The St. John's IceCaps faced an extremely rough six-game home stand, finding themselves on the losing end of five out of six games. They did, however, manage to get the win in their last matchup against the Toronto Marlies, a 6-4 victory, before they hit the road looking to hold onto their playoff position.
The first part of this road trip will have them up against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers followed by a back-to-back with the Albany Devils.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers - January 20th
Last time they met: October 24 (W 5-4)
Just 1:39 into the game, Daniel Carr opened the scoring with a breakaway goal on a stretch pass from Christian Thomas. That was just one of Thomas' points for the night as he, Bud Holloway and Charles Hudon each notched a goal and an assist. Mark Barberio, who was named the IceCaps Hardest Working Player, and Darren Dietz also picked up an assist each.
Nikita Scherbak scored his first pro goal during the second period and Zach Fucale put a stop to 29 of 33 shots thrown at him. The 5-4 victory gave the IceCaps their fourth home win in five games.
October 25 (SOL 3-2)
The IceCaps were out-shot 26-8 over the first two periods but Dustin Tokarski was in the zone and helped keep the game scoreless for the first two periods. Barberio got the first goal for the IceCaps in the third period but the Tigers stayed ahead by one. Just when it looked like it was game over, Michael McCarron tied the score with just 1.1 seconds left in regulation.
The game went to a shootout and it was a marathon shootout at that. After nine rounds, Connor Jones slipped one past Tokarski to finish the game with a 3-2 victory.
Being a big part in keeping their team in the game, McCarron was named the IceCaps Hardest Working Player and Tokarski's 35 saves put him at second star of the night.
Albany Devils - January 22 & 23
Last time they met: December 15 (W 3-2)
Mere hours before the start of the game, the Montreal Canadiens announced that forward Christian Thomas was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for left-winger Lucas Lessio. Not letting the news get in their way, the IceCaps came out fast and furious with Mark MacMillian striking in just under two minutes into the opening period.
Barberio added to the scoreboard and McCarron's deflection goal in the second period gave the team a 3-2 win. Putting his three game losing streak behind him, Fucale's confidence in net earned him a first star performance. Stopping 44 shots, 20-of-21 in the final frame, secured his team the victory.
December 16 (W 5-1)
After being acquired from Arizona just the day before, Lessio had an impressive debut. Starting on the top line with Holloway and McCarron, he notched an assist on the opening goal and finished +1 with three shots on goal.
As seems to be the trend when the IceCaps are fired up, they opened the scoring just 30 seconds after puck drop when McCarron got his first goal of the night - on his way to his second hat trick of the season. Both coming on home ice. Eddie Pasquale turned aside 45 shots to help sweep the series. Squashing the Devils in a 5-1 victory led to the IceCaps securing all three stars for the night: McCarron (1st star), Pasquale (2nd star) and Michael Bournival (3rd star).
The IceCaps have slid from third place in the North division to fourth place with 42 pts with the Albany Devils are sitting in second with 51 pts. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are currently in fifth in their Atlantic division with 41 pts.