St. John’s loses four straight, looks to right the ship on the road with big divisional matchups
A tough loss Tuesday night was enough to derail the rest of the week for the St. John’s IceCaps, as the club lost all four games to finish their home stand with a 2-4 mark. The Worcester Sharks scored twice in the final minutes of Tuesday’s game to win 3-2 and followed that up with a 4-0 blanking the next night. Saturday and Sunday saw the Connecticut Whale come to town and sweep the two game set with 4-1 and 7-3 victories. St. John’s faces a stiff test this week as it plays three divisional games in three days, beginning with back-to-back tilts against the Manchester Monarchs followed by a matinee against the Portland Pirates in Lewiston, Maine.
WEEK IN REVIEW:
Tuesday, February 5 – Worcester Sharks 3 St. John’s IceCaps 2
The St. John’s IceCaps suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Worcester Sharks Tuesday night at Mile One Centre.
Worcester scored two goals in the final 3:18 of the third period to hand St. John’s its first home loss since Jan. 12. Daniil Tarasov scored two goals, including the game-winner with 1:31 to go in regulation, as the Sharks snapped a three-game losing skid. Bracken Kearns notched a goal and two assists while Tim Kennedy registered three helpers. Harri Sateri made 30 saves for the win.
Jason Jaffray potted both goals for St. John’s – one shorthanded and one on the power play – to provide the IceCaps’ only offence. Eddie Pasquale played a strong game for the home side, stopping 29 shots.
Wednesday, February 6 – Worcester Sharks 4 St. John’s IceCaps 0
The Worcester Sharks blanked the St. John’s IceCaps 4-0 Wednesday night to sweep the two-game series at Mile One Centre. John McCarthy scored twice and Harri Sateri stopped 21 shots for the shutout, while Tim Kennedy picked up a pair of helpers. Daniil Tarasov scored the game-winner for the second straight night with his second period tally.
For St. John’s, Eddie Pasquale stopped 30 shots while Kael Mouillierat and Eric O’Dell led the way with four shots each.
Saturday, February 9 – Connecticut Whale 4 St. John’s IceCaps 1
The St. John’s IceCaps couldn’t muster any offence in a 4-1 loss to the Connecticut Whale Saturday night at Mile One Centre.
St. John’s fired 38 shots at Whale netminder Cameron Talbot but the Caledonia, Ontario native was equal to the task, making 37 saves for his 16th victory of the season. Michael Haley scored the winner and added an assist, while Christian Thomas scored into the empty net and collected two assists for a three-point effort.
The line of Haley, Thomas and Kelsey Tessier combined for three goals and seven points on the night. Carl Klingberg notched the IceCaps’ only goal – a first period tally – and Eddie Pasquale made 16 saves on 19 shots, picking up the loss.
Sunday, February 10 – Connecticut Whale 7 St. John’s IceCaps 3
The St. John’s IceCaps came out flat Sunday afternoon, falling 7-3 to the Connecticut Whale in their fourth straight loss at Mile One Centre this week.
Michael Haley scored twice in the first 4:08 of the opening frame as the Whale lead 4-1 after 20 minutes and did not look back. Kris Newbury notched a goal and two assists while Kyle Jean, Jyri Niemi, Andrew Yogan and Mike Vernace had two –point efforts for Connecticut. Cameron Talbot made 25 saves on 28 shots.
For St. John’s, Jason Jaffray had two goals, including one on the power play, while Aaron Gagnon recorded two assists in his return to the lineup after missing 15 games with a knee injury. Mark Dekanich started but was pulled after allowing two goals on the first three shots of the game. Eddie Pasquale came on in relief and made 15 saves on 20 shots in taking the loss.
Captain Providing the Offence: Jason Jaffray has picked up the slack offensively, scoring four goals this week to become the second IceCap to reach double digits. Jaffray potted two goals Tuesday vs. WOR and another two Sunday vs. CT. His 10 tallies are second to Eric O’Dell (12), and his 27 points in just 39 games leads the club.
Jets Update: Former IceCaps D Zach Redmond scored his first NHL goal (a shorthanded marker) Thursday in the Jets’ 3-2 loss vs. TOR. Redmond played 24:04 in the game, second only to Ron Hainsey, and has three points (1G, 2A) in his last three games.
Divisional Matchups Looming: The IceCaps are staring three big divisional games in the face in what will be a pivotal weekend for a club looking to rebound from a disappointing home stand. St. John’s plays twice against the Manchester Monarchs and once against the Portland Pirates, with the Manchester games serving extra importance. The IceCaps trail the Monarchs by just a single point in the standings; Manchester is one of a handful of teams the IceCaps must leapfrog in the hunt for a playoff spot. St. John’s plays four of its next eight games against the Monarchs.
Injury Report: F Aaron Gagnon made his return to the lineup Sunday after missing 15 games with a knee injury and was one of the IceCaps’ best players, picking up a pair of assists and being named the Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player for his efforts. Hunter Tremblay was re-injured during the Worcester series and is out indefinitely. Also injured: Jason King (head), John Albert (upper body), Shawn Weller (finger), and Ivan Telegin (undisclosed).