The St. John’s IceCaps have not strung together back-to-back wins since the second and third games of the season, way back on Oct. 14 and the 19th, when St. John’s won its second game of a season-opening, two-game road trip, and its home-opener against the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Keith McCambridge’s charges hope to buck that trend this weekend when the struggling Albany Devils make their first appearance at Mile One Centre.
For the record, the Devils and Phantoms did not play in St. John’s last season. This year, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have been bumped off the IceCaps’ home schedule, and the Worcester Sharks are making only one trip to St. John’s as opposed to the pair of road swings to Newfoundland last season.
The IceCaps-Devils series is a matchup of a pair of teams which haven’t been exactly setting the world on fire. The Devils — known as the Albany River Rats back in the St. John’s Maple Leafs’ days — are 1-5 in their past six games, while the IceCaps are 2-4.
St. John’s closed out a five-game road trip last Sunday in Hershey, Pa., with a 2-1 win over the Bears to finish up 2-3 on the swing.
Entering tonight’s game, the IceCaps (6-7) are 11th in the 15-team Eastern Conference, while the Devils (3-5) are tied for last place with the Providence Bruins.
NAMES AND NUMBERS
Game times: 7:30 tonight and Saturday
TV/Radio/Online: Tonight’s game will be carried on Rogers TV, and both games will be broadcast on radio on 930AM and online (stjohnsicecaps.com and stations of the Steele Communications network)
IceCaps’ leading scorers: Alex Burmistrov (2-5-7), Derek Meech (1-6-7), Spencer Machacek and Zach Redmond (3-2-5) and Hunter Tremblay and Ben Maxwell (1-4-5)
Devils’ leading scorers: Jacob Josefson (4-4-8), Matt Anderson (3-4-7) and Adam Larsson (1-4-5)
Notable lockout assignments for the Devils: Adam Henrique (3 goals in 11 GP) is one of the more well-known NHLers playing in the AHL during the lockout. Henrique registered 51 points for the New Jersey Devils last season, and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, losing out to Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche ... Adam Larsson was another Devils rookie last season, who recorded two goals and 16 assists in New Jersey. Larsson was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft, behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog and Jonathan Huberdeau ...
Devils’ veterans to watch: Bobby Butler, who appeared in 56 games for the Ottawa Senators last season, won a Calder Cup with the 2011 Binghamton Senators ... Jay Leach turned pro in 2001-02 with the ECHL’s Mississippi Sea Wolves and has been with 17 different teams (ECHL, AHL and NHL) since then. He has been part of the Devils’ organization since 2010-11. Leach is married to NHL Network sportscaster Kathryn Tappen ...
IceCaps notes: Mark Dekanich will make his third straight start in goal tonight for St. John’s. Dekanich stopped 18 shots against Hershey last Sunday, and made 28 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Manchester Monarchs last Wednesday ... Patrice Cormier will skate today following arthroscopic knee surgery (meniscus). However, the projected date for the robust forward’s return is after Christmas, although McCambridge is holding out hope for a return just before the holidays ... Jason King and Aaron Gagnon are still listed as day-to-day, while Tremblay still suffers from concussion-like symptoms ...