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The Rock Report 10/29

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets

The IceCaps continued their home stand with a pair of games each against the Portland Pirates and Norfolk Admirals, the two highest scoring teams in the AHL. After a wild 8-7 overtime victory Tuesday night, the IceCaps couldn’t muster any offence in a 4-0 defeat Wednesday. On the weekend, St. John’s played arguably its best and most complete game of the season in beating the Norfolk Admirals 3-2, snapping the Admirals’ league-record 32-game winning streak. However, the club could not carry the momentum over to Sunday’s contest, getting blanked for the second time in three games and losing 2-0.


Tuesday, October 23 – St. John’s IceCaps 8 Portland Pirates 7 (OT)
Mile One Centre – St. John’s, NL
Attendance: 6,287

Alex Burmistrov scored his first goal as an IceCap to give his team an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over the Portland Pirates in an unbelievable game Tuesday night at Mile One Centre.

Burmistrov and Ivan Telegin played give-and-go in the neutral zone before Burmistrov buried the game-winner at 1:03 of the extra frame past a shell-shocked Chad Johnson in the Pirates crease.

The teams combined for 15 goals and 76 shots in the contest, including four in the first 2:24 of the third period.

Ben Maxwell led the IceCaps with a goal and two assists while Eddie Pasquale came on in relief of starter Mark Dekanich and made 18 saves on 19 shots to pick up the win. Spencer Machacek and Eric O’Dell scored two goals apiece while Telegin, Will O’Neill and Derek Meech all recorded two assists each. Rob Klinkhammer notched a hat trick and five points for Portland, while Johnson took the loss, stopping just 22-of-30 shots fired his way.

Wednesday, October 24 – Portland Pirates 4 St. John’s IceCaps 0
Mile One Centre – St. John’s, NL
Attendance: 6,287

Chad Johnson made 25 saves and Alexandre Bolduc scored twice as the St. John’s IceCaps fell 4-0 to the Portland Pirates Wednesday night at Mile One Centre.

A night after the IceCaps scored eight times on Portland goaltender Chad Johnson, the26-year-old goalie stood tall in the rematch, stopping 25 shots in recording the shutout and picking up his first win of the season. On this night, the IceCaps couldn’t muster any offence in suffering their first shutout loss since March 29 at Norfolk and their first at home since March 18 versus Manchester. Eddie Pasquale started for St. John’s and made 15 saves in the loss, his third of the season.

Jason Jaffray returned to the lineup for St. John’s for the first time since suffering a season-ending injury last March in a game against the Norfolk Admirals. The captain, who had spinal fusion surgery during the summer, played on a line with Jason King and Max Macenauer recorded a shot on goal and did not shy away from the tough areas, even taking a hard hit from behind but skating away unharmed.

Saturday, October 27 – St. John’s IceCaps 3 Norfolk Admirals 2
Mile One Centre – St. John’s, NL
Attendance: 6,287

Jason Jaffray scored his first goal since returning to the lineup as the St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Norfolk Admirals 3-2 Saturday night at Mile One Centre. The win snapped the Admirals’ franchise and league record streak of 32 consecutive regular season wins.

Eric O’Dell scored the eventual game-winning goal midway through the third period and Zach Redmond notched two points, including his third goal of the season. Mark Dekanich bounced back from a tough outing in his last start on Tuesday to pick up his second win of the season, stopping 28-of-30 shots in a solid outing for St. John’s.

Sunday, October 28 – Norfolk Admirals 2 St. John’s IceCaps 0
Mile One Centre – St. John’s, NL
Attendance: 6,287

Igor Bobkov stopped all 38 shots he faced as the Norfolk Admirals handed the St. John’s IceCaps their second shutout loss in the last three games with a tidy 2-0 victory Sunday afternoon at Mile One Centre.

Patrick Maroon and John Mitchell scored for Norfolk (5-1-0-0), which bounced back from a 3-2 loss Saturday night that snapped their league-record 32-game win streak. Eddie Pasquale started for St. John’s (4-4-0-0) and made 25 saves in picking up his fourth loss of the season. Zach Redmond led all IceCaps skaters with five shots on goal and earned the game’s third star for his team, which was also shut out Wednesday night on home ice in a 4-0 loss to the Portland Pirates.


The club hits the road this weekend for the start of a five-game road trip, beginning with three divisional games: Friday in Portland, Saturday in Worcester and Sunday in Providence.


Scoring Woes: After being shut out just three times all of last season the IceCaps have been blanked twice already this year, both coming this past week in 4-0 and 2-0 losses to Portland and Norfolk, respectively. St. John’s ranks 20th overall in goals for per game (2.63) through its first eight games.

Two Tickets to Splits-burgh: Like last season, the IceCaps have had trouble winning back-to-back games on home ice against the same foe. In 2011-12, St. John’s swept a two-game home series just five times in 19 tries, and has split its first three so far this season.

Special Teams: It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the special teams units, especially the power play. After beginning the season 6-for-25 with the man advantage, the club has managed just one goal in its last 16 chances, including an 0-for-6 performance in Sunday’s 2-0 loss. The penalty killing unit, however, has improved since allowing four goals on 11 opportunities in the first two games of the season. Since then, the IceCaps have successfully killed 20 of their last 23 times shorthanded (87.0%) and have risen to 17th overall in the AHL.

Injury Update: Injuries continue to mount for the IceCaps, who have been without the likes of Paul Postma and Ray Sawada this season. Patrice Cormier has missed the last five games and appears unlikely to return in the near future while Jason King missed the Norfolk series with a minor injury.

Jaffray Returns: Jason Jaffray made his much-anticipated return to the lineup last Wednesday night after undergoing neck surgery, earning the game’s third star honours for his efforts in a 4-0 loss to Portland. Three days later, the captain notched his first points of the season – a goal and an assist – in his team’s 3-2 win against Norfolk. Head coach Keith McCambridge sat Jaffray on Sunday for precautionary measures as a way to ease him back into the lineup.

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