Unfortunately, the IceCaps season didn't go quite as well we hoped it would. Their season started strong, winning the majority of their games in October, and half of their games in November. Then, well let's just forget about the months that followed, with the final result being a 32-33-11 record.
So let's shake off any disappointments from the season and focus on the good that came out of it.
Bud "Superman" Holloway
One of the coolest, and most publicized saves, of the season. When facing the Binghamton Senators on February 20, with the game already lost at 4-1, Holloway went full Superman mode to ensure the game wasn't going to end with an empty-netter to make it a 5-1 loss. Getting major coverage, it was the most talked about play from the AHL, making it all the way to Sportsnet.
IceCaps vs. Marlies
When the Toronto Marlies come to town, you can guarantee a full stadium split right down the middle. Half donning the hometown bleu-blanc-rouge and the other supporting the maple leaf.
It was just the second meeting of the season for these two rivals when, with a combined score of 17 points, they worked the fans into a frenzy with one of the AHL's highest-scoring games in recent memory. Although the IceCaps didn't get the 'W' in that battle, they did push it to overtime to end the roller coaster game with a 9-8 loss.
If that brought you down a little, take comfort in this: just four games later, the IceCaps had back-to-back match-ups against the Marlies again. This time they beat the snot out of the Marlies taking home a 6-2 and 5-1 victory respectively.
Zach Fucale's First Pro Shutout
Shutouts are always a great way to end the game. The anticipation. The dirty looks if someone dares to say the s-word before the game is over. It's even better when you witness a goalie achieving a shutout for the first time.
Goaltender Zachary Fucale had an erratic season, but in the midst of it, he managed to nab his first pro-shutout. Not only did the IceCaps blank the Syracuse Crunch 4-0 on February 9, Fucale turned away 39 shots while doing so.
Although sometimes not good for the team, it's always a great opportunity for the players. This is what they've been striving for so when the phone rings, they answer. Due to the mind-blowing injuries to the Montreal Canadiens last season, not only did the door open, it revolved.
We got to cheer on nine IceCaps when they made their debuts with the big club, and cheer even harder for those who notched their first career NHL goal. We saw Bud Holloway, Ryan Johnston, Michael McCarron, Brett Lernout, Darren Dietz, Joel Hanley, Daniel Carr, Morgan Ellis and Charles Hudon hit the ice with the rest of the Canadiens.
While McCarron and Dietz also tacked on a goal during that milestone, it was Carr who had the best debut. During his first shift, with his first shot on goal, he earned his first NHL tally with a beautiful wraparound.
The IceCaps ended the season the way they started it, with a win. After beating the Hartford Wolf Pack 2-1 with just 2:19 left in the final frame, the season was wrapped up with awards given to the players who made their presence known. To be eligible for awards, skaters must have played a minimum of 38 games.
- Most Valuable Player: Gabriel Dumont
- Top Rookie: Michael McCarron
- Top Defenseman: Morgan Ellis
- Best Plus-Minus: Morgan Ellis (plus-2)
- Top Scorer: Bud Holloway (franchise-record 61 points)
- Statoil Community Man of the Year: Zach Fucale
- Hardest Working Player: Josiah Didier
- Fan's Choice Award: Eddie Pasquale
So, when you think about it, the 2015-16 season wasn't all bad. That being said, here's to even better moments for the 2016-17 season!