The St. John’s IceCaps held an optional skate Thursday morning, with only a few regulars taking to the Mile One Centre ice.
Among them were defencemen Brenden Kichton, Josh Morrissey and Will O’Neill and forwards J.C. Lipon and Josh Lunden.
Ryan Schnell, Austen Brassard, Cody Lampl and Brandon MacLean, who have not dressed for any of the three playoff games, skated, along with the injured Adam Lowry.
Lowry is said to have the “flu”, but was wearing a non-contact jersey. Don’t look for him to play tonight.
Absent from the skate was defenceman Julian Melchiori, who had been wearing a red jersey in practice as he recovers from injury.
That he wasn’t on ice also means he likely won’t play tonight.
The IceCaps’ four goalies — Michael Hutchinson, Tyler Beskorowany, Eric Comrie and Jussi Olkinuora — all practised.
American Hockey League president Dave Andrews was at Wednesday night’s game at Mile One. But the IceCaps-Albany Devils tilt wasn’t the primary reason for his trip to St. John’s. Rather, it was to see his new grandaughter, Heidi Elizabeth, born to Brad and Melanie Andrews this week.
Brad Andrews is the IceCaps’ Director of Hockey Operations, and Dave Andrews’ son.
How close are the playoff games in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference?
Of the three games in the Manchester-Norfolk series, two games have been decided by a goal, and one went into overtime; two of the four games in the Springfield-Providence series have gone to OT, and a third was decided by a goal; all three games in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton-Binghamton matchup have gone to overtime.
Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said the Devils must put Wednesday’s tough 1-0 loss to the IceCaps behind them and focus on tonight’s Game 4.
“You have to move on, get rested and regroup,” he said prior to practice Thursday.
“It’s really that simple. You need to have a short memory.”
The IceCaps came out hard against the Devils from the get-go, outshooting their guests 17-6 in the first period.
The final numbers on the shot clock read 35-24 in favour of St. John’s.
“But we certainly had numerous opportunities in that game to at least get one (goal),” he said. “So we have to capitalize.
“We knew they would come at us, and at end of day, they did a much better job getting pucks and bodies to net.
“But I still think we had opportunites in the first period. We have to at least get one of them in the net.”
The Winnipeg Jets re-assigned forward Ryan Olsen from the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets to the IceCaps Wednesday.
Olsen, 20, played in 71 games with the Rockets this season, registering 64 points from 30 goals and 34 assists.
In 14 playoff games, the Delta, B.C. native earned seven points and seven penalty minutes.
He was selected by the Jets in the sixth round, 160th overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.