The IceCaps hit the road this past week for a tough three-games-in-three-nights weekend that saw the club take two of a possible six points. Friday in Portland, St. John’s got in some early penalty trouble en route to a 3-0 shutout loss. Saturday, the team bounced back with a 3-2 overtime victory in Worcester on defenceman Paul Postma’s first of the season in just his second game back from an injury. However, the IceCaps were unable to ride the momentum into Sunday afternoon’s tilt in Providence, once again being blanked 3-0 as the tired legs set in after the team’s third game in a 48-hour span.
WEEK IN REVIEW:
Friday, November 2 – Portland Pirates 3 St. John’s IceCaps 0
Cumberland County Civic Center – Portland, ME
Chad Johnson pitched a shutout against the IceCaps for the second time in less than two weeks as St. John’s fell 3-0 to the Portland Pirates Friday night at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, ME.
Johnson turned aside all 31 shots he faced in handing the IceCaps (4-5-0-0) their second consecutive shutout loss and third in the last four games. St. John’s has now gone 131 minutes and 33 seconds without scoring a goal. The team’s last goal came from Eric O’Dell on October 27 in the third period of a 3-2 win over the Norfolk Admirals.
Chris Brown, Brett Hextall and Brendan Shinnimin scored for the home side in the victory. Carl Klingberg led St. John’s with four shots on goal.
Saturday, November 3 – St. John’s IceCaps 3 Worcester Sharks 2
DCU Center – Worcester, MA
Paul Postma snapped a shot past Harry Sateri to give the St. John’s IceCaps a 3-2 overtime victory over the Worcester Sharks Saturday night at the DCU Center.
Postma, in just his second game of the season, took a pass from Jason King at the top of the faceoff circle and fired a shot past Sateri for the game winner. King had done yeoman’s work digging for the puck before getting it to Postma. Jason Jaffray was also awarded an assist on the game-winner.
The IceCaps looked like they would suffer the same fate as Friday, when they were shutout by Portland. Saturday, the club fired 32 shots at Sateri, and saw a 1-0 lead evaporate in the second period, before getting the clincher with just 12 seconds remaining in the extra frame.
Sunday, November 4 – Providence Bruins 3 St. John’s IceCaps 0
Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, RI
Bobby Robins scored just 22 seconds into the game and Niklas Svenberg made 18 saves to lift the Providence Bruins to a 3-0 win over the St. John’s IceCaps Sunday afternoon at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI.
Carter Camper and Lane MacDermid also scored for Providence (3-5-0-0), which picked up its first home win of the season in four chances. Eddie Pasquale was peppered with 38 shots and kept St. John’s (5-6-0-0) in the game, making 35 saves in total. Ben Maxwell led the way with four shots on goal for the IceCaps, who were playing their third game in three days.
This week, St. John’s finishes its five game road swing with another divisional matchup on Wednesday in Manchester against the Monarchs and tough game on Saturday versus the Bears in Hershey.
Scoring Woes Continue: The road was not any kinder to the IceCaps in terms of scoring goals. After being shut out in two of the final three games on their last home stand, St. John’s was blanked twice in three games this past weekend, suffering 3-0 losses to the Pirates and Bruins Friday and Sunday, respectively. Through 11 games, the team has scored just 24 times, an average of 2.18 goals per game, 26th in the AHL.
Keeping It Close: St. John’s has played in six one-goal games this season, winning five of them. The club is 2-0 in games decided in overtime.
Power Outage: One factor affecting the lack of scoring in the past five games has been a dormant power play unit. The IceCaps are in the midst of a 1-for-33 funk with the man advantage and have fallen to 23rd overall (12.1%). However, the team endured a similar funk one year ago (they began the season going 1-for-29) and ended up finishing third overall at 20.6%.
Injury Update: The IceCaps welcomed back two major additions in All-Star defenceman Paul Postma and rugged forward Ray Sawada. Postma scored the overtime winner in Saturday’s triumph at Worcester while Sawada chipped in with two assists. Patrice Cormier remains out for the next four weeks with a lower body injury while John Albert, who was banged up over the weekend, is considered day-to-day. Derek Meech (flu) missed Friday and Saturday’s games but returned to the lineup on Sunday.
Fast Fact: The IceCaps have a better record so far this season when being outshot by their opponents (3-2) than when outshooting the opposition (2-4). Last season, St. John’s outshot its opponent 51 times, going 30-17-4 in those games.
Three-In-Threes: On four occasions last season, the IceCaps were forced to play three games in three days. They won three of the contests that took place on the third day. The club lost its first of these situations in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Providence and will play three more three-in-threes this season, with the next one not occurring until Feb. 15-17.