The St John’s IceCaps are about to embark on their second six-game road trip of the season. The trip comes after a successful six-game home stand which saw them collect eight of a possible 12 points.
This was a stark improvement on the six-game road trip to kick off the season where they only collected five out of 12 points. The question will be: can the IceCaps maintain their current successful momentum, or will they continue to struggle on the road?
The first two teams they face on the trip will be the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday and the Albany Devils on Saturday.
Stories to Watch
The IceCaps are a team of two tales.
Their offence was firing on all cylinders, leading the league in goals scored, however losing Sven Andrighetto will be a huge loss for the IceCaps as he was the team’s point per game leader. On offence, Chris Terry, Charles Hudon, and Nikita Scherbak continuing their hot streaks will make or break the IceCaps. If the IceCaps’ secondary scorers like Daniel Audette, Michael McCarron, and Max Friberg can start producing, that would be a nice boost.
On the other hand, they are the third worst team for goals against highlighting a weakness in their defensive core. There is a clear organizational depth issue on defence right now.
Mark Barberio was once again the only defenceman producing last week, scoring a goal and adding an assist, while others continued to struggle on the scoresheet. It will be interesting to see if Julien Brouillette makes his first IceCaps appearance after signing a PTO last week or whether rookie defenceman Tom Parisi sees any game action.
Charlie Lindgren has made four starts in a row so far. He has won every start but one so far this season, losing last Saturday’s game against the Toronto Marlies which was the first loss of his professional career.
Lindgren has faced the fourth most shots in the league, yet of that group possesses the best save percentage (.932) and second best goals against average (2.28) showing the strength in his performance. He is certainly keeping his end of the bargain and continues to give the IceCaps a chance to win.
And while the power play remains strong, the penalty kill has been disastrous for the IceCaps ever since Max Friberg and Jacob de la Rose were injured on October 28th. Even after their return last weekend the IceCaps allowed three power play goals on nine opportunities, so tightening up this aspect of the game is critical for the IceCaps.
With Connor Crisp assigned to the ECHL, the IceCaps will be travelling with 13 forwards, eight defencemen, and two goaltenders.
Last Time They Played
Saturday, October 15th, @ Albany Devils
The first time the IceCaps played against the Devils this season they used ECHL goaltender Bryan Pitton due to Charlie Lindgren being up with the Canadiens. Pitton struggled in his only start with the IceCaps, allowing four goals on 19 shots. The IceCaps actually outshot the Devils in this game, but only Chris Terry was able to beat starter Scott Wedgewood, and he did so twice. The five goals the Devils scored in the 5-2 victory is the most that Albany has scored so far all season.
Players to watch out for on the Devils include rookie John Quenneville, but overall the Devils don’t have any players who stand out, scoring on average 2.5 goals per game.
Saturday, October 22nd, @ Springfield Thunderbirds
This game was the first start for newly signed goaltender Yann Danis, and he showed some rust as the Thunderbirds hammered him for five goals on 35 shots, but the IceCaps escaped with a point, losing in overtime. Dryden Hunt was the big hero for the Thunderbirds, scoring twice and adding an assist. This game was Chris Terry’s coming out party, scoring a goal and adding three assists, while Charles Hudon scored twice in the losing cause. The five goals scored by Springfield in their 5-4 win is the most that they have scored all season.
- Friday, November 11th, Springfield Thunderbirds (5-4-1, 0.550), 8:35pm NST (7:00pm EST)
- Saturday, November 12th, Albany Devils (6-4-0, 0.600), 6:30pm NST (5:00pm EST)