The St. John’s Icecaps started the month with four games at home, but spent the majority of December on the road. Out of the 11 games played, they came away with the win in six of them.
Before spending New Year’s Eve dancing with the Syracuse Crunch to the sound of a 7-5 loss, the IceCaps had made their way up to second place in the North Division — just one point behind the Crunch.
Heading into 2017, the IceCaps have slipped back to third with 37 points (17-13-3) but it’s still anyone’s game as they sit just two points behind the Albany Devils and three behind the Crunch. They’ll be facing both of those teams as they wrap up their road trip this week.
Lindgren, who is currently holding a record of 13-8-0, added another big accomplishment to his resume last month.
During a contest against the Utica Comets on December 16, the rookie netminder stood tall and was the difference-maker in bringing home the 3-0 victory.
The IceCaps managed just 20 shots on goal while recording 19 penalty minutes, but Lindgren stayed focused, blocking all 33 shots that came his way, earning first star of the night and his first professional shutout.
Lindgren started eight out of the 11 games and earned a spot among the three stars at the conclusion of the game four times, three of those being as the first star.
Bryan Pitton was signed to a PTO on December 25, making him the third goalie on the roster. Speculation went crazy as to why he was brought on. Was Lindgren, the IceCaps number-one netminder, injured? Thankfully, no.
Danis was on high-alert, expecting the birth of his third child at any moment. He welcomed his daughter on December 29.
Although, not currently on the IceCaps roster, let’s join in the celebration of Zach Fucale’s New Year’s Eve victory!
Pretty nice way to end the year ! pic.twitter.com/bc05HFdB9Y— Zach Fucale (@Fucale31) December 31, 2016
Fucale was sent to the Brampton Beast after just two games with the IceCaps this season, and the move seems to be helping him get his confidence back. After finishing last season with a disappointing 16-19-4 record, Fucale currently has a record of 12-3-0 with the Beast.
Named to Team Canada for the 2016 Spengler Cup, Fucale helped bring the team to the gold-medal game. After making two huge saves during the second period, he settled in and helped Canada get the 5-2 victory over HC Lugano.
Fucale now just needs to make room for the Spengler Cup next to his Memorial Cup and World Junior Championship.
There was plenty of movement between the IceCaps and the Montreal Canadiens in December, with eight players bouncing back-and-forth:
- Chris Terry
- Charles Hudon
- Sven Andrighetto
- Mark Barberio
- Michael McCarron
- Joel Hanley
- Ryan Johnston
- Bobby Farnham
But nobody racked up the air miles like Andrighetto, who was on the move a total of eight times between December 7 and December 31.
With most of the top players either on the injury list or up with the Canadiens during December, it was an opportunity for others to shine.
And rookie Daniel Audette did just that. With just six points (1G, 5A) tallied by the end of November, he’s more than doubled his points in the last month of play for a total of 17 points (6 G, 11 A).
Captain Max Friberg and Jacob de la Rose also increased their numbers. Both upped their points from six to 13.
A leader in another sense of the word is Stefan Matteau. With 79 PIMs under his belt so far this season, Matteau is first in penalty minutes on the team and the third-most penalized player in the AHL.
Check out who made our Top Three Stars list for December.
- After missing seven games due to injury, Nikita Scherbak returned to the ice on December 28 against the Utica Comets. Charles Hudon remains on the Injured Reserve list.
- The IceCaps remain atop their division in power-play percentage with a 24.4% efficiency rate. Their penalty kill, however, still sits at second-worst at just 78.5%.
- During a New Year’s Eve matchup against the Syracuse Crunch, the fierce contest ended with 12 goals and 96 penalty minutes.
|Jacob de la Rose||29||3||10||13||-6||20|