad Thiessen stopped all 26 shots he faced.
Friday, January 25 – St. John’s IceCaps 3 Hershey Bears 1
The St. John’s IceCaps rebounded from an ugly loss to best the Hershey Bears 3-1 in AHL action Friday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA.
After losing 3-0 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wednesday night in sub-par performance all around, St. John’s outplayed Hershey for the majority of the game and took a valuable two points, keeping pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Ben Maxwell scored the eventual game-winner late in the second period while Eddie Pasquale bounced back with a 26-save performance for his 12th win of the season. Just two nights earlier, Pasquale was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots, but showed no ill effects Friday in guiding his team to victory. Patrice Cormier and Ray Sawada each had a goal and an assist for St. John’s, which played a sound defensive game and
capitalized on the chances it needed to in order to win the game.
Saturday, January 28 – Syracuse Crunch 6 St. John’s IceCaps 3
The St. John’s IceCaps fell victim to the Syracuse Crunch 6-3 Saturday night in a wild game at Onondaga War Memorial Arena in Syracuse,NY.
Both teams traded blows with goals and fists in a game that saw the teams combine for nine goals and 90 minutes in penalties with three lead changes. Alex Killorn had two goals and an assist, including the game-winner early in the third period, while Richard Panik had a goal and two assists. Mark Barberio and Tyler Johnson each had a pair of helpers for Syracuse.
For St. John’s, Kael Mouillierat had a goal and an assist while Patrice Cormier and Dean Arsene scored the other goals.
A Closer Look: Despite the difference in record between last season and this season at the All-Star break, the IceCaps have allowed one fewer goal this year (128) compared to last year (129) through 44 games.
Inked: F Kael Mouillierat was rewarded for his strong play with an AHL contract last Friday. The 25-year-old forward was originally signed to a 25-game tryout contract back in early December but has proven that he belongs at the AHL level, notching 13 points (4G, 9A) in 22 games with St. John’s. The Edmonton native tied a team season-high with points in five consecutive games from Dec. 15 to Dec. 22.
Cormier Finding the Net: F Patrice Cormier appears to be rediscovering his scoring touch. After going pointless in eight games, the big pivot has scored a power play goal in back-to-back games and has three points during that span. Cormier has also fired 11 shots on goal over his past four contests compared to just three shots in his previous six games. Last season, Cormier finished tied for second on the IceCaps in goals with 18.
Eddie Goes Wild: G Eddie Pasquale participated in the first fight by an IceCaps goaltender Saturday night when he squared off against Syracuse’s Dustin Tokarski in an all-netminders’ tilt at centre ice. Pasquale was assessed 27 minutes in penalties on the play, which set a new club record for most penalty minutes by a player in a single game. The previous record was held by Garth Murray, who notched 25 penalty minutes on Feb. 4, 2012 vs. WOR.