There's no hotter goalie in the American Hockey League right now than Eddie Pasquale and the St. John's IceCaps are taking advantage of Pasquale's inspired play.
Pasquale turned aside 24 shots and Zach Redmond had the game's only goal as the IceCaps blanked the Albany Devils 1-0 Friday night in the New York state capital.
The result gives St. John's (11-9-1) its first three-game winning streak and moves the IceCaps into first place in the AHL's Atlantic Division, two points ahead of the Manchester Monarchs. Manchester, which has a game in hand on St. John's, lost 5-4 to the Springfield Falcons Friday.
Pasquale has been the first star in his last three starts, two of which have resulted in shutouts. In his his last five games, the IceCaps goalie has a 4-0-1 record, the only blemish being a shootout loss to the the Providence Bruins a week ago. Over that stretch, Pasquale has allowed just six goals on 184 shots. That gives him a 1.18 goals-against average and sparkling .966 save percentage in those five games.
Prior to that, Pasquale had lost four straight games, and in each case, the IceCaps were shut out. While St. John's hasn't been scoring up a storm, it has certainly provided more support for the netminder, registering 15 goals in his last five starts.
They needed just one goal Friday, that coming in the middle period from second-star Redmond, the defenceman's team-leading sixth tally of the season. It was the fourth straight game in which St. John's scored with the man-advantage as its once-moribund power-play has come around, going seven-for-21 in that time. On the other side, the penalty kill has been perfect in those four games — the Devils (4-8-5) didn't score in three chances. The IceCaps haven't allowed a power-play goal in the opposition's last 21 chances.
Albany goalie Jeff Frazee, the game's third star, had 22 saves.
The game was the second in a rather quick three-game road swing for the IceCaps, who began with a 3-2 win over the Adirondack Phantoms Wednesday and finish up against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight in northeastern Pennsylvania.