The St. John’s IceCaps played the final month of the current iteration of the franchise in April, and had a playoff run to show for it. The team went 4-3-0 in the remaining regular season games in April which was just enough to squeak into the playoffs. Once there however they would lose to the Syracuse Crunch in four games, on a winning goal by former IceCaps captain Gabriel Dumont.
First Star- Charles Hudon
Hudon has nothing left to prove in the AHL. Once again this month he was a force to be reckoned with, putting up 11 points in 11 games, including a game-winner. With waivers looming over him next season, the Canadiens have to decide whether he really is part of the plan or not, because another team will surely want to give him a chance.
Hudon steals, snipes, and the IceCaps lead 2-1! pic.twitter.com/SVDnaPgfM5— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
Nikita Scherbak opens the scoring! Really nice feed from Charles Hudon. Scherbak is flying tonight. pic.twitter.com/ni6p5veH3y— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) April 21, 2017
Charles Hudon with an absolute beauty to cut Toronto's lead to 3-2. His 27th of the year, second of the night. pic.twitter.com/1Bcgx51coP— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) April 14, 2017
Second Star- Chris Terry
Terry did what Terry does: He scored goals. His wrist shot from the faceoff has been unstoppable all season. The team MVP scored four goals in April and added seven assists for 11 points in 11 games. Most of these points came in the final seven regular season games, as his game dried up in the playoffs, only scoring a single marker, although it was a game-winner. He should continue to find success next season with the Laval Rocket as their ringer, given that his contract was extended for a season.
Chris Terry, 30th goal, and a new franchise record for goals in a season. pic.twitter.com/kIA1lZ7pGA— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 16, 2017
Chris Terry with a great move scores his 29th of the year to open the scoring. pic.twitter.com/1PnUUedSWd— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 16, 2017
Third Star- Jacob de La Rose
There was perhaps no more complete player in April than Jacob de la Rose. He was a defensive threat to the opposition, shutting down the top line every game, and an offensive presence scoring short-handed goals as well as powerplay goals. He had six points in seven regular season games, and continued into the playoffs with three points in four games. He doesn’t know what next season will hold for him as he is a restricted free agent, and very likely to be exposed at the expansion draft, but he can be proud of his achievement of a very strong second half of the season.
Jacob de la Rose continues to own the Syracuse Crunch, this is de la Rose's first goal of the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/rhumUsCF6M— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 22, 2017
Goal of the Month
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
- For the first time in forever, the IceCaps had four steady lines and three defensive pairings that rarely shuffled around. It provided stability and consistency for the players who responded very well in the final stretch of the season.
- The line of Stefan Matteau, de La Rose, and Max Friberg were especially outstanding in April. First of all they kept the opposition top line in check every game, but also contributed offensively, especially Matteau, who led the team in playoff goals, with three in four games.
- After Yann Danis did his best playing three games when Charlie Lindgren was with the Canadiens, it was really the back-to-back shutouts on the road by Zachary Fucale and the returning Charlie Lindgren that renewed hopes in the IceCaps that a playoff run was possible.
- The officiating in game 2 was bad, letting various infraction go unchecked, and ultimately costing the IceCaps the game with two waved-off goals in overtime.
- First of all Yannick Veilleux’s goal was waved off for no explicable reason, despite there being no contact with the goalie and no penalty on the play.
Potential OT winner here is waved off pic.twitter.com/3Kknc8JzFp— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
- The second waved-off goal occurred when Erik Condra beat the puck into the net to take it off its moorings by a hair.
Nikita Scherbak has a potential game winner wiped out by Condra knocking the net off it's moorings pic.twitter.com/nWWjjTouIz— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
- It’s the end of the road for the IceCaps, which certainly deserves a jeer, as the people of Newfoundland were nothing short of tremendous with the team, adopting them as their own. It was always going to be a short stay on The Rock before moving to Laval, but it is heartbreaking nonetheless to see the team moving away and the franchise fold as a result. The people of Newfoundland deserve hockey, and hopefully they will get some back relatively quickly.
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