11/28: IceCaps Weekly
Marlies supply bitter end to IceCaps homestand
The Toronto Marlies swept the two-game series with the IceCaps this weekend at Mile One Centre.
Friday night’s contest was a see-saw affair that saw numerous lead changes, with the Marlies eventually coming away with the win after Jeff Finger potted his second goal of the season with 29 second remaining in overtime. The teams were evenly matched through 60 minutes, but Toronto’s Nazem Kadri proved to be too much to handle. Kadri scored twice and added two assists (including a helper on the overtime winner) to lift the Marlies to victory. Marco Rosa had two assists for the IceCaps while Peter Mannino made 29 saves in the loss.
Saturday, the teams traded goals for the first half of the game but the Marlies pulled away late in the second period in a 6-3 victory. Captain Ryan Hamilton led the way with three points (1g, 2a) for Toronto while Jussi Rynnas stopped 25-of-28 shots to pick up the win. The combination of Spencer Machacek and Rosa continued to shine for St. John’s. Machacek notched his fourth and fifth goals of the season while Rosa scored his fifth and picked up an assist to give him a team-leading 18 points in 20 games. After getting the night off Friday, Eddie Pasquale was not at his best Saturday night, allowing six goals on just 26 shots for his second straight loss overall.
The visit by Toronto stirred up some emotions in the building, as the current Marlies franchise is the former St. John’s Maple Leafs club, which called Newfoundland and Labrador home for 14 seasons from 1991-2005. Several fans shouted their displeasure towards Toronto with a chorus of boos, while others posted signs. There were, however, still a number of Maple Leaf jerseys in attendance.
The IceCaps will attempt to regroup on the road this coming weekend when they visit the Hamilton and Toronto. Friday night, the IceCaps invade Copps Coliseum in Hamilton for a date with the Bulldogs. The two teams met back on October 14 and 15 in St. John’s for the IceCaps opening weekend at Mile One Centre, and split the pair of games. The Bulldogs currently occupy the basement in the North Division with a record of 6-11-1-1 and will enter Friday’s matchup losers of five straight.
The IceCaps will then head to Toronto for a rematch with the Marlies on Sunday afternoon. Toronto, first in the North Division, plays four games this week, including a road tilt in Grand Rapids Friday before returning home Saturday to host the Houston Aeros.
- Marvellous Marco: After going pointless in two games versus Norfolk last weekend, F Marco Rosa notched four points in two games versus Toronto this past weekend to give him a team-leading 18 in 20 games. Rosa also leads the IceCaps with a +10 rating.
- Short-handed Struggles: After starting to turn things around on the penalty kill, the IceCaps are back in a rut. Over the past four contests, St. John’s has killed just nine of its 14 penalties (64%) and has lost three-of-four in the process.
- On The Road Again: Having concluded a six-game homestand, the IceCaps head back on the road next weekend where they have not lost in regulation time, going 6-0-2-0 on the season and collecting a point in each of their eight road games.
- Plenty of ‘O’ on ‘D’: St. John’s boasts no shortage of offensive prowess on its blueline. In just 11 games this season, Jason DeSantis has averaged a point per game and leads all IceCaps defenders in goals (four) and points (11).
- Lighting The Lamp: Through 20 games, the IceCaps rank second in the AHL in goals for per game with 3.65, trailing only the Norfolk Admirals in that category.