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Previewing the St. John's IceCaps weekend series versus the Rochester Americans

The St. John's IceCaps face the Rochester Americans at home this weekend, and will need some role players to step up with many of the team's top offensive forwards playing in the NHL.

St. John's IceCaps / Colin Peddle

The St. John's IceCaps have finished their six-game road trip, ending with a 3-1-1-1 record. Still holding steady in the standings at third place in the North Division at 12-6-4-2, they're back home and ready for their four-game homestand. They'll kick off the weekend with back-to-back games against the Rochester Americans.

The IceCaps last faced Rochester at the start of that road trip on November 27th; a penalty-filled affair as both teams fought hard for the win. St. John's has 12 minutes of penalty time, with 10 for Rochester.

The IceCaps came back from a 2-0 deficit thanks to Morgan Ellis, a power-play goal by Daniel Carr to tie the game, and Michael McCarron notching a goal to take the lead. With just seconds left, the puck slid past Zachary Fucale, thus continuing the IceCaps overtime obsession, with the sixth-consecutive extra-time game for the team.

Both goaltenders kept their teams in the game in overtime, sending it into a shoot-out. Charles Hudon, Gabriel Dumont and Carr all missed the net, allowing Rochester to score the lone goal needed to win the game.

Despite the loss, captain Dumont stretched his point streak to four games (1 G, 3 A), Mark Barberio earned second star of the night honours by picking up an assist on all three goals, and Daniel Carr was voted the IceCaps Hardest Working Player. Carr was awarded his first NHL call-up after his team swept the Toronto Marlies in the following two games.

A trio of IceCaps made their debut during that road trip: forwards Tim Bozon (reassigned from ECHL's Brampton Beast) and Luc-Olivier Blain (signed to a PTO), and Jarred Tinordi (sent down by the Montreal Canadiens for a conditioning stint).

In their return home this weekend, the IceCaps will be celebrating the season and embracing the festivities by reaching out to fans and the community, starting on Friday, December 11th with the fifth annual NTV Salvation Army Teddy Toss. Patrons are encouraged to bring a plush toy (wrapped in platic) to the game to throw on the ice during intermission. Toys will be collected and donated to underprivileged children in Newfoundland and Labrador this Christmas. Last year, over 3,500 toys were secured for children in need.

On Saturday, the IceCaps will celebrate Christmas with an old-time Newfoundland and Labrador mummering tradition where game operations staff will dress in costume. For those who are not familiar with mummering, it typically involves a group of friends or family who dress in disguise and visit homes within their community during the twelve days of Christmas.

The last time the IceCaps faced the Rochester Americans at home, they took down the Amerks during the home opener on October 16th and 17th with 5-2 and 6-2 wins, respectively. McCarron scored his first professional hat trick in that series. With so many of St. John's forwards up with the NHL club, McCarron will be one of the players relied upon to provide the heroics once again.