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IceCaps Weekend Recap: St. John’s splits series with the Toronto Marlies

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The IceCaps ran out of gas at the end of a 12-day road trip.

Markus Eisenschmid
St. John’s IceCaps / Colin Peddle

The St. John’s IceCaps were in Toronto over the weekend to play the North Division-leading Marlies in a back-to-back set to finish off their second six-game road trip of the season.

Game One

On Saturday night, the IceCaps edged the Marlies 2-1 in a very close game. That win can mainly be attributed to goaltender Yann Danis, who played his best game since joining the IceCaps. He became the first goaltender other than Charlie Lindgren to register a win for the IceCaps this season, stopping 26 of 27 shots, and earning the first star of the game.

The IceCaps conceded the first goal early in the game on a Marlies power play when Brett Lernout was called for interference.

Sven Andrighetto rejoined the IceCaps earlier in the day to begin his second stint in the AHL this season. He didn’t factor on the scoresheet, but played on the top offensive line with Nikita Scherbak and Daniel Audette. The line only managed two shots during the game.

It was the line of Bobby Farnham, Markus Eisenschmid, and team captain Max Friberg that provided all the offence for the IceCaps, with Eisenschmid and Farnham each getting a goal, assisting on each others’ goals, with Friberg chipping in on both of them. Friberg was awarded the third star of the game as a result.

The IceCaps were outplayed for most of the game, notably in the third period where they managed only a single shot on Marlies goaltender Antoine Bibeau. St. John’s yet again conceded a power-play goal, as what was once a league-leading penalty kill is plummetting down the table.

Game Two

On Sunday the IceCaps were playing their third game in three nights, and clearly operating on fumes.

Lindgren, as is habitual by now, kept the IceCaps in the game as long as he could, making numerous spectacular saves, and earning third-star honours in a losing effort, stopping 37 of 39 shots directed at him.

A potential injury situation to look out for: Philip Samuelsson blocked a shot in the first period and played little afterwards.

The Marlies broke the scoreless deadlock early in the third period when the veteran top line of Brooks Laich, Milan Michalek, and Rich Clune trapped the line of Scherbak, Andrighetto, and Daniel Audette in their zone and cycled the puck to the point, where Andrew Nielsen’s slap shot trickled past Lindgren. The Marlies added a power-play goal later in the third when Mark Barberio was off for slashing, and you just felt the wind come out of the IceCaps’ sails. The Marlies added an empty-net goal to complete the 3-0 shutout win.

The IceCaps struggled yet again in the third period, managing only five shots in the 20-minute frame, and a mere 19 for the game.

St. John’s took six of a possible 12 points on this road trip and now have a 9-8-1 record after 18 games; the most games played of any team in the AHL.

The IceCaps are back in action in St. John’s on Friday as the Providence Bruins come to town for a couple of games. With Artturi Lehkonen nearing a return for the Montreal Canadiens, the IceCaps could expect at least one of Charles Hudon, Daniel Carr, or Chris Terry to be back by then.

1 Toronto Marlies 14 9 4 0 1 19 0.679
2 Syracuse Crunch 13 8 4 0 1 17 0.654
3 Albany Devils 15 9 6 0 0 18 0.600
4 St. John's IceCaps 18 9 8 1 0 19 0.528
5 Rochester Americans 16 7 8 0 1 15 0.469
6 Binghamton Senators 15 5 8 1 1 12 0.400
7 Utica Comets 15 5 9 1 0 11 0.367