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The Rock Report 03/25

by Chris Doyle / Winnipeg Jets


IceCaps take four of six points against divisional foes.

The St. John’s IceCaps continued their recent string of success this past weekend, skating away with wins in two of three games and staying alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

After a tough 5-2 defeat Friday in Portland, St. John’s exacted revenge Saturday to best the Pirates 4-1 before travelling to Manchester and beating the Monarchs 4-3 Sunday afternoon. The IceCaps have now won four of their last five games overall and head to Albany for a Wednesday night tilt versus the Devils, followed by an Easter Saturday contest in Worcester against the division rival Sharks.


Friday, March 22 – Portland Pirates 5 St. John’s IceCaps 2

The IceCaps saw their modest two-game win streak snapped by the Portland Pirates Friday in a 5-2 loss at Cumberland County Civic Center. Jordan Szwarz scored twice while Mark Visentin stopped 31-of-33 shots to pick up the victory for Portland.

Aaron Gagnon continued his hot streak, picking up a goal and an assist, while Eric O’Dell scored the other goal for St. John’s. Mark Dekanich got the start between the pipes and made 24 saves.

Full Recap | Box Score | Highlights

Saturday, March 23 – St. John’s IceCaps 4 Portland Pirates 1

The St. John’s IceCaps bounced back to split the two-game series against the Pirates with an impressive 4-1 victory in Portland at the Cumberland County Civic Center Saturday night.

Josh Lunden had a career-high three points, scoring a power play goal and adding a pair of assists, while Eric O’Dell notched a goal and an assist. Kael Mouillierat and Jason Gregoire each chipped in with a pair of helpers and Mark Dekanich stopped 20-of-21 shots for the IceCaps’ third win in their last four games.

Full Recap | Box Score

Sunday, March 24 – St. John’s IceCaps 4 Manchester Monarchs 3

Ben Maxwell fired a pair of goals as the St. John’s IceCaps shaded the Manchester Monarchs 4-3 Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.

Eric O’Dell had a goal and two assists for St. John’s, while Aaron Gagnon collected three helpers. O’Dell now has a team record five-game goal-scoring streak, while Gagnon has picked up points in 10 straight games, tying Paul Postma’s team record. Josh Lunden picked up a pair of assists for St. John’s.

Full Recap | Box Score | Highlights


O’Dell’s Big Week: Eric O’Dell became just the second IceCap to take home AHL Player of the Week honours when he was selected for the award last Monday following a week during which he put up five points in two games. As an encore, O’Dell notched six points (3G, 3A) in three games on the weekend and extended his goalscoring streak to a club record five games. O’Dell also surpassed Jason King’s mark for goals in a season (22), scoring his 22nd, 23rd and 24th tallies. The sophomore centre has opened up a six-point lead over team captain Jason Jaffray for the club’s top scorer (44 to 38).

This Streak Goes On: Aaron Gagnon tied a franchise record this past weekend when he recorded a point in each of his team’s three games, extending his point streak to 10 games. The mark was originally set by Paul Postma from Dec. 4 to Dec. 31 of 2011. During his streak, the B.C. native has a whopping 15 points (7G, 8A), and when the IceCaps face off against the Devils in Albany Wednesday, Gagnon will have gone more than a full month since his last game without a point.

Seizing the Opportunity: Primarily a fill-in earlier in the season, Josh Lunden has gotten the chance to play with two of the IceCaps’ top scorers in O’Dell and Kael Mouillierat recently and has responded with some offensive output. Lunden picked up a career-high three points (1G, 2A) in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Portland and followed that up with a two assist game in Sunday’s 4-3 win at Manchester. In his last five outings, Lunden has seven points (3G, 4A) after managing two assists in his first 15 games in mainly a checking role.

My Old School: A pair of recently signed college graduates made their IceCaps debuts this weekend. Vinny Saponari, a former draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers and recent graduate of Northeastern University, suited up on Saturday night while Matthew Kirzinger, a Ferris State alum, dressed on Sunday. Kirzinger was a teammate of former IceCap blueliner Zach Redmond for two seasons at Ferris State.

Jets Update: Winnipeg split their four-game week to hang on to top spot in the Southeast Division. The Jets scored a big 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins Tuesday before dropping a pair of home games against the Washington Capitals. Winnipeg bounced back with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday and sit four points up on the Carolina Hurricanes for first in the division and third overall in the Eastern Conference.

Injury Report: Injured: Jason King (head), Hunter Tremblay (head), Ivan Telegin (head), Ryan Schnell (lower body), John Albert (hand), Josh Godfrey (undisclosed) and Tomas Kubalik (undisclosed).

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