IceCaps Player of the Week: Michael McCarron
It's been an absolutely dominant November for the behemoth first round draft pick, and with six points in two games this week, he shows little sign of slowing down. Between his strong play, and a multitude of injuries in the lineup, McCarron has become the de facto number one centre in St. John's.
Playing alongside Daniel Carr and Christian Thomas, he was able to generate a record setting performance in a 9-8 OT loss to the Toronto Marlies. The rookie notched five points in the game, setting a new IceCaps record for most points in a single game. McCarron's outstanding performance rocketed him into the top five for scoring in the AHL, and to the top of the rookie scoring race.
|Jacob de la Rose||0||0||0||0||+0||0||0|
Daniel Carr: It was a strange set of games for Carr this weekend. While playing on Michael McCarron's wing, he failed to register any points. Given Carr's scoring habits, this is no cause for worry, and we can expect the sophomore forward to bounce back next week.
Charles Hudon: Typically, scoring three goals, and having four points in just two games would be more than enough to earn player of the week honours. While McCarron should be commended for his outstanding weekend performance, it cannot be understated how good Charles Hudon was. He opened the scoring Friday night against Toronto by redirecting a Bud Holloway shot.
He followed that up by registering two goals and an assist in the 9-8 OT loss to Toronto the following night.
Christian Thomas: After being demoted by Sylvain Lefebvre, the speedy winger took his spot back in the top six, and responded with three points in two games. His first goal came against Toronto, Friday night in overtime, when he took a Zach Fucale breakout pass, flew down the ice and ripped a shot passed Garret Sparks.
He wasn't done victimizing Marlies goalies, as the following night he scored a highlight reel goal in close on Antoine Bibeau. It's worth noting that Lefebvre reunited the line of Carr/McCarron/Thomas for Saturday's game, and it paid immediate dividends.
Mark Barberio: Quietly efficient is the best way to describe the veteran blueliner, and his play so far this season. He added another two assists to his point total on the year, and with twelve points he sits third in total scoring by defensemen.
With Greg Pateryn reporting back to Montreal, it looks like Morgan Ellis and Barberio will continue on as the IceCaps top defensive pairing for the time being.
Sven Andrighetto: After a brutally tough stretch of games for the Swiss forward, he rebounded with three assists against Toronto. Perhaps none more important that registering a helper on a Christian Thomas OT winner on Friday night.
It has been mentioned that Andrighetto will need to keep his temper in check, and avoid taking bad penalties. He did just that this weekend, and the IceCaps benefited greatly.
Mac Bennett: After sliding down to the third pair on last week's road trip, Bennett was back in his old spot alongside Darren Dietz on the blueline. The move back up a pairing did little for his production, as he did not record a point in two games played.
Bud Holloway: The free agent signing continues to pay massive dividends for the IceCaps, recording four points in two games. He grabbed an assist on Friday night, before being one of several St. John's players to record a multi-point effort on Saturday.
His continued production has kept him in the thick of the AHL scoring race. He is currently tied for second place with William Nylander at 19 points, just one behind leader Joe Whitney.
Jacob de la Rose: The young Swede's tough season is continuing. He did not play this week due to injury.
Gabriel Dumont: While not relied on to be a primary source of scoring, Dumont has noticeably struggled to produce consistently this season. Losing both de la Rose and Scherbak to injury certainly hampers his production overall, but he did manage to record an assist this weekend.
Joel Hanley: He's not the most remarkable defensemen on the team, but Hanley has brought some stability to the third defensive pairing, alongside rookie Brett Lernout. With four points and no penalty minutes so far this season, Hanley is a major upgrade on some of the members of last years team.
Brett Lernout: After a rocky start to the season, the 2014 draft pick appears to be finding his footing in the AHL. Even with rotating partners on the third defensive unit, Lernout has established himself as an everyday player. He tallied his third assist of the year on Friday, on a Charles Hudon goal.
Connor Crisp: The young forward is currently shelved with an injury.
Darren Dietz: After he struggled out of the gate, it appears that Dietz has found his groove on the second pairing for St. John's. He recorded his third goal of the season on a fantastic rush and backhand shot.
While Barberio and Ellis are the main offensive weapons from the blueline, Dietz is doing his best to assert himself as a threat as well. With six points this year, he's well on his way to becoming a major secondary scoring contributor.
Morgan Ellis: Many of the IceCaps players this weekend provided a huge boost to their scoring numbers, and one of those players was Morgan Ellis. With four points (two goals, two assists) he was among the biggest offensive forces for the team against Toronto. Among his highlights from Saturday are a gorgeous slapshot, slammed in off the post, and a phenomenal solo effort on a backhand goal later in the same game.
Nikita Scherbak: The first round pick made his way back into the lineup on Friday night,and was promptly sidelined due to a hit by Viktor Loov.
Jeremy Grégoire: It's tough sledding still for Gregoire, as he was again held off of the scoresheet. With a rash of injuries hitting the IceCaps, he lost his most consistent linemate in Markus Eisenschmid, who was promoted to the third line.
: While his strong play got him promoted to the third line, the rookie forward sustained an injury, and was held out of the lineup on Saturday.
Mike Condon's backup while Carey Price is out with an injury. He saw his first bit of action since his call up, in relief of Mike Condon in a 6-1 loss to Colorado.: The veteran goalie was recalled to the NHL to serve as
Zach Fucale: It was a Jekyll and Hyde type of week for the young goalie. He got the start in both games against the Marlies, with drastically different results. Friday night he turned in one of his best games of the year, stopping 36 of 38 shots, and getting the primary assist in a 3-2 win.
The following night, Fucale was shelled for eight goals in regulation against Toronto, after which he was pulled for Eddie Pasquale in overtime. His poor outing on Saturday has dragged his SV% down to an unsightly .894%. This now means all three netminders for St. John's this year have a SV% below .900%
Year to Date Stats
|Jacob de la Rose||13||0||2||2||-6||12||14|
The IceCaps and Marlies rivalry got off to a red hot start this season, with both contests needing overtime to find a winner. A 3-2 win on Friday set the stage for the record setting barnburner the following night, that saw the Marlies win 9-8. St. John's is currently listed as fourth in their division based on expected points, and sixth overall in the Eastern Conference.
Record to Date
The IceCaps won't be back in action until a back-to-back starting this Friday, when they once again welcome a North Division rival to the Mile One Centre. The Syracuse Crunch currently sit just ahead of the IceCaps in the standings, so once again these games have a "must win" feel to them.