April was a real nail-biting, cross-your-fingers, frustrating kind of month for any St. John’s IceCaps fan. Leading up to the Calder Cup playoffs, the IceCaps continued to bounce in and out of a playoff spot right up to the very last game of the regular season.
St. John’s needed just one point to make it to the post-season, and after losing their second-last game to the Toronto Marlies, their chances looked bleak. But they took the final North Division playoff spot in style the following evening with a 4-1 victory in the rematch.
Chris Terry has been a top player for the IceCaps for the full 2016-17 season, and his impressive play didn’t stop until the final buzzer of the year:
Great forecheck by Charles Hudon, and a perfect pass sets ups Chris Terry for an IceCaps goal, they now lead 2-0 pic.twitter.com/mJH6oUVJPx— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 21, 2017
- During a battle with the Marlies on April 4, Terry hit the 61-point mark to tie former IceCap Bud Holloway as the franchise leading scorer. Three days later, while facing the Albany Devils, he broke that record.
- Continuing his record-breaking run, Terry broke the all-time IceCaps franchise goal-scoring record, notching 30 goals by the end of the regular season.
- He ended up second in the league in points with 68 (30 G, 38 A), and was top of the charts in power-play goals with 19.
- He was named to the 2016-17 AHL Second AHL All-Star Team, as voted by AHL coaches, players, and media.
- He was also named Top Scorer and MVP during the IceCaps annual team awards.
The Award Goes To
The complete list of players who were acknowledged by their peers and picked up an award are:
- Fans’ Choice - Jacob de la Rose
- Rookie of the Year - Charlie Lindgren
- Molson Three Stars award - Charlie Lindgren
- Statoil Community Man of the Year - David Broll
- Defenceman of the Year - Joel Hanley
- Top Scorer: Chris Terry
- MVP: Chris Terry
Although they didn’t make it past the first round, the IceCaps put up one hell of a fight against the first-place Syracuse Crunch.
They started with home-ice advantage for the first two games of the series. The first match saw the IceCaps come away with a 2-1 victory, but the outcome wasn’t as good the following evening. It should have been another win for the IceCaps, but after two waved-off goals during overtime and managing to push it to a second extra frame, they headed to Syracuse for the final three contests tied at one.
It was another close call during Game Three, but the result was a 3-2 loss. A hard-fought Game Four was again pushed to overtime, but the IceCaps were unable to force a Game Five, falling 3-2 and losing the five-game series.
Charlie Lindgren stood tall between the pipes for all four matchups. He let just eight pucks slip past him in the 117 shots he faced over the duration of the playoffs.
A surprising player who stepped up was Stefan Matteau. Tied with Charles Hudon in points (4), he was responsible for three goals (which led the team) and one assist.
The End of an Era
The IceCaps will be moving to Laval, Quebec for the 2017-18 season and will transform into the Laval Rocket.
Not only is this the end of the IceCaps season, it marks the end of an era for Newfoundland and Labrador. For 20 years, St. John’s has enjoyed and supported AHL hockey, watching the farm teams of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Montreal Canadiens pass through.
The fans are not only saying goodbye to the Canadiens’ affiliate, they’re saying goodbye to AHL hockey in general, as there are no other teams lined up to take their place.
- Outstanding back-to-back shutouts by Zachary Fucale and Charlie Lindgren during their April 8 and April 9 contests, were the advantage the team needed to make it to the post-season.
- Charles Hudon played his 200th career AHL game.
- Niki Petti was signed to an ATO, and scored his first goal in his first professional game.
- Victor Mete was signed to an ATO on April 19, but didn’t suit up for a game.
- Noah Juulsen joined the IceCaps for their playoff run after his Everett Silvertips were eliminated from the WHL playoffs. He made an appearance in two IceCaps playoff games.
|Jacob de la Rose||62||14||17||31||-3||38|