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IceCaps Series Preview: St. John’s set to host Hartford

The IceCaps begin an eight-game home stand on Friday

St. John’s IceCaps

The St. John’s IceCaps return home for the first time in over a month when the host the Hartford Wolfpack on Friday and Saturday night. Hartford comes into the series with the second worst record in the AHL. The Rangers’ farm team currently sits dead last in the Atlantic Division. St. John’s is third in the North Division, just three points behind the first place Syracuse Crunch.

With eight (nine if you include Daniel Carr) regulars currently in Montreal with the Habs, there will be a few new faces on the ice at Mile One Centre. Michael McCarron’s brother John, as well as Anthony Camara and Reggie Traccitto, will make their home debuts. Alexandre Ranger, who impressed during a short spell with the team last season, is the other new name on the roster.

Players to Watch:

Former first-round pick Nicklas Jensen is Hartford’s leading scorer. The speedy Swede has 26 points through 31 games thus far. Last week he was named to the league’s All-Star game. On defence, Ryan Graves has been turning heads since becoming a pro last season. The towering blueliner has 19 points on the season.

Magnus Hellberg has been the main man between the pipes this season, playing in 24 of the teams 37 games this season. His numbers haven’t been great though. He has a record of 9-9-4, with a 3.00 GAA and a .902 SV%

For the IceCaps, expect Charles Hudon to have a big weekend if he’s healthy enough to play. The most consistent AHL scorer for the Bulldogs/IceCaps over the past three seasons will be trying to prove he belongs in the NHL. With five IceCaps forwards currently in Montreal, Hudon will hopefully take the snub of not being recalled personally and look to bring his best performance. With all the movement between the IceCaps and Habs, rookie centre, Daniel Audette has seen his ice time grow. He has eight points in his last seven games, and will look to continue his strong play.

Charlie Lindgren will be looking to build off his strong first half. The rookie netminder was recently named to the AHL All Star game, and will need to continue his strong play if the IceCaps hope to be playing hockey in late April and May.

Last time they played:

Records:

HFD: 13-20-4

STJ: 18-14-4

Top Scorers (Active Rosters):

HFD: Niklas Jensen (26 PTS), Ryan Graves (19 PTS), Justin Fontaine (18 PTS)

STJ: Daniel Audette (18 PTS), Charles Hudon (17 PTS), Max Friberg (14 PTS)