And now for the really busy half of the road trip.
After beginning a six-game swing through New England at a nice pace, playing once every two days, the St. John’s IceCaps finish things up on a jam-packed weekend, with three games in less than 70 hours.
The IceCaps (29-19-4) take on the Worcester Sharks tonight (9 p.m. Newfoundland time) and Saturday (8:30 p.m. NT) before heading up to Lewiston, Me., to face the Portland Pirates on Sunday afternoon (5:30 NT).
St. John’s has gone 1-1-1 so far in this trip, losing to the Providence Bruins last Friday and to the Manchester Monarchs in a shootout on Sunday, before downing the Portland Pirates 7-5 Tuesday night.
The Sharks (23-22-4) have lost their last three games, are 10th in Eastern Conference and have 12 fewer points than St. John’s (with three games in hand), but fewer teams have given the IceCaps more trouble this season; in seven head-to-head meetings, Worcester has a 5-1-1 record and a 21-15 advantage in goals scored.
Notes: After having scored three shorthanded goals in the last four games, St. John’s forward John Albert leads the AHL with four “shorties” so far this season ... With so many games in such a short period of time, there’s a good chance goalie Tyler Beskorowany makes his IceCaps debut this weekend. Michael Hutchinson has started five straight games, and 12 of the last 13, for St. John’s. On Tuesday, against the Pirates, he gave up five goals on 29 shots ... If you regularly take in IceCaps’ games at Mile One Centre, you probably can say you saw Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis long before his stellar performance against Canada in Tuesday’s Olympic men’s hockey quarter-final. Gudlevskis, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, played for the Syracuse Crunch against the IceCaps at Mile One in December, but wasn’t nearly as good as he was in Sochi, giving up four St. John’s goals in just over 27 minutes ... Another Latvian player who found the spotlight on him in Tuesday’s game against Canada was former IceCaps defenceman Arturs Kulda, who drew an assist on Latvia’s only goal in a 2-1 loss and delivered a second-period check on Canadian forward John Tavares, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on the play ...