The Rock Report 01/02
IceCaps drop two-of-three to end the calendar year, return home to begin four-game home stand
It was another tough week on the road for the IceCaps, who dropped decisions in Hamilton and Binghamton to conclude their eight-game road trip with a 4-4 record. The lone bright spot was an historic comeback against the Syracuse Crunch last Saturday, a game in which they trailed 4-0 but rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory. St. John’s returns home to face the Manchester Monarchs Friday and Saturday, the start of a brief four-game home stand.
WEEK IN REVIEW:
Friday, December 28 – Hamilton Bulldogs 6 St. John’s IceCaps 3
Gabriel Dumont scored a hat trick and added two assists as the Hamilton Bulldogs doubled-up the St. John’s IceCaps 6-3 in American Hockey League action at Copps Coliseum Friday night.
Dumont scored a pair of first period goals and added the insurance marker late in the third as the Bulldogs snapped their five-game losing streak and handed the IceCaps their second consecutive loss. Jason Jaffray scored twice for St. John’s while Eddie Pasquale made 24 saves on 26 shots after coming on in relief for Mark Dekanich in the first period.
Patrice Cormier also scored for the IceCaps, who fall to 3-3 on their current eight-game road trip.
Saturday, December 29 – St. John’s IceCaps 5 Syracuse Crunch 4 (OT)
Ben Chiarot scored his first goal of the season as the St. John’s IceCaps rebounded from a four-goal deficit to edge the Syracuse Crunch 5-4 in overtime Saturday night in New York.
Chiarot swatted home a loose puck after a scramble with just 20 seconds remaining in the extra frame for the IceCaps fifth straight goal to seal the comeback, emptying the St. John’s bench. The win could provide the boost the team has been looking for after a season-long struggle scoring goals. It’s just the third time this season St. John’s has scored five or more goals in a game.
Eddie Pasquale kept the IceCaps in the game with several big saves with the team trailing 4-2 in the second period, and stopped 29 shots.
Monday, December 31 – Binghamton Senators 4 St. John’s IceCaps 2
Four different players scored for the Binghamton Senators as they defeated the St. John’s IceCaps 4-2 in a New Year’s Eve tilt in New York Monday night.
Mike Hoffman, Shane Prince, Derek Grant and Mark Stone (into an empty net) gave the Senators their 19th victory of the season.
- Streaking: F Max Macenauer is riding a four-game point streak (1G, 3A). Macenauer’s seven tallies are tied for second on the club… F Kael Mouillierat’s five-game point streak (1G, 5A) was snapped in last Friday’s loss at HAM. The sophomore winger picked up an assist the following night at SYR but was held off the scoresheet again Monday at BNG.
- A Pair of Firsts: Defencemen Ben Chiarot and Will O’Neill both scored their first goals of the season last Saturday at SYR. O’Neill’s third period marker tied the game and sent it to overtime, where Chiarot notched the game winner. For both players it was their second career goal, with each having scored last season for St. John’s.
- Turning the Page on 2012: It was a year of ups and downs for the IceCaps, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals last May but stumbled out of the gates in the new season. Overall, St. John’s went 39-36-1-3 (.518) in 2012, compared to 19-7-4-1 (.694) in 31 games in 2011.
- Deja-Vu? Like last season, the IceCaps will open their post-Christmas schedule by hosting the Manchester Monarchs and Toronto Marlies for two games each. Exactly one year ago, the IceCaps swept the Monarchs and split with the Marlies, a feat they will be hoping to repeat this time around. St. John’s won eight times last January overall, the most for a single month in team history.
- Fast Facts: St. John’s stayed perfect in overtime this season with Saturday’s 5-4 triumph at SYR… Also on Saturday, St. John’s won its first game of the season when trailing after the first period. The club had been 0-10-0-0 previously… The IceCaps have scored five goals or more just three times this season after accomplishing the feat 12 times last season. Eric O’Dell’s +3 rating Saturday tied a season-high for an IceCaps player (Spencer Machacek was +3 in a 6-0 win vs. PRO on Nov. 25).