Two wins over Binghamton inch IceCaps closer to playoff position; Worcester, Connecticut on tap this week. With first place Binghamton in town for two tough games, the St. John’s IceCaps used home ice to their advantage, skating away with a pair of victories to move closer to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Eric O’Dell scored the game-winning goal in both games while Eddie Pasquale stopped 45-of-47 shots to pick up his 13th and 14th wins of the season. The IceCaps continue their six-game home stand this week with games against the AHL’s sea creatures, the Sharks and Whale.
WEEK IN REVIEW:
Friday, February 1 – St. John’s IceCaps 4 Binghamton Senators 2
Eric O’Dell netted two goals, including the game-winner, as the St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Binghamton Senators 4-2 Friday night at Mile One Centre. O’Dell’s late second period marker stood up as the deciding goal, while Kael Mouillierat notched a goal and two assists in the win.
Kevin Clark had a goal and an assist and Carl Klingberg chipped in with a pair of helpers.
Eddie Pasquale was not busy for St. John’s but was solid when called upon, stopping 21-of-23 shots for his 13th win of the season. In the Binghamton crease, reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week Robin Lehner made 30 saves in picking up just his sixth loss of the season.
Saturday, February 2 – St. John’s IceCaps 1 Binghamton Senators 0
The St. John’s IceCaps rode strong defensive play to a 1-0 triumph over the Binghamton Senators Saturday at Mile One Centre to sweep the two-game series.
Eric O’Dell scored the game’s only goal on a second period power play while Eddie Pasquale stopped all 24 shots he faced for his fourth shutout of the season. Robin Lehner made 29 saves in the Binghamton net but was saddled with the loss for the second consecutive night.
With the victory, the IceCaps extended their home winning streak to a season-high three games and completed a two-game sweep at Mile One Centre for the first time this season.
O’Dell Heating Up: F Eric O’Dell had a terrific week for the IceCaps, notching three goals in two games (two of which came on the power play). O’Dell scored the game-winner in both games against Binghamton and has now scored six goals on his current four-game home scoring streak. O’Dell’s 22.6% shooting percentage ranks eighth in the AHL and fifth amongst active players while his five first goals are tied for second in the league.
Jets Update: It was a week of firsts for a pair of former IceCaps all-star blueliners. Zach Redmond suited up in his first NHL game last Thursday at Florida and played nearly 21 minutes, finishing with three shots and a +1 rating. The Michigan native then played 20:11 Friday at Tampa Bay, finishing with an even plus/minus rating despite the Jets allowing eight goals in a loss. Paul Postma notched his first NHL goal (a power play tally) in that same game and added two assists for his first career multi-point effort, factoring in on all three Winnipeg goals.
Everyday Eddie: G Eddie Pasquale has started 10 consecutive games for St. John’s and 11-of-12 since the calendar turned to 2013. During that span, Pasquale is 6-3-1 and has allowed more than three goals in a game just once. The Toronto native has won five of his last six decisions and is now 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .957 SV% to begin the month. Last season, Pasquale’s best month was February, when he compiled six wins, a 1.58 GAA and a .936 SV%.
Big Points on the Line: St. John’s and its two opponents this week – Worcester and Connecticut – are separated by just one point in the standings. Worcester (46) sits a point ahead of both St. John’s and Connecticut (45) but with two fewer games played. The IceCaps have tangled with the Sharks and Whale just once each this season, coming away victorious with overtime wins in both games.
Injury Report: F Hunter Tremblay returned to action this past weekend after a lengthy layoff with concussion like symptoms. Tremblay had missed 26 consecutive games and 31 in total. F John Albert re-aggravated a prior injury and missed both games against the Senators. His status for this week is unknown. Also injured: Jason King (head), Aaron Gagnon (undisclosed), Shawn Weller (finger), and Ivan Telegin (undisclosed).